The last time Uruguay appeared at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup 2009 in Dubai, Gaston Laduche was only 14 years old.
“The Uruguayans love their football, the team played well and we watched the matches because they were shown on TV,” Charrúa’s young captain told FIFA.com a few minutes after his side reached the quarter-finals in Paraguay in 2019, losing against Tahiti.
“This generation was just too good,” he added. “They were runners-up in the World Cup and then third and fourth before we quit qualifying,” he added. “Today’s generation has brought us back into the limelight.”
“I’ve seen the players who are our role models today and who help us every day, like the coach (Miguel Aguirre Zabala) and Matias Cabrera who is still playing,” added Laduche.
It was one of the members of this generation, Sarandi Sobral, who suggested in 2016 that he try his hand at beach soccer.
“I played futsal for almost two years when he told me they were holding trials and he said I was good enough,” said Laduche, one of Paraguay’s revelations in 2019. “I joined in and fell in love with the sport there and then. “
However, the transition was not so easy: “There were a few times when I felt like I was not coming back, but then came the role models to explain to me that you have to be determined, committed and committed in this game professionally and it’s up to you to go as far as you want. “
Laduche, who also helps his father in the family business, accepted his advice and played in Europe this year. “It helped me to prepare for the World Cup,” said the winger, who scored in each of the three group matches in Uruguay in 2019.
The captain praised his coach in an interview with FIFA.com and had a learning curve similar to that of his team. Before their trip to Paraguay, the Uruguayans played three games in a tournament in Qatar and lost the lot: against Russia, El Salvador and the next opponent Japan.
“If there was a time to make mistakes and correct them, that was it,” Laduche said. “We have been working continuously for the past two years, but in these three weeks, we have learned much from our rivals and from ourselves. We have our strengths. “
And what are these strengths? “Neutralize the opposition and attack directly and at the pace of defense. It may not be the most exciting beach soccer game you’ve ever seen. While we have the opportunity to play an entertaining game, we do not have the experience to fully express ourselves. “
This is a team with many typical features of Uruguayan football: “Attitude, self-sacrifice, team spirit and self-confidence until the end. That’s all a matter of course. We went 5: 1 to Tahiti and got out of the competition. It did not look good, but we did not give up. “
Although Laduche is happy to have reached the knockout stages, he is not happy: “It’s great to be in the top eight, but Uruguay have never left the group stage, so we can not just be satisfied with that. ” We go step by step. For us, our next game is a World Cup final. “