FOOTVOLLEY COMES TO FULHAM

Posted on: Thu 08 Oct 2009

Shot stopper Henrique Hilario and midfield maestro Deco were amazed as they watched Footvolley skills at a recent Pepsi event.

The two Portuguese stars looked on as teams of three battled it out in the volley-ball style game which doesn't allow you to use your hands.

There was plenty of acrobatics as the sides faced one another on the make-shift court of sand in the heart of Fulham at Parson's Green, just down the road from Stamford Bridge, where they headed, chested, shouldered and volleyed the ball over the net.

The teams were made up of 64 lucky competition winners from previous Pepsi Footvolley competitions in the Middle East, Germany, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Romania and Poland.

Deco and Hilario watch the footvalley tournament

'They were very good and it was really fun to watch,' said Hilario.

'It's a very skilful game, especially when you see the height of the net and the amount of space they have to play in, I was impressed by all the competition winners,' added our goalkeeper.

Hilario uses his hands more often than his feet on the pitch, unlike Deco, who, after growing up in Brazil, is used to watching Footvolley and is no stranger to playing the game himself.

'I am used to playing on the beaches of the Brazil during the holidays,' said our number 20, 'and I really enjoyed the Pepsi event, it was good to see the guys playing.

'It is really good practice for your skills. John Terry would be good because he's tall and has the skills. Guys like Frank [Lampard] and Joe [Cole] are also very athletic players, they'd be good as well.'

Hilario was impressed by what he saw

The competition winners were in London for four days during which they visited Cobham and Stamford Bridge, embarked on a tour, walked around the Chelsea Museum, played Footvolley and watched Chelsea beat Liverpool 2-0.

The Footvolley phenomenon has come from a Pepsi advert which saw several of the world's greatest footballers, including Frank Lampard, challenged to a game on a sandpit in the middle of the street.

From there the competition began, as Pepsi searched the world for the best Footvolley sides, who eventually combined in last week's event.

'Different prize winners have come from different countries to play Footvolley and to join the experience that includes a number of our Chelsea athletes,' said Ellen Healy, director of sports and entertainment at Pepsico International.

'We have had some wonderful opportunities because of the club, like last year when we sent about 20 youths to Cobham to train with the Academy for four weeks.

'It was an amazing experience where they learnt some great skills. Working with Chelsea gives us the opportunity to bring people from all over the world and show them what a first class football team is like, it is a really unique experience,' added Healy.