After a hugely successful career as a beach soccer player, Ramiro Amarelle went on to become an influential figure off the beach, working to develop the game worldwide. In this interview, he spoke to FIFA about his career on the sand and on the touchline, which has seen him coach in Russia, Ukraine, China and the United Arab Emirates. He also took time to reflect on what you need to be a successful beach soccer player, and to outline his own long-term plans.
Part 1: Discovering beach soccer
As a youngster, Amarelle looked set for a fine career on grass, but fate had other ideas. He begins by explaining how he made the transition from Deportivo La Coruña's 11-a-side youth set up to a team of Spanish beach soccer legends, via Spain's national beach soccer championship. He then takes time to reflect on his many achievements, and to consider how beach soccer has influenced him as an athlete and as an individual.
Part 2: Features of modern beach soccer
Amarelle then shifts his focus to the way beach soccer has progressed in recent years. He describes how the game has become more professional, and highlights what this development means for aspiring beach soccer players. However, he also stresses that levels of professionalism vary across the world, and that full-time professionals get more opportunities to play than their amateur counterparts. Addressing that disparity is a priority for the development of the sport.
Part 3: Coaching beach soccer around the world
Beach soccer has given Amarelle the opportunity to coach around the world, and to experience and learn from a wide range of cultures on and off the sand. In this section, he discusses his time coaching in Russia, Ukraine and China before focusing on his current role in the United Arab Emirates. As he explains, he has big plans to develop the game in the UAE at all levels, but this is a long-term project, and success will require hard work and patience.
Part 4: Reflections on career
In the final part of the interview, Amarelle reflects in more detail on his time as a player, discussing who inspired him to get involved in beach soccer, what makes the sport special, and how he and his team-mates transformed beach soccer from an amateur pursuit to a professional sport recognised by FIFA. He also turns his attention to the future, emphasising his desire to carry on the legacy of some of the legendary figures he played with during his career.