Author: Nadir XOSROVOGLU Baku
Although Azerbaijan is considered one of the countries that stand at the origins of futsal, local athletes have never achieved great success in this sport. A certain gleam appeared two years ago - the success achieved in Hungary in 2010 was supposed to be an impetus for the further development of mini-football in Azerbaijan. But the hopes, apparently, were not fated to be justified.
In the recent European Championship finals in Croatia, the national team of Azerbaijan, which took the 4th place in the championship of the continent two years ago, was required as a minimum to repeat the then achievement. However, the team could not get into the playoffs. The national team disappointed the fans, losing matches of the group tour. Analysis of the reasons for the defeat by Portugal and Serbia testifies to the need for reforms in the team.
Despite the fact that the coaches see the root cause of the failures in the injury of one of the leaders of the team, Biro Jade, and Serjao's inability to play in his absence, the debacle in Zagreb was expected. It is wrong to link the failure in Croatia with only two players. Serjao is the same player who played in the UEFA Futsal Cup only a few months ago. It is simply all that our legionnaires are capable of. The main problem is the age. The national team urgently needs fresh forces. Azerbaijan's national team is the oldest among the 12 finalists of the European Championship. Its average age is 34 years. Marat Salyanskiy, the substitute of the 44-year-old goalkeeper Andrey Tveryankin, who was remembered for his blunders, is not so young either - he is now 37 years old.
Note the age of the main players: Viro Jadder - 39, Felipe - 33, Serjao - 32, while Thiago has long turned 30. Alesio's reliance on the veterans is one of the causes of the failure. Without giving such experienced players as Racab Faraczada and Namiq Mammadkarimov a chance to express themselves, the Brazilian specialist thus hampers competition in the team.
The coach, who suffered a fiasco with AZAL in the Champions League in the past year, demonstrated unconfident performance in the World Cup in December with his team and got into the playoffs only by the will of fate, will inevitably be replaced. It was Alesio who contributed to the fact that the trophy was taken out of Azerbaijan for the first time at the Baku international futsal tournament.
It seems that the upcoming World Cup games should be the last chance for the Brazilian specialist. In the struggle to qualify for world championship, Alesio must demonstrate his coaching skills. Otherwise, the Federation will have to find a new coach for the national team.
According to experts, the best candidate is the head coach of the Neftci futsal team, Paulo Ricardo Kaka. He has already managed to annoy Alesio at club level in the last three years. Although his team had to content itself with second place in an equal fight in the last national championship, he still managed to take the National Cup away from Araz. And this season, in a personal match, Neftci gained the upper hand over Alesio's team. Ricardo Kaka's advantage is that he can work with young people. It is believed that the youth team coach will also succeed in the country's main futsal team. Thanks to him, the young players Ilkin Haciyev, Elnur Zamanov, Vusal Nasibov and Farid Alakbarov had the opportunity to develop their talent.
This suggests that the national team needs an influx of new forces. Along with legionnaires, it is necessary to give local futsal players a chance. Only after forming a strong team, can we play at World Championships with credit.