There are just fifteen days until the 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships in Madrid, Spain, which get underway on 7 June.
Brazil – world ranked No.1 – will be one of the headline acts. Here are four facts about the reigning Paralympic and world champions.
- The Brazilian National team was formed in 1987. The ‘Canarinhos’ (Little Canaries) won their first Copa América in Asunción, Paraguay in 1997, where they defeated Argentina, Colombia and Paraguay.
- Two decades later, Brazil have established themselves as a global powerhouse across all international competitions. Brazil have won all four editions of football 5-a-side at the Paralympic Games and lifted the World Championship four times.
- However Brazil are aiming to retain their world title against a backdrop of defeat against Argentina. At the 2017 Copa América. Brazil were held at a goalless draw following full-time, and lost 2-1 on penalties. Despite this Brazil, as reigning world champions, automatically qualified for the World Championships.
- Ricardino Alves, touted as one of the best players in the world, will be the player to keep a close eye on. With endless titles and individual awards to his name, Ricardino Alves reached 100 goals for Brazil when he scored against Chile in the group stage of the Copa América for his side to win 5-1.
Brazil will play Great Britain, Costa Rica and Mali in group D.
The 2018 IBSA Blind Football World Championships will feature 16 of the world’s best teams. As well as the title on offer the competition is also an important step on the road to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.
After the Opening Ceremony and match on 7 June, the group stages get underway in earnest on 8 June. The quarter finals and play-offs begin on 13 June with the final taking place on 17 June.