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Marca and Sporting going for bronze

A year ago Baptistella and Déo faced off in the final but on Sunday they will instead compete for third place as Marca Futsal and Sporting Clube de Portugal look to bow out on a high.

Marca are keen to end their first campaign in third place
Marca are keen to end their first campaign in third place ©Sportsfile

A year ago the UEFA Futsal Cup final featured an Italian side playing Sporting Clube de Portugal but this time it will be for third place that the Lisbon club encounter Marca Futsal on Sunday.

Marca, who knocked out holders ASD Città di Montesilvano C/5 in the elite round, fell 3-0 to MFK Dinamo Moskva in the semi-finals in Lleida on Friday, after which 2011 runners-up Sporting were beaten 5-1 by hosts FC Barcelona. Baptistella, who like Marca team-mate Adriano Foglia helped Montesilvano win in Almaty last year before joining their Serie A rivals, bemoaned the slow start against Dinamo.

"They started much better than us, they were more focused on the match from the beginning and we took five to ten minutes to start playing for real," Baptistella told UEFA.com. "But then we become more confident and it ended with us playing in Dinamo's faces.

"Unfortunately, the ball hit the post many times. Last year I had the experience of playing [in the semis] against Benfica, when we scored the goals and then survived so many shots and we ended winning the match. It was the same kind of game [against Dinamo] but unfortunately this time I was on the losing team."

On the losing team a year ago against Baptistella and Montesilvano, Déo was suspended for Sporting's semi-final. "Being out was very tough," he said. "You always have the feeling that you could have helped the team but in general we weren't good. We faced an above average team but the result was a bit harsh on us and Sporting could have done a little more."

Déo can return on Sunday but does not have the rematch with Baptistella and Foglia in his mind. "It's not about revenge but a question of honour to come here and win at least a game in this competition. Our goal was to win but unfortunately we couldn't do it."

Looking back at their season as a whole, not least the comeback from 4-1 down to get the draw they needed with Iberia Star Tbilisi to make the finals, Déo added: "We have to say that this campaign was positive, we cannot forget what happened at Odivelas. We knew that here we were going to face three very good teams and now we have to go on working to see if we get back to the UEFA Futsal Cup next season, and win it."

Baptistella is also determined that Marca end their first European season on a high. "We are going to fight for third place as we know it will also be important for us in our debut campaign," he said.