Tuesday 26 November 2019, 18:56

Paraguay's pride and pain after early exit

  • Jesus Rolon is one of Paraguay’s key players

  • With his team now eliminated, he chatted to FIFA.com

  • "We’ll get over our disappointment as time goes by”

“It’s going to be difficult to get back into a routine,” Jesus Rolon – visibly saddened by Paraguay’s exit from the 2019 FIFA Beach Soccer World Cup, a tournament that his country has hosted so impressively and for which he and his team-mates had trained for so extensively – remarked to FIFA.com.

“For now, losing at home in from of your family and fans is quite a difficult thing to digest. It hurts to have not got out of the group, but that’s football.”

The 28-year-old defender continued: “I think we’ll get over the disappointment of not advancing in the tournament as time goes by. It helps a little bit that we won our last match against USA. At some point we’ll have to put it all behind us and look to the future.”

What did he and his compatriots take away from the experience? “We learned, for example, that at this level you can never let your guard down, and that you shouldn’t just try to adapt to other teams’ styles,” said Rolon. “And that’s why we’re happy to bow out with a victory.”

He made it clear he was not taking a complete break from the game just yet, though. “I’m going to come back and watch the rest of the tournament – it’s another way of supporting beach soccer in this country,” he explained.

Rolon will eventually have to get back into training, of course, but another assignment now awaits him. “I came to an agreement with Professor Guga [Paraguay coach Gustavo Zloccowick] – I’m going to help coach the U-20s,” he said. “That’s why I’ve been saying that this did not end with us being knocked out. It’s just the beginning.”

As far as the athletic Paraguayan is concerned, the impact of the World Cup is already noticeable. “I’ve had quite a few people contact me – parents telling me their kids want to play beach soccer – through social media, and that’s a great sign.”

esus Rolon #5 of Paraguay celebrates a goal 

Did you know?

  • Rolon first tried his hand at beach soccer in 2012, having previously played 11-a-side football.

  • In 2018, Rolon and Pedro Moran, another of Los Pynandi’s stalwarts, became the first Paraguayans to star in the Italian Beach Soccer League.

  • Rolon scored four goals at Paraguay 2019, doubling his tally from his two previous World Cup adventures combined (one in 2015 and one in 2017).