UEFA.com profiles the most anticipated of the main round groups where debutants MFK Dina Moskva host Futsal Team Charleroi, FC Deva and MNK Alumnus Zagreb.
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• The nine-time Russian league winners are making their UEFA Futsal Cup debut after ending a 14-year wait for a title in 2013/14. Still, they boast three of MFK Sinara Ekaterinburg's 2008 European champions in Sergei Zuev, Damir Khamadiyev and Dmitri Prudnikov plus Alemao, who won the first two with Playas de Castellón FS in 2002 and 2003.
Key players: Alemao, Carlinhos, Esquerdinha, Dmitri Prudnikov
They say: "We are going to gain new experience as Dina will make their debut in the UEFA Futsal Cup. I hope myself and the team will have high motivation, work at maximum efficiency and get the best possible result. We play to win in every competition – in the league, Russian Cup and the UEFA competition. It would be so nice to win the European trophy. I hope we will do this. We have got a strong squad and we are 100% ready."
• Futsal Team Charleroi were formed as successors of Futsal Châtelineau – double winners for the last two seasons – though a merger with 2005 UEFA Futsal Cup winners Action 21 Charleroi did not go through. From their core of last season, Karim Chaibai, Valentin Dujacquier and Belgian player of the year Omar Rahou have all left for FP Halle-Gooik but Zico and Terry Caudron have joined. They lost the Belgian Super Cup 5-3 to Futsal Topsport Antwerpen but have won two and drawn one of their three league games, scoring 25 goals.
Key players: Lúcio, Zico, Terry Caudron, Leo
They say: "There have been a lot of changes and it will take time to get everything in the right place. There is a lot of quality in the squad, but it will take matches to make it a real team. I cannot stand losing, I always go for victory. It is important to develop a winning culture. We will have to wait and see how the group now will cope with the European cup adventure."
• FC CIP Deva used to dominate Romanian futsal but after their financial demise City'Us Târgu Mureș took over their mantle. However, last year Târgu Mureș's former CIP players Robert Lupu, Robert Florin Matei and Vlad Octavian Ianc returned to Deva with a new club, linking up with Cristian Matei, and they saw off City'Us in the league play-off final. Lupu was player-coach last year but recently Romania No2 Marius Pârciu de Salvo took the club helm.
Key players: Robert Lupu, Robert Florin Matei, Vlad Octavian Iancu, Cristian Matei
They say: "We are extremely happy about being champions after our first year of existence and at least until now we have managed to combine the international experience of the four of us with the enthusiasm and skills of our youngsters. We are well aware of how difficult it will be in Russia, but that's why sport is so exciting. Everybody has a chance and everybody goes for it. That's what we will do in Russia. We are not favourites, but nobody will have an easy task against us, and we will fight until the end to qualify."
Robert Lupu, defender-assistant coach
• Developed from Zagreb's top student teams, Alumnus's ambitious board had an aim of gaining European recognition and won their first Croatian title last season. On their UEFA Futsal Cup bow last month they scored 14 goals in their two preliminary wins against Balzan Youths FC and Futsal København, but in the last week there have been changes, with captain Matija Dulvat departing and experienced coach Mico Martić leaving to be replaced by his assistant Jakov Ungarov.
Key players: Matija Capar, Kristijan Grbeša, Luka Jurlina
They say: "The turbulent period is behind us. The departure of coach and the captain affected the team and the atmosphere, but we are motivated to do a good job in the group. Despite the difficulties we had an excellent preparations for this tournament and I think we have a chance to be among the top two teams. Dina Moskva are a cut above the rest – that's obvious – but we will look to take our chance against Charleroi and Deva."
Jakov Ungarov, coach
Reporters: Mikhail Malkin, Berend Scholten, Paul-Daniel Zaharia & Elvir Islamović