With exactly one month to go until the UEFA Futsal Cup finals in Almaty, we check in with the four contenders, one of whom will definitely be back in Europe next season.
Finals schedule: Almaty Arena
Semi-finals: Friday 28 April
Ugra Yugorsk (RUS, holders) v Sporting CP (POR): 14:00CET (18:00 local time)
Inter FS (ESP) v Kairat Almaty (KAZ, hosts): 16:30CET (20:30 local time)
Finals day: Sunday 30 April
Third-place play-off: 13:00CET (17:00 local time)
Final: 15:30CET (19:30 local time)
Ugra Yugorsk (RUS)
It has turned out to be a good month for Ugra, as a 2-0 loss to FC Dynamo was followed by 3-2 and 9-4 victories at Novaja Generacija, 9-1 and 8-4 defeats of Tyumen and a 2-1 success at Norilsky Nickel on Friday. Those results have lifted Ugra to the top of the Russian Super League regular season table, five points above Dina Moskva. Ugra have just one more league game to go before the eight-team championship play-offs.
Sporting CP (POR)
Domestic treble-chasing Sporting continue to sit pretty at the top in Portugal after a fine month in which they have seen off Porto Salvo 7-1 away, Vinhais 10-3, Azeméis 7-1 and Fundão 4-1. As a result, they remain unbeaten and eight points clear of Benfica, while looking increasingly certain of top seeding for the play-offs. Meanwhile, the club have handed new contracts to Fortino and Alex Merlim.
Inter FS (ESP)
Inter are on a 14-game winning run in the Spanish league that has moved them five points clear of Barcelona with five games to go until the regular season gives way to the eight-team play-offs. They also emerged triumphant at the Spanish Futsal Cup in Ciudad Real earlier this month, beating Murcia FS 9-8 on penalties in the final after a 4-4 draw. On top of that, Ortiz has signed a new contract until June 2018, committing him to a tenth season with Inter.
Kairat Almaty (KAZ)
Kairat will be back in Europe again next season regardless of how they do next month, having clinched a 14th straight league title. Victory was sealed on 1 March with a 3-1 defeat of Zhetysu Taldykorgan, whom they then beat 2-1 the following day. In their final two fixtures, Kairat overcame Inzhu 3-0 before losing 4-2, their first league reverse for two years.
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