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Romario involved in footvolley qualifying

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 2 Apr 2011

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Qualifying for the international footvolley championship began on Thursday, with victories for Brazil, Portugal and Argentina.

The tournament is being held at Ipanema beach in Rio de Janeiro, with squads from Spain, Italy, France and two from Brazil among those battling for the title.

The sport was created in Rio and combines football and beach volleyball.

Teams are comprised of four players, with competitors not allowed to use their hands and arms.

Brazil’s former international footballer-turned-congressman Romario is coaching one of his country’s teams.

“I am a fan and lover of footvolley – it’s my second sport,” Romario said.

“My dream is to see footvolley in the Olympic Games one day. I’m sure that events like this, even with four-player squads – because footvolley is normally played as doubles – could happen at the Olympics.”

“If it’s God’s will, we might see it in the upcoming Olympics here in Brazil.”

The other Brazilian squad is under the guidance of former Roma and Brazil forward and current Gremio coach Renato Portaluppi.

Both home teams were successful on the opening day of competition.

Romario’s team beat Paraguay while Portaluppi’s squad overcame both Italy and France.

Portugal beat France but lost to Italy, while Argentina saw off Spain.

Paraguay coach Julio Cesar Romero hopes the tournament would help to promote the sport on the world stage.

“A foot volley (tournament) with Romario, Renato, me and other players, like Aldair and Donato … puts the championship in the spotlight and helps to advertise footvolley across the world,” Romero said.

“This is very important and the sport will become even greater.”

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