Portugal and Senegal, the reigning champions of Europe and Africa, will kick-off the 10th Intercontinental Beach Soccer Cup Dubai at Kite Beach on Tuesday.
The opening game will be followed by hosts UAE taking on Spain and the reigning and then Russia looking for a repeat of the 2021 Fifa Beach Soccer World Cup final against Japan which they won 5-2. Reigning champions Iran face Paraguay to finish off the opening day's action.
Nikolai Kryshanov, making a return to the Russian team after missing out on a place in the World Cup, is looking forward to getting back on the pitch and helping his team win a fourth Intercontinental Cup Dubai crown.
“Considering that our team is coming here as the World champion, we can say that the bar has been raised as high as possible,” Kryshanov told BSRussia website.
“So only victory will satisfy our ambitions. The Japanese and Paraguayans in the same group have just played a tournament in Moscow, so they are in good shape. I watched the games of these teams.
“Paraguayans are very emotional, physically charged, it is clear that they are fighting with the desire to win.
“I think it will be very difficult with them. Maybe they are, in terms of tactics, slightly inferior to our team, but it is precisely due to their passion and willpower that they can put up a fight.
“Japan is a disciplined team, well trained tactically. Most importantly, they always stick to tactics during matches.
“I believe that this helped them to beat Senegal in the semi-finals of the World Cup. They have a couple of bright personalities who can decide the outcome of fights.”
According to Kryshanov, Iran is Russia's main rival. “We have with them approximately the same number of victories and defeats,” he added.
“A very strong team with strong individual performers. But now it is difficult to say something specific about them, because they have not had game practice for a long time, which means that they were not in anyone’s sight. I doubt anyone has any recent recordings of their matches.
“In principle, our group is even. It will be difficult with everyone, but we have an experienced coaching staff who will find how to play with everyone so that we achieve victory.”
4pm Portugal v Senegal
5.15pm UAE v Spain
6.45pm Japan v Russia
8pm Iran v Paraguay