The story of beach soccer – Beach soccer has developed into one of the world's most popular sports -- and it will be one of 20 events on show at the European Games.
The story of beach soccer – The game is rumored to have started here, on one of Rio De Janeiro's many beaches.
The story of beach soccer – The first professional match was played in Miami in 1993 before the inaugural World Championships were held, two years later in Rio De Janeiro, 1995.
The story of beach soccer – The game is now played in hundreds of countries around the world, including here in Tahiti, the location of the 2013 World Cup. The photo above shows the team performing the traditional haka before their first match.
The story of beach soccer – The small pitch and unpredictability of the sand make for exciting viewing with a host of skills on show.
The story of beach soccer – There are no boring 0-0 draws here. It's goals galore with in between nine and eleven net busters from an average of 60 attempts per game.
The story of beach soccer – The game has been played by many greats, including Diego Maradona, pictured above in white.
The story of beach soccer – Russia are looking to assert their dominance in Baku and add to their growing trophy cabinet. Russian striker Egor Eremeev, above, scored during their 5-1 win over Spain in the 2013 World Cup final.
The story of beach soccer – Russia are best placed to win in Azerbaijan as the double World champions and reigning European league champions.
The story of beach soccer – And it's not just the thrills and spills of the game that bring the spectators in. This cheerleader was performing at the Intercontinental Cup in Dubai 2014.