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Meet the UEFA Futsal Cup finalists

Published: Monday 28 November 2016, 9.15CET
Holders Ugra Yugorsk are joined by fellow former winners Inter FS and Kairat Almaty plus 2011 runners-up Sporting CP in April's UEFA Futsal Cup finals: we profile the four contenders.
by Paul Saffer
Meet the UEFA Futsal Cup finalists
Sporting are hoping to win the title for the first time ©Sporting CP

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  • Medeu (Almaty)
  • Orthodox Cathedral (Almaty)
  • UEFA Futsal Cup semi-final draw
  • UEFA Futsal Cup semi-final draw
 
Published: Monday 28 November 2016, 9.15CET

Meet the UEFA Futsal Cup finalists

Holders Ugra Yugorsk are joined by fellow former winners Inter FS and Kairat Almaty plus 2011 runners-up Sporting CP in April's UEFA Futsal Cup finals: we profile the four contenders.

The knockout finals will take place on 28 and 30 April in Almaty
For the first time, all four finalists are previous winners or runners-up
The event will be staged at Almaty Arena

Inter FS (ESP)
Finals appearances since 2007
: 4 (2007, 2009, 2010, 2016)
Best performance: winners 2004, 2006, 2009

Elite round: EP Chrudim 2-0, Ekonomac Kragujavec 8-1, Brezje Maribor 3-1 (Group C winners)

Top scorers: Borja, David Pazon, Pola, Ricardinho 2
Key players: Ortiz, Ricardinho, Pola

• The only three-time winners, Inter lost to Dynamo in the last minute of the decider in the first modern four-team finals of 2007. They have since made three finals, winning in 2009 but losing to Benfica a year later and Ugra last season. They are now back level with Dynamo on a record six final appearances and have strengthened this term with Brazilian Bruno Taffy while Ricardinho's star continues to rise.

Watch Kairat beat Barcelona for 2015 title

Kairat Almaty (KAZ)
Finals appearances since 2007
: 6 (2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015)
Best performance: winners 2013, 2015

Elite round: Real Rieti 3-2, Feniks 6-0, Nikars Riga 4-1 (Group A winners)

Top scorer: Divanei 7
Key players: Higuita, Divanei, Douglas

• Ousted by Ugra in the elite round last year, Kairat are in the semi-finals for the seventh time since 2006. Much of the team are familiar from past victories, as well as Kazakhstan's debut run to the UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 semi-finals, both squads coached by Cacau. Goalkeeper Higuita's ability to play outfield gives Kairat a unique edge.

How Sporting claimed 2015 bronze

Sporting CP (POR)
Finals appearances since 2007: 3 (2011, 2012, 2015)
Best performance: runners-up 2011

Main round: Centar Sarajevo 7-1, Halle-Gooikj 5-1, Real Rieti 4-0 (Group 5 winners)
Elite round:
 Győr 4-1, City'US Târgu Mureş 16-1, FC Dynamo 3-3  (Group D winners)

Top scorer: Diogo 8
Key players: Alex Merlim, Diogo, Fortino

• The only team to make the finals having not received a seeding bye to the elite round, Sporting once again profited from home advantage in that round. It was at Pavilhão Multiusos Odivelas that they beat Murcia in 2010/11 and Inter in 2014/15, not to mention their comeback from three down to draw 5-5 with Iberia Star Tbilisi in 2011/12. This time it was FC Dynamo who Sporting held in their elite round decider at Odivelas, going through on goal difference, and they have another chance to emulate Lisbon neighbours Benfica's 2010 triumph.

Watch Ugra beat Inter in 2016 final thriller

Ugra Yugorsk (RUS)
Finals appearances since 2007
: 1 (2016)
Best performance: winners (2016)

Elite round: Hamburg Panthers 4-0, Araz Naxçivan 4-0, Nacional Zagreb 5-1 (Group B winners)

Top scorer: Eder Lima 3
Key players: Vladislav Shayakhmetov, Caio, Eder Lima

• The team from the central Russian city claimed their first league title in 2015 with victory against Dynamo to earn a European debut, and after ousting holders Kairat in the elite round were to triumph in the final against Inter in Guadalajara. The only one of their 11 European fixtures they have not won was last season's semi-final against Benfica, where they needed penalties, and they have scored 65 goals in those games, including 16 for Russian international Eder Lima.

Last updated: 11/01/17 17.27CET

Related information

Team profiles

http://www.uefa.com/futsalcup/news/newsid=2426441.html#meet+uefa+futsal+cup+finalists