«Switzerland is looking for revenge against Russia for 7 years ago loss"

The legend of Swiss beach soccer Spacca does not think of retirement and wants to play vs Russia with full crowd.

For the second time this month Switzerland lost to Belarus in a penalty shootout, but turned out to be higher in standings of the group stage once again. Before the game the Swiss veteran Sandro Spaccarotella received a memorable T-shirt from BSWW CEO Gabino Renales in honor of his 300th match for the national team.

 In an interview with BSRusia Spacca talked us through his very first game on sand and expressed a desire to play vs the Russian team in order to to take revenge for the defeat of seven years ago.

- Sandro, how important was it for the Swiss team to finish first in the group?

- Game with Belarus was of primary importance, because that would give us a better seeding before the draw. Unfortunately, we lost, but we still managed to stay first.

- What did go wrong for Switzerland in this match?

- I don't think we played badly. Belarus has a very strong team. Perhaps we should have been more careful with using our opportunities. We scored two goals, but this is not enough in beach soccer. Both teams had lots of chances to score. Unfortunately, we lost in penalty shootouts. 

- Noel Ott was unable to help your team in the first three matches. Will his return to the squad be a powerful boost for the Swiss team?

- Of course! Noel is one of the best players in the world. He did not play in the first matches due to disqualification. I think he had a good rest, charged his batteries and will be fresh and motivated. Ott is the most important player for the Swiss national team and he should help us to achieve our goal. 

- The Swiss team will most likely be in the second basket. Do you have any preferences in terms of possible opponents in Round 16?

- Anyone but Belarus (smiles). Whoever is our opponent, we will go out on the sand with good motivation and good chances to getting tickets to the World Cup. 

- Today you received a memorable T-shirt for playing your 300th match for the Swiss team. What did this mean to you?

- This is a great honor for me. I am proud that I have been performing for Switzerland in major competitions for so many years around the world. I am very pleased to be a part of this sport. It was a special moment for me. Many thanks to BSWW for this ceremony and to Gabino Renales for his kind words. He thanked me for my dedication to beach soccer and for contributing to the development of our sport.

- Do you remember your first ever game on sand?

- Yes, it was in 2006. A very long time ago(smiles). It was the tournament in Austria and we played with a local team.

- Could you imagine back then that you will play 300 matches for the national team?

- No (smiles). When you start something new, you do not know where it will lead you. The first two or three years were very hard for me. Playing on the sand requires certain skills, it is very difficult to start doing that. It is not easy to understand if you can do it all. Fortunately, I could overcome tough moments and I’m still here playing the game. 

- Are you thinking of retirement or just go with the flow?

- No, I’m not thinking of retirement at the moment. I love beach soccer, I love my team. I have many friends around the world. It’s always great to meet them again. So as long as I am in good shape, I will play beach soccer.

- The Swiss team plays in Moscow quite often. How do you like the atmosphere at this tournament?

- Everything is just perfect! There is always great atmosphere and perfect organization in Moscow. All the people around are very friendly, and fans give us great support. Hopefully we can play against Russia with full crowd here in Luzhniki (smiles).

- Just like 7 years ago at Poklonnaya Hill in downtown Moscow?

- You also remember this game, right (laughs)? I would prefer to forget it (smiles). We were leading 3:1, but then lost 7:8. It was very unfortunate but at the same time it was a great game for both fans and players. It would be great to take revenge at this tournament.