Spain captain Javi Rodríguez expressed pride at their performance after his fourth final ended with defeat but there was consolation for Pula of fourth-placed Russia as he finished top scorer.
Article top media content
Spain captain Javi Rodríguez was in sanguine mood after his fourth FIFA Futsal World Cup final ended the same way as his first – with defeat by Brazil.
Four finals, two wins
A 4-3 penalty shoot-out reverse in Rio de Janeiro ended Spain's reign as holders after a 2-2 draw. Rodríguez had suffered a loss against Brazil in the 1996 decider in Barcelona, but scored two late double penalties four years later to gain revenge as Spain won 4-3 against the same opponents in Guatemala and they repeated that success last time against Italy. A third title was not to be but Rodríguez, who has also won three UEFA European Futsal Championships, was in reflective mood.
"I'm sad we lost, of course, but I'm happy to have played in yet another final," Rodríguez told fifa.com. "I've played in four World Cups, appeared in four finals and won two, and I think we should be proud of taking Brazil all the way to penalties. It was as close as we expected it to be but both sides had a lot of respect for each other. Brazil just had to win today, I suppose, because you always have an extra gear when you're playing in front of your own fans. We went out and played our own game and tried not to run around after them, although maybe we could have been a bit more attack-minded. Sometimes, though, you just have to adapt to things the way they turn out. I think we are the best two teams in the world and we showed that out there today. "
Meanwhile, there was consolation for Russia striker Pula despite his side's 2-1 loss in Saturday's third-place match against Italy, as he finished the top scorer with 16 goals, the first non-Brazil player to do so since Vic Hermans in the inaugural tournament of 1989. Falcão, who failed to score in the final to finish one short of Pula, did retain one of his personal titles from 2004 as he again won the Golden Ball as player of the tournament.