234 goals were seen by fans who decided to follow the competition in the men’s and women’s beach football tournaments during the 3rd European Games Krakow-Malopolska 2023. This gave an outstanding average of more than seven goals per match!
The men led the way in this aspect, with as many as 184 goals scored. The highest number, 14 goals, was scored in the game between Poland and Moldova (6:8).
The individual top scorer of the competition was Dejan Stankovic from Switzerland. The beach soccer legend finished the tournament with 11 goals. And he was also the one who scored the most goals in a single game – he netted seven times in the opening match against Moldova. In the history of his appearances at European Games, he has already scored 25 goals.
Stankovic was one of the tournament’s biggest stars and made a huge contribution to the Swiss’ final triumph. Although they were considered one of the main medal candidates before the start of the tournament, they did not expect to leave Tarnow with the gold medal. In the semi-finals, after an exciting game, they beat the favoured Portuguese after a penalty shootout, and in the final they gave Italy no chance. Interestingly, their line-up included six players who won bronze medals at the previous European Games in Baku in 2019 – the aforementioned Stankovic as well as Noel Ott, Sandro Spaccarotella, Tobias Steinemann, Angelo Wuest and Glenn Hodel.
In contrast, the aforementioned Portuguese – gold medallists at the previous European Games – ultimately finished the tournament without a medal, losing (again) after penalty kicks to the Spanish.
What the Portuguese men’s team failed to do, their national teammates succeeded in doing. The Portuguese women beat the Polish women in the bronze match. The Spanish women, on the other hand, hung the gold medals around their necks, winning against the Ukrainian women in the final. Both matches ended – how else – in penalty kicks.
The ladies competed for medals in beach soccer for the first time in the history of the European Games. Six teams took part in their competition and a total of 50 goals were scored in the matches. This tournament, like the men’s tournament, was undoubtedly a success, confirming that beach soccer is one of the most spectacular disciplines of the European Games.
Beach soccer in numbers at the IE 2023:
7.5 – that was the average number of goals per match in the men’s and women’s tournaments
11 – that’s how many goals in five matches were scored by the men’s tournament’s top scorer Dejan Stanković of Switzerland. He scored seven times against Moldova!
31 – that’s the number of matches played in both tournaments (11 women’s and 20 men’s)
50 – that’s the number of goals scored in the women’s tournament
184 – this is the number of goals scored in the men’s tournament
234 – this is the total number of goals scored in all matches at the IE 2023