Brazil are ready to take centre stage once again at the Rio 2016 football 5-a-side competition, where they seek to maintain their 100 per cent Paralympic record after having won every gold medal since the introduction of the sport at Athens 2004.
The Rio hosts, who have not lost at a major tournament since 2007, were pitted in Group A against three continental champions: Morocco, Turkey and Iran.
Argentina are aiming to take revenge on Brazil, who they lost to by a one-goal margin in the 2014 World Championships and the Toronto 2015 Parapan American Games finals, and on penalties in the London 2012 semi-finals.
Argentina, who became world champions in Rio 14 years ago, were drawn in Group B together with Beijing 2008 silver medallists China, Paralympic debutants Mexico and London 2012 bronze medallists Spain.
The preliminary games will be contested on 9-13 September. The two best from each group will advance into the semi-finals, which will be played on 15 September. The final will take place on 17 September.
The sport will be contested in the Olympic Tennis Centre, located in the Barra Olympic Park, at Rio 2016.
Location: Olympic Tennis Centre – Barra Olympic Park
Schedule: 9-17 September
Mark your calendars for…
Friday, 9 September
•09:00-10:00 Preliminaries: Brazil vs. Morocco
•20:00-21:00 Preliminaries: Argentina vs. Mexico
Thursday, 15 September
Saturday, 17 September
•14:00-15:00 Bronze-medal match
•17:00-18:00 Gold-medal match
Ones to watch:
•Jefinho (BRA): Known as the ‘Paralympic Pele’, he is widely considered one of the best players in the world.
•Ricardinho (BRA): The 27-year-old has been fundamental in Brazil’s recent success and aims to win his third successive Paralympic gold.
•Silvio Velo (ARG): The striker seeks to retire as Paralympic champion in Rio, the same city where he won the world title in 2002.
•Emrah Ocal (TUR): He led Turkey to the European title in 2015 and is hoping the team can make a splash this September.
How to follow:
Sport fans from around the world can now buy their Paralympic tickets for Rio 2016 from authorised ticket resellers (ATRs).
The IPC’s Global ATR is Jet Set Sports, and Rio 2016 tickets and packages can be purchased on the CoSport website.
Residents of Brazil can buy 2016 Paralympics tickets directly from the Rio 2016 website.
Visa International is the exclusive payment card and the official payment system for the Paralympic Games.