By Jacob Ajom
Nigeria will today launch another search for global glory when the countryâ€™s representatives at the 2009 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup take on their Brazilian counterparts in the opening group match in Dubai, United Arab Emirate.
Led by striker Isiaka Olawale, the Nigerians are the current African champions. They will have their hands full as they tackle the Brazilians in the opening match. Their experience and thirst for glory will surely keep them on against the Latin Americans who have won the last three editions of the tournament.
After going out in the first round of the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup in 2006, Nigeria returned to Rio the following year as reigning African champions and reached the last eight. They failed to follow it up, however, missing out altogether on a place at Marseille 2008.
The odds favour the Samba boys who have never lost an opening game in the history of their participation in Beach soccer World Cup. The match comes up 21.30 hours (9.30pm Nigerian time).
The second African representatives, Cote dâ€™ Ivoire, will clash with El Salvador in another encounter.
In other opening matches, hosts, U.A.E., will open their accounts in the tournament with a tough battle against one of the tournamentâ€™s heavyweights, Portugal. Handled by Brazilian-born coach, Marcelo Mendes, the hosts have a slim chance against the Portuguese who boast Amarelle who was the MVP at the Marseille tournament.
Russia will clash with Costa Rica, Argentina take on Italy while Asian champions, Japan take on Spain.
Barhain will also play against Switzerland in another match.