2019 Ones to Watch: Blind football

The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has announced the blind football Ones to Watch ahead of the 2019 American Championships, the first of five regional events of the year, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 4-9 June.

These are athletes who have the potential to make headlines, especially with the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games fast approaching. Their biographies are now available on the IPC website. https://www.paralympic.org/ones-to-watch/football-5-a-side

ABDERRAZAK HATTAB (MAR)

African best blind football player seeks to lead Morocco to third consecutive continental title.

ANTONIO GAITAN (ESP)

Five-time European champion looking to claim a sixth title in September’s Championships in Rome, Italy.

BEHZAD ZADALIASGHARI (IRI)

Aims to bounce back at Asian Championships after a surprisingly poor performance at the 2018 Worlds, finishing in ninth place.

FROILAN PADILLA (ARG)

Hoping to defend the Americas title, after helping Argentina end Brazil’s winning streak in 2017.

JEFINHO (BRA)

One of the biggest stars in a country where football is more of a religion than a sport.

RICARDINHO (BRA)

Captain of the all-conquering Brazilian team looks to regain Americas title.

WEI JIANSEN (CHN)

Included in the ´Team of the Tournament´ at the 2018 Worlds, where he led China to bronze.