The draw of 5-a-side football groups (for the visually impaired) at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo (Japan) put the hosts on the path to the Brazilian team. The Japanese are also the first opponents to seek a fifth Paralympic gold medal in the sport. Apart from them, China and France are also part of Group A of the tournament.
Group B brings together Argentina (bronze at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Paralympics), Morocco, Spain and Thailand. The competition will be held from 29 August to 4 September. Teams face each other in their respective brackets and the top two qualify for the semi-finals.
“The Brazilian bracket was stronger, more balanced than the other. But I always tell athletes that, to be champions, they can’t pick an opponent. First, we have to qualify. Let’s go step by step. “, analyzed coach Fabio Vasconcelos on the website of the Brazilian Sports Confederation for the Blind (CBDV).
Two of the three opponents in the first leg are already on their way to Brazil in previous editions of the Games. Against China in the 2008 final in Beijing (China), the Paralympics featured four matches with draws and three wins – one of them 2–1. Four years later, in London (United Kingdom), the national team won the gold medal by defeating the French 2–0.
“I think we are in a strong group with four deserving teams. France and China have already won silver medals at the Paralympics, and China, mainly, is getting good results. It highlights Japan’s development. is worth. We followed the Grand Prix [torneio realizado em Tóquio, há duas semanas, sem participação do Brasil, vencido pela Argentina] And we realized that, tactically, they are organized defensively and going well for the attack, showing that the training method has been very effective”, highlighted Ving Ricardinho, known as 5-a- Considered the best player in the world in side football.CBDV website.
In the history of the sport at the Paralympics, Brazil has been on the court 22 times, with 17 victories and five draws, winning gold four times in the Games and has been in contention at the Games. The national team has not lost an official match in normal time for eight years. Furthermore, since runners-up in the 2006 World Cup, the Brazilians have not topped the podium in any tournament played in the 2017 Copa América, when they won silver and a streak of 24 straight titles was interrupted. was.