Boris Nikonorov watched Russia win the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup for the first time in 2011. He had just finished his shift in the factory in his hometown Yaroslavl, where he “did a very dangerous and harmful job, in which we could at any moment inhale hydrogen sulfide and lose consciousness, possibly with fatal consequences. “
Eight years later, he is Russia’s top scorer at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2019 in Paraguay with five goals. He’s playing in front of the factory with some of the heroes he’s watched on his mobile while winning a World Cup.
One of those players was Artur Paporotnyi, who scored two assists for Nikonorov, who scored a hat-trick to push Russia into the quarter-finals, where a meeting with beach soccer giant Brazil awaits him.
“I had a dream seven years ago,” Nikonorov told FIFA “My dream became a goal, which I followed step by step. I realized that I had to quit my job to make the dream come true. I knew that every day I had to practice beach soccer and put all my energy into it. “
It is a bit surreal to see Nikonorov playing on the sand at the World Cup among the members of this team, whom he saw in 2011 as the winner. He was her star as he showed against Belarus and scored the winning goal in Russia’s opening game against Senegal.
“I am aware that this is the opportunity a person has once in a million times, and I am pleased to take this opportunity.” I can assure you that I worked every free hour to achieve this goal. “
Nikonorov is also not satisfied with the five goals scored. Before leaving for Asuncion, Paporotnyi Nikonorov asked at the airport if he could score seven goals in Paraguay. Nikonorov answered quickly: “Of course I will! No problem.”
Considering how it was in Asuncion, Nikonorov did not seem to have fun.