Euros, hearts and Tokyo 2020 ticket: Spain’s blind football team wins it all
Date: December 30, 2019
In September Spain’s hard work paid off for the eighth time when they gained their latest IBSA Blind Football European Championships title in Rome, Italy.
Feeling joyous and relieved, the Spanish now move forward to the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games with their 2019 success in their rear-view mirror.
“Since March we’ve played several preparatory tournaments with rivals from Europe, Asia and America where we have been testing and adjusting our game. In these months we’ve also had training where we have worked on tactics and the physical part of the game,” said team captain Adolfo Acosta.
“The preparation for the games [in Tokyo] will be quite similar to what we had for this year’s Europeans, changing some things but in general quite similar.”
The European Championships saw Spain lock horns with nine other teams from the region. After defending champions Russia were knocked out, Spain faced France in the final, winning 3-1, with Acosta scoring his team’s second goal in the second half.
Click here to view or download the full results from the 2019 IBSA Blind Football European Championships.
Acosta went on: “The European Championships is the most important event on the continent, fighting with so many countries for the title means that it is a sport that is booming in Europe. It is the continent where more countries play. Facing Russia is like facing any opponent. We value all teams equally, you don't have to trust when they are weaker rivals or don't get nervous when they are toughest rivals. From the beginning of the championship we were very clear about our goal and we knew what we had to focus on in order to win.”
Caption: Spain, flanked by silver medallists France (left) and third-place England (right) celebrates winning the title in Rome (image © LOC).
With Spain's upcoming appearance at Tokyo 2020, the team is leaving no stone unturned to be in the fight for the medals. Spain will compete alongside European silver medalists France, hosts Japan, defending champions Brazil, Argentina, Asian title-holders China, African champions Morocco and Iran for the world title.
“All rivals of the games are tough. The opponent to beat is Brazil, as they are the world champions,” Rodriguez said.
Just as any team is incomplete without the support of their families and fans, Spain consider themselves fortunate:
“We always have the support of our families and the people who follow us, both through social networks and with some important parties in the field. Nevertheless, support is always welcome and, as for Tokyo 2020: good luck to everyone!”
By Sarah Nasir for IBSA