Barça face Murcia in Futsal Champions League final

Hosts Barça will take on Murcia in the first all-Spanish final at Palau Blagrana.

Barça captain Sergio Lozano and coach Andreu Plaza  pose with Murcia coach Diego Giustozzi and captain Miguelín at Palau Blaugrana
Barça captain Sergio Lozano and coach Andreu Plaza pose with Murcia coach Diego Giustozzi and captain Miguelín at Palau Blaugrana UEFA via Getty Images

Barça will take on Murcia in the first all-Spanish UEFA Futsal Champions League final after both saw off Russian opposition on Friday at Barcelona's Palau Blaugrana.

Murcia defeated Tyumen 2-1 and the hosts beat KPRF on penalties, meaning the two Russian teams will play for bronze on Sunday. The finals were originally to be played in Minsk in April 2020 but were instead postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis and moved to Barcelona. The games are being played behind closed doors.

SUNDAY'S ACTION

Final

Barça vs Murcia: 20:00 CET

  • First all-Spanish final in competition's 19-year history
  • Spain will claim tenth title, have now had a team in 15 of the 19 finals
  • Winners will earn place in next season's competition alongside Spanish champions (and five-time European title-holders) Inter FS. Spanish runners-up Valdepeñas will therefore miss out.

Head to head

  • Barça won all three meetings last season: 4-3 in Super Cup in September 2019, 2-1 at home in league in December and 3-2 in Spanish Cup semi-finals in March.
  • Barça also beat Murcia 3-2 in best-of-five Spanish league play-off final in June 2019.
  • In all Barça have faced Murcia in 11 finals (including league play-off final series) and ended up victorious every time: League play-offs 2012, 2013 and 2019; Spanish Cup 2011, 2013 and 2019; Copa del Rey 2012, 2013 and 2014; Spanish Super Cup 2013 and 2019.
  • Barça's Esquerdinha was a Murcia youth product and later played for the first team before leaving for Russia in 2011. He suffered a serious knee injury against Murcia in last September's Super Cup.
  • Murcia's Leo Santana joined in 2019 after two seasons with Barça.
  • The goalkeeper in Murcia's run to the 2008 final, Juanjo, returned to the club from Barça this summer but is ineligible for these finals.
2019: Barça beat Spanish rivals Inter for bronze
2019: Barça beat Spanish rivals Inter for bronze

Barça lowdown

  • Barça won this title in 2012 (as hosts in Lleida) and 2014, both times against FC Dynamo, but lost the 2015 final to Kairat Almaty.
  • Sergio Lozano played in both the 2012 and 2014 wins; Dyego and Aicardo were involved in 2014 (when both Lozano and Dyego scored).
  • Daniel Shiraishi (Inter 2017 and 2018) and Marcênio (Ugra Yugorsk 2016) are also past winners.
  • A third title would give them a tally only bettered by Inter (five).
  • They only need one goal to equal Inter's record of 49 overall in the final four of this competition.
  • Esquerdinha's goal on Friday took his record personal tally in final tournaments to ten, two clear of Ricardinho.
  • Barça have faced two all-Spanish ties in this competition: losing 2-1 to Inter in the 2018 semi-finals but beating them 3-1 for third place in 2019.

Andreu Plaza, Barça coach:
"I see familiar rivals. They have had some changes in the pivot position, but we are not going to be surprised at this point. The matches we've played against them have always been even. We are expecting the same team, very combative, with a lot of spirit and a lot of belief. It's going to be a difficult game for us. We know each other well. There are going to be few surprises. I am not going to tell my opponent my strengths."

Murcia lowdown

  • Murcia lost their only previous final on penalties to Sinara Ekaterinburg at Moscow 2008.
  • Leo Santana won this title in 2013 with Kairat Almaty, scoring in the final against FC Dynamo.
  • Coach Diego Giustozzi arrived at Murcia in 2018 having two years earlier led Argentina to become the first nation other than Brazil or Spain to win the FIFA Futsal World Cup.
  • Murcia's only previous all-Spanish tie was a last-second 3-2 defeat as hosts by Inter in the 2007 semi-finals.

Diego Giustozzi, Murcia coach:
"We must believe again that it is possible. We have to start strongly and go with our intensity until the last moment. We must be disciplined. We need to play more finals to understand these kinds of games. They are superior in this respect. If they have a good day, they beat you. And if they don't, they can beat you too."

Third-place play-off

KPRF 2-2 Tyumen (KPRF win 3-1 on pens)

  • Tyumen led twice, the second KPRF equaliser was with eight seconds left by Yanar Asadov on his 25th birthday.
  • Three Tyumen shoot-out kicks were saved before Lin converted the winner.
  • KPRF won the Russian play-offs in August to book their place for next season alongside 2016 European champions Ugra Yugorsk.

FRIDAY'S SEMI-FINALS

Highlights: Murcia 2-1 Tyumen
Highlights: Murcia 2-1 Tyumen

Murcia FS 2-1 Tyumen

  • Alberto García scored Murcia's winner after Tyumen captain Sergei Abramovich has cancelled out Rafa's first-half goal.
  • Murcia are into their second final after previously losing to Sinara Ekaterinburg in 2008 in Moscow.

Diego Giustozzi, Murcia coach: "Everything we prepared, studied and talked about we did 100%. We allowed them just one goal in an isolated move. I really liked that and that we were able to win a game that we don't like to play. We like an open game better and it was the opposite. Playing a game that we don't like to play, we were very serious and very mature."

Nikolai Ivanov, Tyumen coach: "We lost today, and any coach would be disapointed. Our players now have tears in their eyes, and that's said. Talking about the game, it was a good one from the emotional point of view. The stands were empty, but we didn't feel that. Both teams showed big emotions."

Highlights: Barça 3-3 KPRF (aet, 5-4 pens)
Highlights: Barça 3-3 KPRF (aet, 5-4 pens)

Barça 3-3 KPRF (aet, Barça win 5-4 on pens)

  • Barça led 2-0 in normal time and 3-2 in the extra ten minutes but both times KPRF recovered, Nando making it 3-3 from the spot with 11 seconds left.
  • Lin missed against his former club in the shoot-out and captain Sergio Lozano converted the winner.
  • Barça's Esquerdinha, in making it 3-3, became the first player to ten career finals goals in this competition.
  • Barça are aiming for their third title, which would put them second outright after Inter FS, and are in their fourth final.

Andreu Plaza, Barça coach: "Personally it's a joy, it's our third finals in a row and now we've been lucky enough to make the final. Although we are not in the best physical shape because we have just started the season, we are used to playing with little time between games. We have enough players to play a game at the highest level on Sunday."

Arser Bagirov, KPRF player: "If we forget the first ten minutes, probably all would agree that Barça weren't better than us. It was an equal match and I don't think we deserved this loss. When it comes to penalties, it's always 50-50, and luck becomes the main factor. Today luck was on Barça's side, and I congratulate them for this victory. As for us, we need to work, work and work again."