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Published: Thursday 1 August 2013, 14.22CET
Spain have won the last four UEFA European Futsal Championship finals and even with several retirements in recent years remain the team to beat.
Spain ©Enrique Serrano


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Published: Thursday 1 August 2013, 14.22CET


Spain have won the last four UEFA European Futsal Championship finals and even with several retirements in recent years remain the team to beat.

Spain are the dominant futsal power in the continent and will be aiming for their fifth straight UEFA European Futsal Championship.

It was in 1979/80 that the first league championship was introduced in Spain under the former Federación de Fútbol Sala, a cup competition following in 1983.

The national league soon split into two divisions after the Liga Nacional de Fútbol Sala (LNFS) was founded in 1989, 16 clubs in the División de Honor and 47 in the División de Plata divided into three groups. Interviú Madrid have been the dominant club with 16 titles – including eight since the start of the LNFS – and ten cups, not to mention a record three UEFA Futsal Cups, though the current Spanish champions are another famous name, FC Barcelona.

The national team, meanwhile, have vied with Brazil for the title of world's best for more than a decade. Under Javier Lozano, who took over in 1992, they won the UEFA European Futsal Championship in 1996, 2001 and 2005 and two FIFA Futsal World Cups in 2000 and 2004, breaking Brazil's stranglehold on the trophy. Though José Venancio López succeeded Lozano on the eve of the 2007 European Championship, they retained their title and only lost the 2008 World Cup final to hosts Brazil on penalties before another continental triumph in 2010.

They have not been beaten over 40 minutes in a competitive game since losing 3-1 to Italy in the 2005 European group stage, when they still ended up as champions. Several stalwarts like Javi Rodríguez and Daniel retired in 2010 but there was no shortage of talent to replace them as they triumphed again in 2012 and made another World Cup final. Luis Amado and Kike have since bowed out.

Qualifying round: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia 5-1, Sweden 13-0, Croatia 10-0 (Group 4 winners)

Key players
Torras, Sergio Lozano, Fernandão

Coach: José Venancio López

Date of birth: 27 June 1964
Playing career
: Leioa Bilbao
Coaching career:
Leioa Bilbao, FS Bilbao, Castro Urdiales Cantabria, Spain (assistant), Segovia FS, Guatemala, Autos Lobelle de Santiago FS, Spain

Venancio López played in Spain's top futsal division with home-town club Leioa Bilbao in the mid-1980s. In 1988/89 he stepped up as coach but suffered relegation in 1990. Venancio López left in 1991/92 and two seasons later took over at FS Bilbao before a spell with Castro Urdiales Cantabria, a period in which he also served on the Spanish national team technical staff.

It was when he took over at Caja Segovia that he made his name, winning the domestic treble of league, Spanish Cup and Super Cup in 1998/99. He followed that up the year after by winning an unofficial European title as well as retaining the Spanish Cup and Super Cup. He then took the team to Moscow for an intercontinental competition and claimed the unofficial world crown, and won another Super Cup before leaving in 2002.

The following year he was appointed by Guatemala, but in 2004/05 returned to Spain with Autos Lobelle de Santiago FS as both coach and sporting director. In January 2006, his team beat Interviú Madrid on penalties to win the Spanish Cup and his record at the club earned him the role of Spain coach in September 2007, retaining his Lobelle role for the rest of the season.

Two months after taking the national team role, he helped his side successfully defend the UEFA European Futsal Championship title. Next up was the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup, and Spain lost the final on penalties to Brazil but Venancio López has proved a worthy successor to the great Javier Lozano, who he once assisted, and retained the European title in 2010 and 2012, when he again made the World Cup final. Venancio López is a member of the UEFA Futsal & Beach Soccer Committee.

Qualifying top scorers
Sergio Lozano 6

Tournament record
2012: Winners
2010: Winners
2007: Winners
2005: Winners
2003: Semi-finals
2001: Winners
1999: Runners-up (hosts)
1996: Winners (hosts)

Other honours
2000, 2004: FIFA Futsal World Cup winners

Last updated: 17/01/14 16.02CET

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