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UEFA Futsal Cup: what you need to know

With the finals kicking off on Friday in Almaty, we give you the key pointers as hosts Kairat Almaty, Inter FS, Sporting CP and holders Ugra Yugorsk compete for the European club title.

Sporting are hoping to win their first title
Sporting are hoping to win their first title ©Sportsfile

1: How does the tournament work?

After three qualifying rounds, four clubs reached the finals: three-time winners Inter FS of Spain, twice champions and Kazakh hosts Kairat Almaty, 2011 runners-up Sporting CP from Portugal and holders Ugra Yugorsk, the Russians who won on their debut last year. Kairat were chosen to stage the knockout event at Almaty Arena, and face Inter in today's semi-finals after Ugra play Sporting. The third-place play-off and final are on Sunday.

2: Who are the clubs?

Inter have lifted a record three titles, in 2004, 2006 and 2009, and are targeting a record seventh final, having lost the deciders of 2007, 2010 and 2016. Ugra beat Inter on that last occasion, while Kairat's triumphs were in 2013 and 2015. Sporting got to the 2011 final when it was last held in Almaty, the year after Benfica took Portugal's sole title.

3: Which players are set to star in Almaty?

In the spotlight as always is Inter winger Ricardinho, who underlined his status as Europe's star futsal player at UEFA Futsal EURO 2016, and previously helped Benfica to victory in 2010. Keep an eye out for Kairat goalkeeper Higuita, who also plays an outfield role, along with Ugra's prolific Eder Lima and the likes of Diogo, Fortino and Pedro Cary from Sporting.

4: What is futsal?

A five-a-side game played between squads of 14 with rolling substitutions, futsal matches last 20 minutes each way with a stopping clock. With a small pitch and high tempo, control, pace and skills are all-important, hence the likes of Hulk, Neymar and Alex Teixeira crediting futsal for their technical ability. Watch our full guide to futsal for beginners.

5: Can I see some of these skills?

How about this goal by Ricardinho for Portugal at UEFA Futsal EURO 2016 ...

Watch Ricardinho’s crazy futsal goal

6: How can I watch the tournament?

On Eurosport across Europe and beyond thanks to UEFA's broadcast partners. There will also be highlights of every match on UEFA.com from midnight CEST that evening.

How Ugra won the 2016 final

7: How else can I follow the tournament?

UEFA.com will have live updates in our MatchCentre plus all the statistics, photos, videos and reports. Join the conversation with @UEFAFutsal on Twitter and Facebook using #FutsalCup.