|Number of teams||16 (finals)|
83 (2017 qualification)
|Current champions|| Portugal|
|Most successful team(s)|| Brazil|
|2021 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup|
A scene from the 2006 World Cup
|World Championships (pre-FIFA)|
|FIFA Beach Soccer World Cups|
The tournament was established in 1995 as the Beach Soccer World Championship, taking place every year for the next decade under the supervision of Beach Soccer Worldwide (BSWW) and its predecessors. Due to the sport's rapid growth, FIFA took an interest in the sport, and as the main tournament in world beach soccer, it joined hands with BSWW in 2005 to take over the organization of the competition, re-branding it as an official FIFA tournament. Since 2009, the tournament has taken place every two years to allow continental tournaments to flourish without the burden of the World Cup qualifiers crowding the schedule every 12 months. The growing global popularity of beach soccer resulted in FIFA's decision to move the stage of the World Cup from its native home in Brazil to other parts of the globe to capitalise on and continue to stimulate global interest. The first edition held outside Brazil was in 2008 in Marseille, France.
The current tournament format lasts over approximately 10 days and involves 16 teams initially competing in four groups of four teams. The group winners and runners-up advance to a series of knock-out stages until the champion is crowned. The losing semi-finalists play each other in a play-off match to determine the third and fourth-placed teams.
- 1 History
- 2 Qualification
- 3 Results
- 4 Tournament appearances
- 5 All-time tables
- 6 Awards (FIFA era)
- 7 Top goalscorers
- 8 Attendance figures
- 9 References
- 10 External links
The first Beach Soccer World Cup was held in Brazil, in 1995, organised by the precursors to the modern-day founders of the standardised rules, Beach Soccer Worldwide, held under the title Beach Soccer World Championship. Eight teams were selected to take part, without going through a qualification process. However Brazil, the hosts, dominated and easily won the cup without losing a game. The tournament was successful and BSWW announced that the competition would take place every year.
By 1997, more teams had already stated their interest in participating and therefore BSWW extended their selection to 10 teams for 1998. Brazil continued to dominate, despite this change. Immediately, BSWW extended to 12 teams for 1999, spreading their selection across five continents, introducing more new teams to the tournament. However, with all these changes it still took until the 2001 World Cup for Brazil to lose the title after winning the competition six years on the run since the establishment. It was Portugal who won the tournament, with Brazil finishing in a disappointing fourth place.
With this change of champions, more countries thought there was a chance for themselves to win the tournament and this sparked more interest worldwide. Not surprisingly, Brazil reclaimed their title in 2002, when BSWW reduced the number of contestants back to eight. The last Beach Soccer World Championship to be organised purely by BSWW was in 2004 when twelve teams played, seven from Europe.
In 2005, FIFA paired up with BSWW to co-organise the World Cup, although FIFA seem to have the most control. They kept the tradition of holding the World Cup in Rio de Janeiro and continued to allow 12 teams to participate, following on from the 2004 competition. It was Eric Cantona's France that won the competition, after beating Portugal on penalties in the final. The tournament was deemed a major success and therefore FIFA took advantage. For the 2006 competition and beyond, FIFA decided to standardise the participants to 16 countries. It was then that the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Qualifiers were also established, that would take place throughout the year. Again this decision was a successful one and more countries became interested in a now standard FIFA competition.
Extending the World Cup
By the end of the 2007 World Cup, the tournament had become very popular throughout the world, with the FIFA board taking over the competition, driving more countries to recognize beach soccer as a major sport. Since the World Cup had become a success worldwide, FIFA decided to have a change of venue. It was voted, to extend the sport's popularity, the 2008 World Cup would take place in Marseille, France, and the 2009 World Cup would take place in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. These tournaments would be the first to take place outside Brazil. The 2008 competition was once again a major success, despite being held in a different country. This was the first time that Brazil would have to qualify for the tournament, since they weren't the hosts. However Brazil won the qualifiers and the World Cup in July. The 2009 World Cup in Dubai was an even bigger success, as the second competition outside Brazil and the Beach Soccer World Cup's 15th birthday, Brazil continued their dominance.
Two year basis
Just before the final of the 2009 World Cup, FIFA announced that a new format would see the World Cup now take place every two years, starting from the 2011 World Cup. FIFA justified the decision by stating that they wanted Confederations to have more time to develop the sport, therefore allowing a year in between World Cups for Confederations to organise their own local tournaments. This was a mutual decision between Confederations and FIFA. In March 2010 FIFA confirmed that the 2011 World Cup would take place in Italy and the 2013 World Cup would take place in Tahiti.
From 1995 until 2005 there was no standard qualification system for nations to go through to earn a place at the World Cup finals. The process in which teams gained entry into the finals was inconsistent from one year to the next throughout the confederations, often down to a simple invite to participate in the finals from BSWW, or potentially qualification by reaching the latter stages in a premier regional tournament with no prior ties with the World Cup, or perhaps by performing well in the previous World Cup.
During this period, nations from Africa, Asia and sometimes North America were the usual recipients of invitations, due to a lack of regional tournaments for BSWW to determine who was best in said region and worthy to play in the finals. Typically, European nations qualified by doing well in the Euro Beach Soccer League and South American nations in the Americas' League, sometimes jointly with North American nations who also qualified along with them in such circumstances. It was still common for other 'wild-card' European and South American nations to receive invites despite not performing well continentally. However, during the early years of the championships, invitation was the common form of eligibility for all nations.
Following the success of the inaugural FIFA tournament in 2005, the number of teams at the finals was increased by FIFA to a record 16 and so the governing body along with BSWW met with individual confederations to set up a standard qualifying process for each world cup, by establishing regional championships for each continent. The winners of these championships would be crowned the best team in the region, promoting regional competitiveness, and most importantly act as a consistent method of qualification to the World Cup for the best teams of each confederation. This would also help increase the sport's awareness across all corners of the globe and make sure all confederations were represented at the finals at every following World Cup, unlike in the past.
Besides Europe, who continued to use the Euro Beach Soccer League as the method of World Cup qualification until 2008, all other confederations hosted their first championships in 2006 in view of the finals later that year.
The allocation of World Cup spots and hence how many teams qualify from their regional championship to the World Cup was decided by FIFA in 2006 as follows:
|Confederation||Continent||Qualifying tournament||Amount of qualifying nations||Participating teams in qualification rounds|
|UEFA||Europe||FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualification (UEFA)||5 teams||171||221||24||26||27||24||24||28||20|
|CONMEBOL||South America||FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup qualification (CONMEBOL)||3 teams||6||3||7||8||9||9||10||10||10|
|AFC||Asia||AFC Beach Soccer Championship||3 teams||6||6||6||7||11||16||15||14||15|
|CAF||Africa||Africa Beach Soccer Cup of Nations||2 teams||6||8||8||9||9||8||20||15||13|
|CONCACAF||North, Central America and the Caribbean||CONCACAF Beach Soccer Championship||2 teams||5||4||4||6||8||10||16||16||16|
|OFC||Oceania||OFC Beach Soccer Championship||1 team||4||4||–||4||3||3||–||–||5|
^ As part of the Euro Beach Soccer League
The host country's confederation loses one qualification spot. I.e. since the 2015 World Cup was held in Portugal, they automatically qualified taking up one of the five European spots. Therefore, in the 2015 UEFA qualifiers, only four teams qualified from the championships to join the hosts making the total of five European nations.
As shown in the table, attendance of nations in qualification tournaments generally continues to rise year on year; the total global number of participants has nearly doubled since 2006.
Despite being the premier tournament in most regions, since the primary objective is to qualify to the World Cup, on a rare occasion teams have not participated due to qualifying to the finals automatically as hosts such as Brazil deferring from the 2007 CONMBEBOL Beach Soccer Championship and Tahiti in the 2013 OFC Beach Soccer Championship.
Beach Soccer World Championship
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup
- Note: In the # column, the number in parentheses is the FIFA edition; number outside parentheses is the overall edition.
Results by team
Brazil are by far the most successful nation, with 14 titles. However their hold on the title has become less apparent since the tournament came under the control of FIFA and moved outside of Rio. They are followed by Portugal (2001, 2015, and 2019) with three wins, Russia (2011 and 2013) with two, and France with one title (2005). France won the first FIFA-sanctioned tournament in 2005. Brazil and Portugal are the only teams to win the world championship before and after FIFA started sanctioning the sport.
Overall 18 of the 46 nations who have ever competed have made a top four finish. Brazil remained the only nation to finish in the final four every championship until 2015 when they finished in fifth place. Of those 18 nations, only 7 have made a top four finish before and after FIFA started sanctioning the World Cup.
|Nation||Titles||Runners-up||Third place||Fourth place|
|Brazil||14 (1995*, 1996*, 1997*, 1998*, 1999*, 2000*, 2002*, 2003*, 2004*, 2006*, 2007*, 2008, 2009, 2017)||1 (2011)||2 (2005*, 2013)||1 (2001*)|
|Portugal||3 (2001, 2015*, 2019)||3 (1999, 2002, 2005)||5 (2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011)||1 (2006)|
|Russia||2 (2011, 2013)||—||2 (2015, 2019)||—|
|France||1 (2005)||2 (1998, 2001)||1 (2006)||2 (2003, 2007)|
|Uruguay||—||3 (1996, 1997, 2006)||4 (1998, 1999, 2002, 2007)||1 (2009)|
|Spain||—||3 (2003, 2004, 2013)||1 (2000)||1 (2008)|
|Italy||—||2 (2008, 2019)||1 (1996)||4 (1995, 2004, 2015, 2017)|
|Tahiti||—||2 (2015, 2017)||—||1 (2013*)|
|United States||—||1 (1995)||1 (1997)||1 (1996)|
|Peru||—||1 (2000)||—||2 (1998, 1999)|
|Argentina||—||—||1 (2001)||1 (1997)|
|Japan||—||—||—||3 (2000, 2005, 2019)|
|El Salvador||—||—||—||1 (2011)|
- Bold Years = FIFA tournaments
- * = Hosts
Results by confederation
Since the tournament's establishment in 1995, as of the 2019 World Cup, 46 countries have participated over the 20 competitions. However, only one country has participated in all World Cups, which is Brazil. European teams have dominated in appearances by continent, since 15 of the 46 countries have been from Europe, at least double than that of any other.
Before qualification began, many of the same nations were invited back year on year. This meant that once qualification was introduced in 2006, giving all nations in that confederation a chance to earn a berth at the finals, there was an initial influx of new nations making their debut, including African teams whose continent had only been represented by one nation before and Oceanian countries who had never had their continent been represented previously.
Only 8 of the 46 countries have failed to appear in a FIFA controlled World Cup. Peru (5) have appeared in the most competitions without any one of those being under FIFA's control. Meanwhile, Iran (7) have appeared in the most FIFA sanctioned tournaments without having ever appeared in the old World Championships before 2005.
Italics indicates pre-2005, non-FIFA World Championships
As of 2017
- Appearances Apps / Win in Normal Time W = 3 Points / Win in Extra Time W+ = 2 Points / Win in Penalty shoot-out WP = 1 Point / Loss L = 0 Points
- Default position of teams goes by the total points column (Pts)
- FIFA issued changes to the rules of beach soccer in July 2014 meaning teams now earn 1 point for a penalty shootout win; teams were awarded 2 points for a shootout win prior to July 2014. For the purpose of this table, the calculation of points earned goes by the current rules meaning that penalty shootout wins that occurred both after and before the 2014 rule change have been counted as just 1 point in the "Pts" column.
Overall table (1995 to present)
This table shows the overall statistics of all 19 World Cups that have occurred since 1995, combining the results of both the original Beach Soccer World Championships era and the current FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup era.
|21||United Arab Emirates||5||15||3||0||1||11||51||62||–11||10||0.67|
FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup era (2005 onward)
This table shows the overall statistics of all 9 World Cups that have occurred since 2005, of the current FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup era only.
|19||United Arab Emirates||5||15||3||0||1||11||51||62||–11||10||0.67|
Beach Soccer World Championships era (1995–2004)
This table shows the overall statistics of all 10 World Cups that occurred between 1995 and 2004, of the now defunct Beach Soccer World Championships era only.
Awards (FIFA era)
The following documents the winners of the awards presented during the FIFA era of the World Cup. During the Beach Soccer World Championships era, only three awards were presented – to the top scorer, best player and best goalkeeper.
When FIFA acquired the tournament in 2005, the awards were expanded to honour the top three players in each of the existing categories (bar the best goalkeeper which remained a solo award) as well as recognition to the team with the most fair play points as standard in other FIFA competitions. Overall, eight awards are now presented.
The adidas Golden Ball award is awarded to the player who plays the most outstanding football during the tournament. It is selected by the media poll.
|World Cup||Golden Ball||Silver Ball||Bronze Ball||Ref(s)|
|2007 Brazil||Buru||Madjer||Morgan Plata|||
|2009 United Arab Emirates||Dejan Stankovic||Madjer||Benjamin|||
|2011 Italy||Ilya Leonov||André||Frank Velasquez|||
|2013 Tahiti||Bruno Xavier||Ozu Moreira||Raimana Li Fung Kuee|||
|2015 Portugal||Heimanu Taiarui||Alan||Madjer|||
|2017 Bahamas||Mohammad Ahmadzadeh||Mauricinho||Datinha|||
|2019 Paraguay||Ozu Moreira||Jordan Santos||Bê Martins|||
The adidas Golden Shoe is awarded to the topscorer of the tournament. If more than one players are equal by same goals, the players will be selected based by the most assists during the tournament.
|World Cup||Golden Shoe||Goals||Silver Shoe||Goals||Bronze Shoe||Goals||Ref(s)|
|2005 Brazil||Madjer||12||Neném||9||Anthony Mendy||8|||
|2007 Brazil||Buru||10||Morgan Plata||9||Bruno||8|||
|2009 United Arab Emirates||Dejan Stankovic||16||Madjer||11||Buru||10|||
|2011 Italy||André||14||Madjer||12||Frank Velásquez||9|||
|2013 Tahiti||Dmitry Shishin||11||Bruno Xavier||10||Agustín Ruiz||7|||
|2015 Portugal||Pedro Moran||8||Madjer||8||Noel Ott||8|||
|2017 Bahamas||Gabriele Gori||17||Rodrigo||9||Mohammad Ahmadzadeh||9|||
|2019 Paraguay||Gabriele Gori||16||Emmanuele Zurlo||10||Fedor Zemskov||10|||
The Golden Glove Award is awarded to the best goalkeeper of the tournament.
|World Cup||Golden Glove||Ref(s)|
|2008 France||Roberto Valeiro|||
|2009 United Arab Emirates||Mão|||
|2011 Italy||Andrey Bukhlitskiy|||
|2015 Portugal||Jonathan Torohia|||
|2017 Bahamas||Peyman Hosseini|||
|2019 Paraguay||Elinton Andrade|||
FIFA Fair Play Award
FIFA Fair Play Award is given to the team who has the best fair play record during the tournament with the criteria set by FIFA Fair Play Committee.
|Tournament||FIFA Fair Play Award||Ref(s)|
|2009 United Arab Emirates|| Japan |
As of 2017
From the data available,[Note] the tables below document the all-time top goalscorers.
The following table shows the all-time top 30 goalscorers.
FIFA era (2005–present)
The following table shows the top 20 goalscorers of the FIFA era.
World Championships era (1995–2004)
The following table shows the top 20 goalscorers of the World Championships era.
|1995–2001 (combined scorers), 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017|
Note that attendance records are not available between 1995 and 2002.
|Year||Location||Stadium capacity||Matches||Total gate||Lowest gate||Highest gate||Average gate||Attendance %|
|2003||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||6,000||16||74,700||2,000||6,000||4,669||78%|
|2004||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||10,000||20||81,900||500||10,000||4,095||41%|
|2005||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||10,000||20||110,500||500||10,000||5,525||55%|
|2006||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||10,000||32||179,800||800||10,000||5,619||56%|
|2007||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||10,000||32||157,300||1,000||10,000||5,525||49%|
|2009||Dubai, United Arab Emirates||5,700||32||97,500||150||5,700||3,047||63%|
- § – from the attendance figures available; some are unrecorded
- – overall percentage matches were attended from the total possible maximum attendance figure if all matches were at full capacity: total gate / (stadium capacity x matches played)
- – two venues were used, the smaller with a capacity of 1,200 for 6 of the 32 matches which the lowest gate figure comes from
- "Valcke : Beach soccer on the move". Fifa.com. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
-  Archived March 22, 2010, at the Wayback Machine
- "Amendments to the Beach Soccer Laws of the Game - 2014" (PDF). FIFA.com. 4 July 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2017.
- "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2005". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2006". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Rio de Janeiro 2007". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Marseilles 2008". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Dubai 2009". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Ravenna/Italy 2011". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Tahiti 2013". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Dubai 2009". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 20 July 2015.
- "FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup Bahamas 2017 Awards". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. Retrieved 30 May 2017.
- "Ozu, Gori and Andrade take home individual honours". FIFA.com. Fédération Internationale de Football Association. 1 December 2019. Retrieved 1 December 2019.