2018-06-13 10:32:00 CEST

Soccer on the sand

Beach volleyball FIFA World Cup edition

The FIFA World Cup is upon us and everyone is getting into the soccer spirit – and that includes us too!

But you know, on some level, we’re still like, anything a soccer player can do, a beach volleyball player can do better and we’ve got photographic evidence to prove it… so here are 10 pics of our beach volleyball stars absolutely slaying soccer moves… Cristiano Ronaldo – who dat? 

 

1. Headers all day, er’day

Believe it not, this move may appear almost as frequently in beach volleyball as it does in soccer. There’s at least one header per beach volleyball match, okay that’s a made-up stat, but it’s often. Serve-receiving with your head is almost like a beach volleyball right-of-passage – you know the saying ‘you aren’t a real beach volleyball player unless you’ve welcomed a ball right in your kisser’.

Just gotta get it…. Grrr… Aaaah! (Just some of the sound effects from beach volleyball headers) Photocredit: Mihai StetcuJust gotta get it…. Grrr… Aaaah! (Just some of the sound effects from beach volleyball headers) Photocredit: Mihai Stetcu

2. Bicycle kicks extreme

Yes, yes, we all know really good soccer players can bicycle kick, but our question is… Can they do it backwards? Can they do it on sand? Enter beach volleyball players, who’ve been backward-bicycle-kicking since circa 1909. Okay, the exact date has not been determined, but it’s since ages. Look at us go:

Don’t tell anyone but this is actually a dive… shh! Photocredit: Mihai StetcuDon’t tell anyone but this is actually a dive… shh! Photocredit: Mihai Stetcu

3. Save!

Our divers make the most seasoned goalies shake in their boots a little. Soccer teams have just one player who specializes in diving and saving balls, don’t they know that this is like beach volleyball basics, seriously it’s beach volleyball 101. Every beach volleyball player knows that when it comes time to really save balls, you’ve gotta get down and dirty, get down and dive. 

Aaaaand… that is how it is done. Photocredit: Michael KunkelAaaaand… that is how it is done. Photocredit: Michael Kunkel

4. There’s some footwork involved too…

Thought beach volleyball is just about using your hands? Nope. Actually in beach volleyball you can literally use every part of your body to prevent the ball from hitting the sand, hot-potato style. The only rule is that there are no rules (movie guy voice). Just kidding, the ball needs to be touched a total of three times before smacked over to the opponents’ side, with each player having a go and one player inevitably touching the ball twice. So one can see how sometimes, when the ball is a little out of arms reach, a kick is all you need.

We reiterate… any limb will do. Photocredit: Andreas LangreiterWe reiterate… any limb will do. Photocredit: Andreas Langreiter

5. Yellow cards

Rarely, but on the odd occasion (for unsportsmanlike conduct aka real bad behaviour) the ref calls out the offending party with a corresponding yellow card. As we know, the same goes for soccer player the only difference being that yellow cards are given out like candy in soccer. Ref *screaming excitedly*: “You get a yellow card, no you get a yellow card, everyone gets a yellow card!” (Oprah style)

Now that’s a warning.  Photocredit: Bernhard HorstNow that’s a warning. Photocredit: Bernhard Horst

6. Tackle-tastic

Now what would a game of soccer be without the classic tackle? It’s what keeps us watching, what keeps us on the edge of our seats, hoping no-one will dispossess the player we’re supporting of the ball and obvs, that when the opposite team has the ball, that our player will be a tackle- extraordinaire. But in beach volleyball, it’s a battle of rallies until that final point is scored, and how you win that rally is all that counts. From shanking to tackling, any move will do to keep the ball in play. Case in point:

*Singing* ‘Tackling is my business’. Photocredit: Tinefoto*Singing* ‘Tackling is my business’. Photocredit: Tinefoto

7. GOOOOAAAALLLL

And when that goal is finally scored, the striker celebrates, but do they really celebrate? All we can say is beach volleyball players know how to celebrate. All the passion, excitement, unknowing, it could go either way, can I do it, I don’t know, get that ball, keep it in play, I’ve got your back teammate, oh that’s a perfect set, jump with all my might and is it in? It’s in, that’s our point! What a rally! Wow! We did it. (That was a little play-by-play of the moments leading up to a point.) Remember, this is all about beach volleyball players slaying soccer moves, I guess that this is a little more than slaying.

Yassss! Photocredit: Martin SteinthalerYassss! Photocredit: Martin Steinthaler

8. Actual soccer players want to play

Did you know that a professional soccer player played at a beach volleyball tournament? Yes it is true. Yes it did happen. Do you need more proof that beach volleyball is the best?

(Side note: Good Luck for the FIFA World Cup @IvanPerišić)

That’s photographic evidence if I ever saw any. Photocredit: Samo VidicThat’s photographic evidence if I ever saw any. Photocredit: Samo Vidic

9. Women

Okay okay, this is controversial but it needs to be addressed! But there’s three ways beach volleyball absolutely slays soccer, namely: women 1.) play at the same tournaments, 2.) often practice with countrymen of the different genders and 3.) earn the same prize money as their male counterparts. The result is some totally badass female athletes! Can I get a shout out for gender equality? YEAH! 

Girls, girls, girls, girls… girls I do adore. Photocredit: Michael KunkelGirls, girls, girls, girls… girls I do adore. Photocredit: Michael Kunkel

10. German reigning champions

The last FIFA World Cup was won by Germany. Laura Ludwig and Walkenhorst hail from Germany, and they won the beach volleyball World Championships last year in Vienna. On the men’s side, Brazil are the current top-dogs, Brazil also happens to be one of the top soccer teams in the world… see the connections? It’s like the Number 23. Well not exactly but there are connections everywhere. 

How fans will be dressed for the World Cup. Photocredit: Malte ChristiansHow fans will be dressed for the World Cup. Photocredit: Malte Christians

There you have it, 10 pics of beach volleyball stars absolutely knocking our socks off. But you know, we also have to stick to the athletic code, and be the example of sportsmanship. That being said, we would like to wish all the participating teams, from one sport discipline to another, good luck for the FIFA World Cup. Bend it like Beckham!

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