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UEFA Futsal Cup elite round: Meet the clubs

With the UEFA Futsal Cup elite round taking place from next Tuesday until Sunday, UEFA.com introduces the 16 clubs that will compete for four finals places.

Can Barcelona make the finals again?
Can Barcelona make the finals again? ©Sportsfile

With the UEFA Futsal Cup elite round kicking off next week, UEFA.com introduces the 16 clubs that will compete for four finals places.

Matches: 18–23 November
Four-team finals: Late April


Group A: 20-23 November
Sporting Clube de Portugal (POR, top seeds, group hosts)
• Targeting their fourth semi-final having been 2011 runners-up in Almaty; lost 4-3 to Inter in the 2005 second qualifying round.

Inter FS (ESP, main round Group 4 winners)
• Bidding to become the first team to lift four European titles after 2004, 2006 and 2009 successes. Llost 2010 final to SL Benfica in Lisbon (when Ricardinho, now with Inter, featured for Benfica).

FC Grand Pro Varna (BUL, Group 2)
• Like Baku, advanced from the preliminary round and the first team from their country to get this far.

Futsal Team Charleroi (BEL, Group 3 runners-up)
• Include former Action 21 Charleroi player Lúcio, one short of being the second to 50 goals in this competition.

Group B: 18-21 November
Araz Naxçivan (AZE)
• Last season's finals hosts and two-time bronze-medallists.

ISK Dina Moskva (RUS, Group 3 winners)
• Nine-time Russian champions in the 1990s but the only European debutants in this round.

Slov-Matic Bratislava (SVK, Group 6 runners-up)
• Playing in the elite round for the sixth consecutive campaign; beat Araz 4-3 in 2007/08 main round but lost 4-2 a year later.

FK EP Chrudim (CZE, Group 1 runners-up, group hosts)
• The Daniel-coached elite round regulars beat Araz 4-3 in 2011/12 and have twice defeated Slov-Matic at this stage.

Group C: 20-23 November
Kairat Almaty (KAZ, group hosts)
• Champions in 2013 and the only side to reach the elite round in all nine seasons of the current format including their victorious year when they beat Ekonomac to reach the finals.

Sporting Club de Paris (FRA, Group 1 winners)
• First French club to make it to the elite round, their three main round wins producing 36 goals (F22 A14).

FK Nikars Riga (LVA, Group 2 winners)
• Coached by former Portugal and Sporting Clube de Portugal coach Orlando Duarte.

KMF Ekonomac Kragujevac (SRB, Group 5 runners-up)
• Scored 14 seconds from time to pip Luparense C/5 to second spot in their main round group.

Group D: 19-22 November
FC Barcelona (ESP, holders, group hosts)
• Attempting to become just the second three-time winners after Inter FS; beat Lokomotiv 6-1 to reach 2013/14 finals.

MVFC Berettyóújfalu (HUN, Group 6 winners)
• Progressed from the main round at their third attempt.

Baku United FC (ENG, Group 5 winners)
• The London side boast former world champion Marcelo and UEFA Futsal Cup winner Alexandre Ghiotti; like Varna started in the preliminary round and are the first team from their nation to get this far.

Lokomotiv Kharkiv (UKR, Group 4 runners-up)
• Led by Ukraine coach Yevhen Rykvik and including most of his national squad.

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