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Futsal finalists enjoy their achievement

Published: Monday 28 February 2011, 10.38CET
The lineup for UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 in Croatia was decided on Sunday and UEFA.com hears from the qualifiers as they reflect on their achievements and look forward to the finals.
Futsal finalists enjoy their achievement
Cirilo (No11) takes congratulations after scoring for Russia in their 2-0 defeat of the Netherlands ©knvb.nl/EricVerhoeven
 

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Published: Monday 28 February 2011, 10.38CET

Futsal finalists enjoy their achievement

The lineup for UEFA Futsal EURO 2012 in Croatia was decided on Sunday and UEFA.com hears from the qualifiers as they reflect on their achievements and look forward to the finals.

José Venancio López, Spain coach (Group 1 winners)
First I congratulate Azerbaijan on their deserved qualification, as they played well. Our team was in a high-quality game [against Azerbaijan, an 8-3 win] and played well, as in the Grand Prix it was tough to win. We defended well as we came good in the end. In this qualification we have gained a lot given that five players made their competition debuts and did very well, not just on the pitch but with their attitude in training and in the camp. It showed we have strength in depth.

Alesio, Azerbaijan coach (Group 1 runners-up)
Two of the world's strongest teams faced each other and we got great support from our fans. However, the team's fatigue showed itself. We made a lot of mistakes.

Cirilo, Russia player (Group 2 winners)
We are not favourites to win the EURO, Spain and Italy are the potential winners of this very fascinating competition. Today the whole Russian team played well, not just me, even though I scored the two goals [to beat the Netherlands 2-0]."

Aca Kovačević, Serbia coach (Group 2 runners-up)
In the last two editions of the Futsal EURO we came fifth so now I would be satisfied if we could get to the last four: this is our goal. For the moment I am happy to qualify and to go to Croatia. The most important game for us was the first against the Netherlands. We drew and it was decisive. Today [in Serbia's 6-0 defeat of Finland] we knew that we had to do our best to win and to score as many goals as possible. Indeed we went through due to the goal difference.

Jorge Braz, Portugal coach (Group 3 winners)
These mini-tournaments are always difficult, but everything depends on our own performance. We are not thinking about the final tournament yet, because it is too early, but our expectations are big.

Tomáš Neumann, Czech Republic coach (Group 4 winners)
We are very happy [after losing 1-0 to Romania to top the group in a three-way tie also involving Slovakia]. We achieved our goal, to qualify. I must be honest to say that above all we did not want to lose by a larger margin than two goals today especially because we had not won in our last eight matches against Romania. That's why we were preoccupied first of all about keeping possession. We lost today, but we won the group and the best teams in the group qualified.

Cosmin Gherman, Romania goalscorer (Group 4 runners-up)
We had an enormous desire to qualify against the Czechs, who qualified [for the FIFA Futsal World Cup] three years ago, also in Targu Mures, in the play-offs. We played with heart and also excellent tactics. At 1-0 I was afraid, because in futsal anything can happen in a few seconds. I have to admit that before today several players could not sleep, so stressed were we. Three years ago, after the play-offs, I could not sleep because I was angry. Now, I will not sleep because of joy.

Gennadii Lisenchuk, Ukraine coach (Group 5 winners)
I am glad that we finished the tournament with three victories and first place. We proved that we are better than all our opponents. We have not set our preparations yet, but we will try to use all the windows which UEFA allow before EURO 2012. Two weeks before the final tournament we will go to Baku. In December we plan to visit Latvia, who now play very well. Yet we need to find opponents in November, October and September. We want to play Spain, Brazil or Italy. The more such games we play, the better it will be for our players. All this means additional costs, but we are expected to win medals.

Ömer Kaner, Turkey coach (Group 5 runners-up)
Of cause I am happy that Turkey have achieved such a good result, because we were not counter among the contenders for a qualification spot. I wish to thank my players for proving their quality. And now everyone knows that Turkey can achieve something in futsal. I promise that we will do our best in Croatia next year.

Roberto Menichelli, Italy coach (Group 6 winners)
I'm proud that I work with such a good team. It was not an easy tournament for us, especially the third match against a very solid team from Slovenia. But we proved our qualities and I'm sure that we deserved to win the group. I have to congratulate Slovenia for their good display and I'm pleased that they qualified for EURO 2012 too. Everything here in Lasko went smoothly and our Slovenian hosts did their job very well.

Andrej Dobovičnik, Slovenia coach (Group 6 runners-up)
Our aim was reached on Friday by beating Latvia. Our futsal is growing, we have a team who can compete against everyone. This generation deserved to qualify for EURO next year in Croatia. At the same time I have to congratulate my Italian colleague. They were simply faster and stronger tonight. See you in Croatia next year, hopefully many Slovenian supporters will come to visit our neighbours.

Reporters: Abbas Zahidi, Giovanni de Paola, Sebastian Skierski, Paul-Daniel Zaharia, Viktor Sharafudinov & Rok Šinkovc

Last updated: 31/03/13 0.24CET

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