UEFA Futsal EURO 2018: meet the teams

We look at the 12 teams that will compete in Slovenia from 30 January to 10 February – from champions Spain and former winners Italy and Russia to debutants France.

©Sportsfile

The UEFA Futsal EURO 2018 finals draw has been made and we look at the 12 teams that will compete in Slovenia from 30 January to 10 February.

Group A:

Slovenia (hosts)

Past finals appearances: 4

Best performance: quarter-finals (2014)

Friendly results in 2017: Bosnia & Herzegovina 6-3 (n, 28/01), Poland 6-6 (a, 29/01), Finland 3-2 (n, 31/01), Hungary 5-0 (a, 22/02), Japan 5-2 (h, 03/0/4), Japan D2-2 (h, 04/04), Japan 3-0 (h, 06/04), Germany 4-0 (h, 25/09), Germany 5-1 (h, 26/09), Portugal 0-2 (h, 05/12), Portugal 4-6 (h, 06/012)

Key fact: Hoping to be the first hosts to win the tournament since Italy in 2003.

©Lasha Kuprashvili

Italy

Past finals appearances: 8

Best performance: winners x 2 (2003, 2014)

Main round: Belarus 2-1, Netherlands 4-2, Georgia 2-2 (Group A winners)

Qualifying top scorer: Alessandro Patias 2

Key fact: Ended Spain's nine-year reign as champions in 2014 (though it was Russia that dethroned the holders in the semi-finals).

©Jan Tauber

Serbia

Past finals appearances: 5 (including as Yugoslavia in 1999)

Best performance: fourth place (2016)

Main round: Poland 4-0, Spain 0-6, Moldova 7-3 (Group E runners-up)

Play-off: Czech Republic 4-3a, 4-4h (agg: 8-7)

Qualifying top scorer: Miloš Simić 5

Key fact: Sold out all five of their games as hosts in Belgrade in 2016.

Group B:

©TFF

Russia

Past finals appearances: 10

Best performance: winners x 1 (1999)

Main round: France 5-0, Slovakia 1-0, Turkey 4-0 (Group G winners)

Qualifying top scorers: Eder Lima, Robinho 3

Key fact: Have lost the last three finals as well as the 2016 World Cup decider against Argentina.

©Eduard Gavrish

Kazakhstan

Past finals appearances: 1

Best performance: third place (2016)

Main round: FYR Macedonia 3-0, Denmark 5-0, Czech Republic 3-0 (Group F winners)

Qualifying top scorer: Douglas Junior 3

Key fact: Much of the squad play for two-time UEFA Futsal Cup winners Kairat Almaty.

©UEFA.com

Poland

Past finals appearances: 1

Best performance: group stage (2001)

Main round: Serbia 0-4, Moldova 4-2, Spain 1-1 (Group E third place, best third-placed team)

Play-off: Hungary 1-2a, 6-4h (agg: 7-6)

Qualifying top scorer: Michał Kubik 3

Key fact: Made the play-offs as the best third-placed team by a single goal after becoming the first side to take Futsal EURO qualifying points off Spain since Slovenia in February 2004.

Group C:

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Portugal

Past finals appearances: 8

Best performance: runners-up (2010)

Main round: Latvia 2-1, Finland 5-1, Romania 4-0 (Group D winners)

Qualifying top scorerBruno Coelho 5

Key fact: Star man Ricardinho is set to feature in his fifth final tournament after 2007, 2012, 2014 and 2016 (he missed 2010 injured).

©Pavlo Kubanov

Ukraine

Past finals appearances: 9

Best performance: runners-up (2001, 2003)

Main round: Belgium 1-0, Montenegro 4-2, Croatia 2-1 (Group C winners)

Qualifying top scorers: seven players scored one goal

Key fact: Have lost in the quarter-finals in every tournament since this round was introduced in 2010.

©Lasha Kuprashvili

Romania

Past finals appearances: 3

Best performance: quarter-finals (2012, 2014)

Main round: Finland 5-5, Latvia 3-1, Portugal 0-4 (Group D runners-up)

Play-off: Georgia 2-2h, 7-4a (agg: 9-6)

Qualifying top scorer: Savio Valadares 5

Key fact: Scored twice in the last five seconds for what proved a crucial draw against Finland in their opening qualifier.

Group D:

©Mateo Beusan

Spain (holders)

Past finals appearances: 10

Best performance: winners x 7 (1996, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2016)

Main round: Moldova 7-0, Serbia 6-0, Poland 1-1 (Group E winners)

Qualifying top scorer: Raúl Campos 3

Key fact: The only European team to win the FIFA Futsal World Cup, in 2000 and 2004.

©AFFA

Azerbaijan

Past finals appearances: 4

Best performance: fourth place (2010)

Main round: Bosnia and Herzegovina 5-4, Albania 5-0, Hungary 6-1 (Group B winners)

Qualifying top scorer: Bolinha 4

Key fact: Were the 16-goal top scorers in qualifying.

©UEFA.com

France

Past finals appearances: 0

Best performance: first qualification

Premliminary round: Andorra 5-0, Lithuania 3-1 (Group F winners)

Main round: Russia 0-5, Turkey 5-1, Slovakia 4-1 (Group G runners-up)

Play-off: Croatia 1-1h, 5-4a (agg:6-5)

Qualifying top scorer: Abdessamad Mohammed 6

Key fact: The first team to qualify from the preliminary round since Turkey in 2012; the seven games France played over the three rounds are the most any side has ever needed to reach the finals.

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