Legendary Brazilian-born Beach Soccer Coach Alexandre Soares has led Bahamas to its highest ever ranking in FIFA in all of forms of football as the 2017 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup hosts moved moved up nine spots in the latest edition of the beach soccer world rankings.
Soares is contracted to The Miscellaneous Group and overseas several of the organisation’s football activities.
The Bahamas is ranked at No.38 with a total of 435 points, in the latest edition of the poll released in June following their impressive showing at the World Cup
Prior to the tournament, the Bahamas stood in the No. 47 spot in the 2016 world rankings with 287 points. Under the leadership of Soares, the team finished with a 1-2 win-loss record.
In game one, they suffered a hard-fought 3-2 loss to familiar foe Switzerland, followed by a lopsided 10-1 loss to Senegal.
The Bahamas made history when they became the first Caribbean team to win a match at the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup with their 4-1 victory over Ecuador to close out play in Group A.
In addition, the tournament featured another first as FIFA fielded a select All-Star side to host the Bahamas in an exhibition match. The FIFA All-Stars won that match 6-3.
The Bahamas is also ranked No.5 in CONCACAF behind Mexico, El Salvador, Panama and the USA.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Bahamas, for the country and its people after the participating at the World Cup,” Soares said. “Nobody knew what to expect when we started our journey but I believed that they could do something great and then the players got that belief in them and then the country started to rally around the boys. It is a legacy now for the Bahamas and we are all proud of it,” Soares added.
Following the tournament, Team Bahamas captain Gavin Christie told FIFA.com that he hoped the performance left a lasting legacy and great source of pride for the future of beach soccer in the country.
“It’s a dream come true for a small nation like the Bahamas to host an event of this magnitude on our shores,” he said.
“It’s just the beginning for the Bahamas. It’s a building block and a very good start. It’s creating a new culture for beach soccer in the country. The fans love it and they want more. They’re already asking when the next tournament is and they see that it’s a sport that the Bahamas can perform in at the highest level. This can be huge for the Bahamas.”
The tournament also produced a shakeup among the top teams in the world ranking.
Brazil returns to the top overall team in the rankings after they claimed their fifth Beach Soccer World Cup title, their first since 2009.
Former champions, Portugal, fell one spot behind to No.2, followed by this year’s surprise story Iran at No.3 after they finished third at the BSWC.
Russia is ranked No.4 followed by 2017 runners-up Tahiti who returned to the top five. Switzerland remained in seventh, eighth-place Paraguay swapped places with Japan, who now sit ninth, while UAE end May in the top 10, having narrowly missed out on a place in the FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup quarter-final.