The official website for European football's pick of Futsal EURO 2016

Published: Saturday 20 February 2016, 11.30CET
Spain's infectious confidence, Serbia's quarter-final joy and despair at the hands of Sergei Abramov and, of course, Ricardinho; our reporters pick their favourite moments of Belgrade 2016.

rate galleryrate photo
  • loading...


  • Bebe (Portugal)
  • Portugal v Spain - UEFA Futsal EURO 2018 Final
  • João Matos (Portugal)
  • Tunha (Portugal)
Published: Saturday 20 February 2016, 11.30CET's pick of Futsal EURO 2016

Spain's infectious confidence, Serbia's quarter-final joy and despair at the hands of Sergei Abramov and, of course, Ricardinho; our reporters pick their favourite moments of Belgrade 2016.

Noah Broad: Spain's champion attitude
The day after Spain's exhilarating 6-2 quarter-final defeat of Portugal, I was invited along to film the Spaniards' training session, where I would unexpectedly experience my most memorable moment of the tournament. What I encountered was a calm air of confidence, the confidence of champions. It resonated through the Spain squad; belief in their individual ability, belief in their collective ability, belief in their system, belief in their identity.

As Alex, Mario Rivillos, Pola and the rest of the team went through their warm-up, drills and practice match, I found that their confidence was infectious. It was no surprise that four days later Spanish hands would be lifting the trophy once again.

Spain show skills

Dmitri Mamykin: Abramov the assassin
This championship will be remembered for Ricardinho's goal, yet there were other great strikes and some of them 'O Mágico' watched from home after Portugal were eliminated. In hosts Serbia's semi-final with Russia, when Mladen Kocić made it 1-1 at the beginning of the second half, it looked like Serbia could go all the way to the final. The packed Arena Belgrade were roaring on their side and with the injury to goalkeeper Gustavo, Russia were really in trouble.

But suddenly, after receiving a pass from Sergei Sergeev, Russia No9 Sergei Abramov flicked the ball with the first touch over Kocić and rifled an amazing half-volley into the top corner. Russia went on to win 3-2 in extra time, though it is the ice-cold look of Abramov after scoring his stunner, similar to Mario Balotelli's trademark poker face, which Serbian keeper Miodrag Aksentijević will see in his nightmares.

Abramov and Russia down hosts

Paul Saffer: Sensational Spain
I've been to five UEFA Futsal EUROs now and Spain have won four of them (not to mention three of the five I didn't get to see live). Having been deprived of their title in 2014, and lost a host of key attacking players to injury on the eve of the Belgrade finals, it seemed Spain might struggle but in fact as they powered through the tournament – culminating in a 7-3 thrashing of their 2014 nemeses Russia – it appeared they were better than ever.

When coach José Venancio López said in his post-final press conference: "When I got here to Belgrade I told them something important, 'You are the best team I have ever coached.' And I have coached a lot!", my suspicion was crystallised. Somehow, even after the retirements of Luis Amado, Javi Rodríguez, Kike and Torras, and with Sergio Lozano, Adri, Aicardo and Fernandao injured, somehow Spain were better than ever.

Seven-goal Spain win title

Rok Šinkovc: Serbian celebrations
The Arena Belgrade crowd was already ready for extra time; the MC had explained to the public how the additional ten minutes would work, the cheerleaders were prepared to jump on the pitch at the final whistle, the Spain and Portugal players were contemplating a reduction in their warm-up period … Serbia and Ukraine were level at 1-1 in the 40th minute of their quarter-final and extra time looked inevitable.

But then Marko Perić took the ball by the touchline and passed it to Miloš Simić who somehow smashed it with a volley into the net. There were only 0.3 seconds to go, and instead of ten more minutes of tension the home supporters were able to begin an epic celebration.

Serbia's last-second win

Nuno Tavares: Ricardinho’s magic
"Best player in the world", "goal of the century", "the Leo Messi of futsal" or "a player from another galaxy" were just some of the plaudits drawn by Ricardinho at UEFA Futsal EURO 2016, with the Portugal star taking the event by storm despite his team's quarter-final elimination by Spain. His out-of-this-world goal against Serbia was perhaps the cherry on top of a dazzling performance by the Inter FS winger all throughout the competition in Belgrade – but his magic goes well beyond that.

If having the Arena Belgrade chant his name for minutes after Portugal's loss to Spain was not proof enough of his cult status, Ricardinho showed once again why he is nicknamed 'O Mágico' (the magician). Crushed by the defeat and the bitter, cruel disappointment of yet another failure with his beloved country, Ricardinho somehow found the courage and strength to bring a smile to the face of his countless fans, staying on the pitch to take picture after picture. The image of Ricardinho holding his pain and tears and smiling for the camera will stay with me forever. It's not every day you see that kind of magic …

Ricardinho's moment of magic

Last updated: 20/02/16 11.24CET

Related information