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Futsal EURO 2018: all you need to know

UEFA Futsal EURO 2018 runs until 10 February in Ljubljana with 12 teams aiming for the title: we give you the key pointers to following a tournament full of skill and passion.

Arena Stožice ahead of the finals
Arena Stožice ahead of the finals ©Sportsfile

The tournament

Arena Stožice in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana stages UEFA Futsal EURO 2018 until 10 February. Opened in 2010, the venue has a capacity of just over 10,000 and is home to basketball team KK Olimpija as well as holding the international matches of volleyball side ACH Volley and handball outfit RK Krim. It was the venue for the EuroBasket 2013 finals.

There are 12 teams at the finals: hosts Slovenia and 11 qualifiers, including holders Spain and debutants France. They are split into four groups of three, with the top two in each progressing to the quarter-finals, from when it is straight knockout.

Ricardinho's rabona for Portugal

Group stage

Tuesday 30 January
Group A:
Slovenia 2-2 Serbia 
Group B: Russia 1-1 Poland
Wednesday 31 January

Group C: Portugal 4-1 Romania
Group D: Spain 4-4 France 
Thursday 1 February
Group B: Poland 1-5 Kazakhstan
Group A: Serbia 1-1 Italy 
Friday 2 February
Group D: France 3-5 Azerbaijan 
Group C: Romania 2-3 Ukraine 
Saturday 3 February
Group B: Kazakhstan 1-1 Russia
Group A: Italy 1-2 Slovenia 
Sunday 4 February
Group C: Ukraine 3-5 Portugal 
Group D: Azerbaijan 0-1 Spain

Highlights: Spain 4-4 France

Monday 5 February
Serbia 1-3 Kazakhstan 
Slovenia 0-2 Russia
Tuesday 6 February
Portugal 8-1 Azerbaijan 
Ukraine 0-1 Spain

Thursday 8 February
Russia 2-3 Portugal 
Kazakhstan 5-5 Spain (aet, Spain win 3-1 on pens)

Finals day
Saturday 10 February
Third-place play-off: Russia 1-0 Kazakhstan
Final: Portugal 3-2 Spain (aet)

Where to watch

Full details of TV coverage/streams

How else can I follow the tournament?

UEFA.com will have live build-up, updates and reaction from every game in our MatchCentre plus statistics, photos and videos from Ljubljana. Join the conversation with @UEFAFutsal on Twitter and Facebook using #FutsalEURO.

Beginners' guide

What is futsal?

A five-a-side game played between squads of 14 with rolling substitutions, the matches lasting 20 minutes each way with a stopping clock. With a small pitch and high tempo, control, pace and skills are all-important, hence the likes of Hulk, Neymar and Alex Teixeira crediting futsal with their technical ability. Read our full guide to the rules.

Who are the favourites?

Only three nations have won this competition: Spain (1996, 2001, 2005, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2016), Russia (1999) and Italy (2003, 2014). Portugal, starring perhaps the world's best player Ricardinho, are the other main contenders this time.

Kazakhstan, on debut, and hosts Serbia reached the semi-finals last time, something Slovenia would love to at least emulate. Ukraine have reached two finals and seldom fail to make the last eight. Azerbaijan are exciting to watch and Romania are also experienced at this level. Poland have qualified for the first time since 2001 and France are debutants after a shock play-off defeat of Croatia.

Which players could star?

Ricardinho of Portugal is in his fifth finals and 'O Magico' has gained fame for his spectacular goals and amazing skills. Kazakhstan's goalkeeper Higuita likes to join the attack with thrilling results while Russia's prolific Eder Lima and Spain's Álex, Miguelín and Pola are likely to stand out. From the outsiders, watch for France's Landry N'Gala, the one-time street footballer who got a hat-trick in the play-off against Croatia.