Tokyo 2020: Goalball momentum with Leomon Moreno

Brazilian player motivated for Paralympics after defending world title

male goalballer player Leomon Moreno receives a trophy and shakes hands with another man Leomon Moreno is ready to help Brazil fight for Paralympic gold after a successful world title defence © • Karl Nilsson

Brazil’s 7-1 defeat to Germany at the 2014 FIFA World Cup will forever remain as one of the most shocking results in sporting history. For that reason, the victory in the final of the 2018 International Blind Sports Federation (IBSA) Goalball World Championships tasted even sweeter for the Brazilian men’s team, who won 8-3.

“Winning the title against Germany was like a rematch,” said Brazil’s star Leomon Moreno. “Because nowadays it has become a need to win when there is a Brazil-Germany game in any sport. This made the title even more important for me, the team and the Brazilians.”

Two-time Paralympic medallist Moreno also ended as the men’s tournament top scorer with 44 goals, which came as a surprise for him.

“I imagined there would be other players because I was watching the games and saw that many of them were scoring numerous goals and I was not even paying attention to mine,” he explained.

“Personally, being the top scorer in the competition was very important because I had already been the top scorer of the last World Championships back in 2014, so to keep this record is a difficult thing to do.”

The feeling of accomplishment for Moreno is proof that the training, hard work and big effort are paying off. “I’m dedicated to training with the team and we are achieving results. I'm always thinking of evolving every day.

“Not because I finished as the top scorer at a World Championship that I am going to think that everything is fine. I have to think about evolving as an athlete and remember that I am always in a learning process.”

Looking ahead, Brazil are preparing for the Lima 2019 Parapan American Games and the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.

“We want nothing but the gold medal at the next Paralympics Games,” he said. “We already have one silver and one bronze, and now we want gold.”

Apart from competition itself, Moreno is hoping more people can see how fun goalball is and start getting more involved with the sport.

“It is a very exciting sport where the chances of goals can happen at any minute, so there is tension at every moment.

“Everyone is impressed with the way the athletes play. Usually people treat Para athletes as an example of overcoming challenges. But no, we are athletes who do our best to be able to develop and succeed in our life projects like anyone else.”