Spanish champions El Pozo Murcia FS remain on course to become the third club from their nation to win the UEFA Futsal Cup after reaching the final four - and sporting director Paulo Roberto is keen to avoid compatriots Boomerang Interviú in the semis.
Murcia were the first side to progress from the Elite round last week, defeating FC Dorozhnik Minsk and Kairat Almaty to clinch first place in Group D even before their final encounter against Hungarian hosts Futsal Club Gödöllö - a game the home side led 4-2 with eight minutes left before a Vinicius Elías effort and two Joel Queirós goals - completing a hat-trick - turned the game and ensured a perfect record only matched by Boomerang in that round. And Paulo Roberto, who won world and European titles as a player for Spain and also took part in Murcia's only previous UEFA Futsal Cup campaign in 2004/05 before stepping upstairs, is keen to avoid holders Boomerang when the semi-final draw is made in March for the fixtures on 26 April as they attempt to emulate both the Madrid club and inaugural European champions Playas de Castellón FS.
"I have to say we've always been very unlucky and we get drawn against the strongest side," he said. "If it were our choice then I think we could be better off playing against Action 21 Charleroi. Obviously Boomerang are the toughest rivals and I would rather play them in the final." The fourth entrants, MFK Dinamo Moskva, ended Murcia and Paulo Roberto's previous campaign with a dramatic 5-4 victory that blocked the Spanish side's progress to the final.
Still, Paulo Roberto - who scored nine goals in that 2004/05 campaign - is delighted with the progress so far this season. "I am very happy to be among the four top European teams," he said. "It was important for us to reach the finals. The standard of European clubs is rising, especially when it comes to teams that have signed foreign players. That allows them to progress and learn a lot more, as they have in Kazakhstan and Hungary."
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