The Solomon Islands national futsal team, Kurukuru, will play recently crowned European champions and former world champions, Spain, as they continue their build up for the 2012 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Thailand in November.
multipurpose pavilion in Guadalajara north-east of Madrid will be the setting
for this historic meeting between champion of the old world and the champions
of Oceania. The match will take place on Saturday and will be the Kurukuru’s
final friendly in Spain before leaving for Thailand on Monday October 22.
This will be Kurukuru’s biggest match since playing in the last FIFA Futsal World Cup in 2008. The excitement in the camp is reaching fever pitch as the players look forward to take the same court with some of their heroes.
“This is a dream come true for us,” says captain Elliot Ragomo. “To play against Spain is a great honour because we respect them so much and aspire to be like them. Some of the best players in the world are in this team and I cannot wait to play against them.”
The team has already been in Spain for 1 week and underwent a stringent training program at the futsal pavilion in Ciudad del Futbol in Las Rozas, Madrid courtesy of the Royal Spanish Football Federation. Two (2) friendly matches were played by Kurukuru against Carnicer Torejjon and Caja Segovia from the Spanish second and first division respectively.
But how will Kurukuru perform? This is a question that can only be fully answered after the final whistle in Saturday. There is little to compare between the 2 sides and the odds weigh heavily in favour of Spain who have won no less than 6 European championships and 2 FIFA Futsal World Cup titles.
The Kurukuru have won 4 Oceania championships and participated in 1 FIFA Futsal World Cup but it is considered to be a newcomer and lacks the experience of their opponent. That, however, has not dampened spirits in the Kurukuru camp and they are looking to make use of the opportunity to play one of the best teams in the world.
Head coach, Dickson Kadau, acknowledges the difference in capabilities between his team and Spain but says that Kurukuru will take the court with confidence, determination and an open mind.
“It will be a different battle for Spain and a different battle for Kurukuru - the key for us is to stick to our objectives and play our own game no matter what happens,” says Kadau.
“The result is not as important as what the team will gain from this match. Simply put you cannot buy such experience in a shop and I want my team to make full of this chance to play this world class side.”
Asked if he has a strategy to try against the European champions, Kadau revealed that Kurukuru will play a defensive game and try to keep as much of the ball as possible.
“We will employ, obviously, a defensive game that aims to keep possession our way because this is the only way we can build confidence to attack. That said, when we have opportunities we will attack because scoring will be priceless,” Kadau says.
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