Italian side Pescara have won all three of their groups with a game to spare to become the first team to reach the finals from the preliminary round.
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On their UEFA Futsal Cup bow, Pescara have stormed through, winning all three of their groups with a game to spare and becoming the first team since the current format was introduced to reach the finals from the preliminary round.
However, they are not short of experience as Ricardo Caputo, Cristian Burruto, Fabricio Calderolli, Leandro Cuzzolino and Rogerio Da Silva were all in the Montesilvano squad coached by Pescara boss Fulvio Colini that won Italy's sole UEFA Futsal Cup title on their debut in 2011. In December, meanwhile, they signed pivot Betão – a winner with Inter in 2009 and Kairat Almaty four years later. On 7 March, Pescara won the Italian Cup as hosts to add to their maiden Serie A title last season. They ended second in the Italian regular season following Friday's 4-1 loss at first-placed Asti.
- v Inter (Friday, 20.30CET)
Finals appearances since 2007: debut season
Best performance: debut season
Preliminary round: St Andrews 9-0, Gentofte 3-0, Encamp 6-0 (Group B winners)
Main round: City'US Târgu Mureş 8-3, Lokomotiv Kharkiv 5-1, Hamburg Panthers 11-0 (Group 3 winners)
Elite round: Zelezarec Skopje 2-0, Halle-Gooik 4-2, Tulpar Karagandy 4-0 (Group B winners)
Top scorer: Rogerio Da Silva 10
Key players: Rogerio Da Silva, Betão, Marco Ercolessi
League position: second
- Three questions: Mauro Canal
After three UEFA Futsal Cup final tournaments without an Italian team, Pescara are flying the flag again for Italy. What does that mean to the players and the club?
It means a lot for Pescara, especially, because it's the first time that we are competing in the UEFA Futsal Cup, and not many could imagine that we could reach the final four at the first attempt. We are proud to have played such a major role in this competition, and now we want to go as far as we can, and finish the tournament knowing that we have given everything.
Caputo, Borruto, Cuzzolino, Calderolli and coach Colini all won the UEFA Futsal Cup with Montesilvano in 2011 – the only Italian team to win this competition. What advice have they given you?
Rogerio was also playing with that team, so there is a big core of that side currently playing with us and certainly they all know how to win it. I hope the rest of the team can learn from them and make a strong contribution as well.
Betão joined Pescara during the transfer window. He has won this competition before as well as the 2008 FIFA Futsal World Cup. What does he bring to Pescara?
It wasn't easy because he came from a totally different kind of futsal [in Brazil]. He is working very hard, with great commitment, and this is great example for the rest of us. To see a player who has already won everything working so hard is a great motivation.