Although Interviú Madrid goalkeeper Luis Amado admits that the Spanish side are not enjoying their finest run of form at present, the experienced custodian is confident they can successfully defend their UEFA Futsal Cup title in Lisbon this week.
Amado, along with club-mates Schumacher and Daniel, is one of only three players to have won three UEFA Futsal Cups, having triumphed with Interviú in 2004, 2006 and last year in Ekaterinburg.
This term Interviú are trailing ElPozo Murcia FS in the league, but the 34-year-old custodian, fresh from helping Spain retain the Futsal EURO title in January, is confident they can find their usual good form on the continental stage.
"Looking at what's happened to us this term we can see that things haven't gone our way," the 33-year-old told UEFA.com. "We've missed out on titles therefore our main objective now is to win the UEFA Futsal Cup.
"It's absolutely fundamental that we do so above all for the good of the team and also for our sponsors. In the Super Cup, the Spanish Cup and in other tournaments we haven't been playing at the level we normally play at so we view this weekend's competition as paramount."
To achieve victory Interviú must first overcome Araz in a last four encounter that Amado says is difficult to read. "We don't know them well," he said. "Some may say they are the most manageable of the four teams remaining but I can assure you there are no easy rivals here. They have a very powerful pivot and we'll also need to watch out for their four or five Brazilian players who have a lot of quality."
As usual the Green Machine begin the finals as favourites, but although Amado is wary of that tag he is not intimidated. "You could say there are plusses and minuses to being favourites," he explained. "It might create an atmosphere of over-confidence but on the other hand it means you gain more respect from the teams you are facing.
"Being the favourites means you are there because you have won things in the past; that you are an important side.
We're the reigning champions and it's up to us now to go out and demonstrate why that is. Having said that we've passed through slumps in form before so we also know what that feels like."
Asked who he sees is the biggest threat to taking Interviú's title, Amado said: "Benfica are going into this full of passion as they have that extra motivation of playing in their home city. They are a great team; we've played them many times in the past. We also mustn't forget Luparense who knocked out ElPozo Murcia."
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