Portuguese futsal dates back to the late 1980s, with the national league – a cup competition for the first two campaigns – kicking off in the 1990/91 season. The national team made their bow in February 1987 in a FIFA tournament in La Coruna, losing to Spain in their opener but defeating the United States among their four games. However, it was not until 1999 that they finally made a major finals, the UEFA European Futsal Championship, where they drew with Belgium and Italy but lost to eventual champions Russia.
A year later, under new coach Orlando Duarte, they reached the FIFA Futsal World Cup semi-finals, losing 8-0 to Brazil but beating Russia 4-2 for bronze. Duarte remained in charge for a decade, leading Portugal to the 2004 and 2008 World Cup second group stage and the 2007 European semi-finals as hosts in Porto. They trumped all that at UEFA Futsal EURO 2010, reaching the final and running Spain close in a 4-2 defeat, a fitting swansong for Duarte as he returned to club coaching and was replaced by assistant Jorge Braz. The club game is indeed on the up too, SL Benfica winning the 2010 UEFA Futsal Cup and Duarte's Sporting Clube de Portugal runners-up a year later.
Cardinal, Joel Queirós, Ricardinho
Coach: Jorge Braz
Date of birth: 25 August 1972
Playing career: FCDEF, Portuguese Universities (FADU), Pontauto
Coaching career: Universidade do Minho, Universidade de Trás-os-Montes e Alto Douro, GD Fundação Jorge Antunes, Portugal
In July 2010 Canadian-born Braz had the difficult job of replacing charismatic Duarte, in charge of Portugal for the previous decade, but he had a head start. After ending his football career in the early 1990s he began his futsal involvement, which ultimately led him on to Duarte's technical staff in July 2006, working closely with the head coach in all aspects of his work.
Braz began playing futsal at university level and then he took charge of the Minho University team, beginning a coaching career that took him to one of the most traditional futsal clubs in Portugal, Fundação Jorge Antunes. He led them to a third place in the national championship. The Portuguese Football Federation (FPF) took advantage of his coaching qualities in 2006, bringing him to work with the national team, aiding them at the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup and in two UEFA European Futsal Championships, finishing fourth in 2007 and second in 2010. After taking the reigns he oversaw a successful qualifying campaign for UEFA Futsal EURO 2012.
2007: Fourth place (hosts)
2005: Group stage
2003: Group stage
2001: Did not qualify
1999: Group stage
1996: Did not qualify
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