Beach football superstar Madjer led Portugal into the European League Superfinals held in Vila Real de Santo António at the weekend, confident of securing a third successive title.
Already victorious over masters Brazil in the FIFA-sanctioned sport’s ‘Mundialito’ held in Praia da Rocha earlier this month, the hosts entered the six-team round-robin tournament as No1 seeds and heavy favourites.
Following wins against Poland and Italy, however, coach José Miguel was made to rue his decision to drop the highly experienced Alan from the squad.
Surprise extra time victors over Spain, Russia took advantage of Portugal’s early overconfidence to take a 2-0 lead in the decider, an advantage the hosts were never able to recover as the match ended 4-3 in favour of the visitors from the East.
Madjer did pick up the ‘Best Player’ award but will regret having missed out on a hat-trick of European Championships.