Sunday, 11 November 2012

FIFA World Cup Futsal 2012. Assis: We can compete with the best

Assis: We can compete with the best

Italian international Saad Assis is the prototypical futsal player. Born and raised in Brazil, he measures 1.68 metres, weighs 68 kilos and honed his skills on the streets of Sao Paulo before going on to play at the highest level in his homeland as well as in Italy and Spain.
Assis is now one of the most successful players in the world. He plies his trade with Barcelona in Spain's top futsal league and helped the Squadra Azzurra to third place at the FIFA Futsal World Cup 2008 and the UEFA Futsal EURO 2012. And in Thailand, the 33-year-old will be hoping to help Italy go even further.
"We all dream of winning the tournament, but obviously so do some of the other players taking part," he said in an exclusive interview with "It won't be easy since Brazil, Spain and Russia in particular are incredibly strong. We'll give it our all but it'll be tough."
Before they can think about a semi-final clash against European champions Spain or EURO runners-up Russia, Assis and co will have to face Egypt in the last 16 after the Africans made it through as one of the four best third-placed teams in the group stages. The Italians will certainly not be taking the next match for granted.
"We don't know all that much about Egypt, but I think we'll be looking at some video analysis of them over the next couple of days," said the experienced striker, who added three strikes to his career tally during the three group matches in Thailand. "They must be a decent team, otherwise they wouldn't have been able to win so easily against a Czech Republic team which knocked us out of the tournament two years ago at the EURO. We're confident that we will reach the quarter-finals, but at the same time we know that we will have to play our best futsal if we are to win our next match on Monday."
"I'm just doing my job and helping the team. I'm a striker so I obviously like scoring goals, but at the end of the day it's team success that counts," he said modestly when asked about his past achievements.
Things have been going well so far for Assis and his team-mates, who cruised through Group D with wins against Australia (9-1), Argentina (3-2) and Mexico (5-2). Coach Roberto Menichelli's men thus picked up a maximum nine-point haul, and though the knock-out stages will obviously see a step-up in quality, Assis is confident they will make it right through to the end of the tournament.
"We have a completely different team compared with 2008. The squad is a lot younger than the back then, but we still have some very good players. As a group, we're definitely in a position to hold our own with the best futsal nations at this World Cup."
Not that merely holding their own will be enough to fill Assis's lofty expectations. "I only ever have one objective, and that's winning the next match," he concludes. "It's my job, it's why I play for the Italian national team and at club level for Barcelona."


Group A
MatchDate - TimeVenue
101/11 17:00Bangkok Ukraine3:3 (1:1)SummaryHighlightsParaguay
201/11 19:00Bangkok Thailand3:1 (1:0)SummaryHighlightsCosta Rica
1304/11 17:00Bangkok Paraguay3:6 (2:0)SummaryHighlightsCosta Rica
1404/11 19:00Bangkok Thailand3:5 (0:5)SummaryHighlightsUkraine
2707/11 19:00Nakhon Ratchasima Costa Rica1:6 (0:3)SummaryHighlightsUkraine
2807/11 19:00Bangkok Paraguay3:2 (3:1)SummaryHighlightsThailand

Group B
MatchDate - TimeVenue
702/11 19:00Bangkok Panama8:3 (1:3)SummaryHighlightsMorocco
802/11 21:00Bangkok Spain2:2 (2:0)SummaryHighlightsIran
1905/11 19:00Bangkok Morocco1:2 (1:1)SummaryHighlightsIran
2005/11 21:00Bangkok Spain8:3 (5:1)SummaryHighlightsPanama
3108/11 19:00Bangkok Iran4:3 (3:1)SummaryHighlightsPanama
3208/11 19:00Bangkok Morocco1:5 (0:3)SummaryHighlightsSpain

Group C
MatchDate - TimeVenue
301/11 19:00Nakhon Ratchasima Libya1:5 (1:3)SummaryHighlightsPortugal
401/11 21:00Nakhon Ratchasima Brazil4:1 (1:0)SummaryHighlightsJapan
1504/11 19:00Nakhon Ratchasima Portugal5:5 (5:2)SummaryHighlightsJapan
1604/11 21:00Nakhon Ratchasima Brazil13:0 (5:0)SummaryHighlightsLibya
2507/11 17:00Bangkok Japan4:2 (1:1)SummaryHighlightsLibya
2607/11 17:00Nakhon Ratchasima Portugal1:3 (1:1)SummaryHighlightsBrazil

Group D
MatchDate - TimeVenue
502/11 17:00Bangkok Italy9:1 (4:0)SummaryHighlightsAustralia
602/11 19:00Bangkok Argentina5:1 (2:0)SummaryHighlightsMexico
1705/11 17:00Bangkok Australia3:1 (0:1)SummaryHighlightsMexico
1805/11 19:00Bangkok Argentina2:3 (1:2)SummaryHighlightsItaly
2908/11 17:00Bangkok Mexico2:5 (0:1)SummaryHighlightsItaly
3008/11 17:00Bangkok Australia1:7 (1:3)SummaryHighlightsArgentina

Group E
MatchDate - TimeVenue
1103/11 19:00Bangkok Czech Republic3:2 (1:0)SummaryHighlightsKuwait
1203/11 21:00Bangkok Egypt1:3 (0:0)SummaryHighlightsSerbia
2306/11 19:00Bangkok Kuwait2:7 (0:3)SummaryHighlightsSerbia
2406/11 21:00Bangkok Egypt7:2 (2:1)SummaryHighlightsCzech Republic
3509/11 19:00Bangkok Serbia2:2 (1:0)SummaryHighlightsCzech Republic
3609/11 19:00Bangkok Kuwait4:3 (4:1)SummaryHighlightsEgypt

Group F
MatchDate - TimeVenue
903/11 17:00Bangkok Guatemala5:2 (1:2)SummaryHighlightsColombia
1003/11 19:00Bangkok Russia16:0 (8:0)SummaryHighlightsSolomon Islands
2106/11 17:00Bangkok Colombia11:3 (3:3)SummaryHighlightsSolomon Islands
2206/11 19:00Bangkok Russia9:0 (6:0)SummaryHighlightsGuatemala
3309/11 17:00Bangkok Solomon Islands4:3 (2:1)SummaryHighlightsGuatemala
3409/11 17:00Bangkok Colombia0:2 (0:1)SummaryHighlightsRussia

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