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2003: Vinicius Bacaro

Born in Sao Paulo, Vinicius Bacaro was the Italy hero on home soil in the 2003 UEFA European Futsal Championship.
by Paul Saffer
2003: Vinicius Bacaro
Vinicius Bacaro enjoys Italy's 2003 triumph ©UEFA.com

2003: Vinicius Bacaro

Born in Sao Paulo, Vinicius Bacaro was the Italy hero on home soil in the 2003 UEFA European Futsal Championship.

Born in Sao Paulo, Vinicius Bacaro was brought to Italy by Lazio C/5 and was the Azzurri hero on home soil in the 2003 UEFA European Futsal Championship.

The 2003 finals, hosted by Italy in Caserta, marked Bacaro's bow on the competitive international stage, and in his second match he struck twice in a 5-1 defeat of the Czech Republic having also shone in the opening 2-1 victory against Slovenia. A left-footed player constantly a menace to defences, Bacaro was still saving his best for the final following a group-clinching 1-0 triumph against Russia and a 2-1 last-four ousting of holders Spain. Ukraine, beaten finalists two years earlier, faced Italy in the decider in front of a raucous capacity crowd of 6,000, and Bacaro was a man on a mission – accomplished on the half-hour mark when he scored the only goal of the game with a low free-kick.

It was no one-off; the following year he helped Italy to the FIFA Futsal World Cup final with a last-four hat-trick against Argentina, and although the Azzurri were to lose the decider, Bacaro won the Bronze Ball as the tournament's third best player and also helped his team to the 2007 European final. After a spell at Roma C/5, he joined Spain's ElPozo Murcia FS in 2005, helping them to Spanish titles in their first two seasons, and then the 2007/08 UEFA Futsal Cup final, losing to MFK Viz-Sinara Ekaterinburg before turning the tables on the Russian club a year later with his new side Interviú FS. He struck in the semi-final of that competition, an emotional moment after a year in which his career was nearly ended by injury.

Last updated: 29/01/12 5.03CET

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