The full lowdown on the four-team knockout showdown between UEFA's Portugal and Spain, and CONMEBOL's Argentina and Paraguay, after Portugal emerged triumphant.
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Portugal have been crowned the inaugural winners of the Futsal Finalissima after seeing off Spain on penalties in the final. The tournament brought together the winners of UEFA Futsal EURO 2022, Portugal, and third-placed team Spain in a four-nation knockout tournament with 2022 CONMEBOL Copa América de Futsal winners Argentina and runners-up Paraguay at Parque Roca in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Paraguay pipped the hosts to bronze.
Who took part in the Futsal Finalissima 2022
Already the reigning European and world champions, Portugal added another honour in Buenos Aires. They won the Futsal EURO for the first time in 2018 and retained the title in Amsterdam in February, having only previously made the final once, in 2010. In the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup in Lithuania, Portugal claimed their first global crown, beating Argentina 2-1 in the final.
Spain were third at Futsal EURO 2022 (runners-up Russia are currently suspended). However, they still remain the dominant team in UEFA competition, winning seven out of 12 Futsal EUROs, including the experimental inaugural tournament of 1996, and they have never failed to reach the semi-finals. Spain won the World Cup in 2000 and 2004, and were runners-up to Brazil in 1996, 2008 and 2012. They lost in the 2021 quarter-finals to Portugal, who also defeated them in the EURO 2022 semis.
Paraguay were 2022 Copa América de Futsal runners-up as hosts, the fourth time they have reached the final (only once in the 13 editions have they not made at least the semis). They got to the 2021 World Cup round of 16, losing to Spain 4-0 in their group and going out 6-1 to Argentina.
Hosts Argentina won their third Copa América de Futsal in February (they have only failed to reach the final once in the last seven editions), having also twice won the separate South American World Cup qualifying tournament. They won the World Cup for the first time in 2016 and made the final again in 2021, losing to Portugal.
When was the Futsal Finalissima played?
The semi-finals were contested on Thursday 15 September, with Portugal facing Paraguay at 17:00 local time (22:00 CET) and Argentina meeting Spain at 19:45 local time (00:45 CET). The action concluded on Sunday 18 September, with the third-place play-off at 14:00 local time (19:00 CET) and final at 16:45 local time (21:45 CET).
Where was the Futsal Finalissima played?
The matches were played at Parque Roca in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Also known as Estadio Mary Terán de Weiss after the tennis player, it can hold up to 15,500 spectators. Other events the venue has hosted include several Davis Cup matches and tennis at the 2006 South American Games, for which it was built, with the retractable roof added in 2014.
How did the 2022 Futsal Finalissima work?
The Futsal Finalissima was a straight knockout event, with the winners of the semis progressing to the final and the other two teams playing off for third place. Other than in the final, there was no extra time, so if those ties were level at the end of regulation time, they would have gone straight to penalties. As it happened, the only match not level after 40 minutes was the final itself, with Portugal emerging victorious against Spain in a penalty shoot-out after two extra-time periods of five minutes each.
The FIFA disciplinary code applied to incidents occurring during the match. Red cards in the semi-finals would have led to suspension in the final or third-place play-off. Otherwise, yellow and red cards were cancelled at the end of the tournament and are not carried forward to any other UEFA, CONMEBOL or FIFA competition.
Why has the Futsal Finalissima been introduced?
The competition is part of the expansion of the cooperation between UEFA and CONMEBOL, which notably includes women's football, futsal and youth categories, the exchange of referees, technical training schemes and the men's football Finalissima game, which pits the winners of the UEFA European Championship against the Copa América holders. Argentina beat Italy 3-0 in the first edition of that competition in 2022. In addition, UEFA Youth League winners Benfica won 1-0 against Peñarol in the Under-20 Intercontinental Cup in front of a 40,570 crowd at Estadio Centenario in Montevideo, Uruguay. A football Women's Finalissima will be played next year between England and Brazil.