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UEFA Futsal Champions League elite round draw

The four groups will be played from 22 to 27 November and decide May's knockout finalists.

The four group winners will progress to the knockout finals
The four group winners will progress to the knockout finals ©UEFA

A meeting between former champions Benfica and Kairat Almaty is among the highlights after the UEFA Futsal Champions League elite round draw split the 16 contenders progressing from the main round into four groups that will decide the knockout finalists.

The elite round will be played from 22 to 27 November and the four group winners will progress to the finals on 4/5 and 6/7 May, with the hosts to be confirmed.

Elite round groups

Group A: Sporting CP (POR), Uragan lvano-Frankivsk (UKR), Loznica-Grad 2018 (SRB), Città di Eboli (ITA, hosts)

Group B: Mallorca Palma Futsal (ESP, hosts), Novo Vrijeme Makarska (CRO), Dobovec (SVN), Piast Gliwice (POL)

Group C: Benfica (POR), Luxol St. Andrews (MLT), Chrudim (CZE), Kairat Almaty (KAZ, hosts)

Group D: Barça (ESP, holders), Sporting Anderlecht Futsal (BEL), United Galati (ROU), Futsal Pula (CRO, hosts)

2022 final highlights: Barça 4-0 Sporting CP

Meet the teams

  • Barça won their fourth title last season and hope to equal Inter FS's record tally of five.
  • Sporting CP lost the 2022 final but won in 2019 and 2021; they and Barça between them have shared the four titles since the 2018/19 rebranding from the UEFA Futsal Cup.
  • Kairat (2013 and 2015) and Benfica (2010) are also past champions.
  • Both Barça and Kairat hope to make the finals for a record tenth time.
  • Sporting's João Matos is the new competition record holder for player appearances, having passed the old mark of 69 held by Rizvan Farzaliyev and Lúcio.
  • Kairat are contesting their record 19th season in Europe, and have taken part in the elite round in all 16 editions that it has been a part of the competition (since 2006/07, other than 2020/21 when there was a straight knockout format throughout).
  • Kairat and Chrudim have previously been in the same elite round group five times: Kairat have won all five matches and topped the group on four of those occasions including with a dramatic comeback in Chrudim to win 5-4 in the 2007/08 mini-tournament decider and 6-5 in Serbia in 2012/13 on their way to their second title.
  • Kairat and Benfica have met four times before. Kairat won their 2020/21 quarter-final 6-2 in Croatia; Benfica won 5-3 in the 2019/20 elite round, though both teams were already out; Kairat won 5-3 on penalties to take bronze in 2010/11; and in the 2005/06 second qualifying round in Lisbon, they drew 3-3, a result that helped Kairat pip Benfica to the semi-finals.
  • Anderlecht previously entered as Halle-Gooik; they lost to Barça in last season's elite round and the 2018/19 main round.
  • Croatia have two entrants for the first time (Novo Vrijeme Makarska and Pula), and both progressed from the same main round group.
  • Città di Eboli, Loznica-Grad 2018, Mallorca Palma, Piast Gliwice and Pula are competing in their debut European seasons.
  • Luxol are the first team from Malta to reach the elite round.
  • United Galati are also in the elite round for the first time, though they did play in the one-off round of 16 in 2020/21.
  • No team from Czechia, Malta, Romania, Serbia or Ukraine have reached the finals under any format.
  • Croatia's only previous finalists are MNK Split, who took part in the eight-team event of the inaugural 2001/02 edition and reached the semis.
  • No team from Slovenia have reached the semis, Dobovec having played in the one-off eight-team knockout finals of 2020/21, losing in the quarter-finals.
  • Similarly, Poland's sole finalists were Clearex Chorzów, who exited in the group stage in 2001/02.

Contenders: How they progressed from the main round

Path A group winners: Mallorca Palma Futsal (ESP, Group 1), Sporting CP (POR, 2), Barça (ESP, 3, holders), Benfica (POR, 4)

Path A group runners-up: Sporting Anderlecht Futsal (BEL, 1), Novo Vrijeme Makarska (CRO, 2), Luxol St. Andrews (MLT, 3), Uragan lvano-Frankivsk (UKR, 4)

Path A group third place: Kairat Almaty (KAZ, 1), Futsal Pula (CRO, 2), Dobovec (SVN, 3), United Galati (ROU, 4)

Path B group winners: Loznica-Grad 2018 (SRB, 5), Piast Gliwice (POL, 6), Città di Eboli (ITA, 7), Chrudim (CZE, 8)

Draw procedure

  • Teams were split into three seeding tiers based on main round results: Path A winners (position 1, four teams); Path A runners-up (position 2, four teams); and Path A third-placed teams and Path B group winners (positions 3 and 4, eight teams).
  • No main round group winners could face the runners-up in their group, i.e. Mallorca Palma and Anderlecht; Sporting CP and Novo Vrijeme Makarska; Barça and Luxol St. Andrews; and Benfica and Uragan lvano-Frankivsk.
  • There was no country protection.
  • Six clubs were selected as potential mini-tournament hosts and drawn separately, from Pot 1, while maintaining their seedings. Four hosts were drawn and assigned to Groups A to D according to their respective positions.
  • The two balls of the remaining teams (Sporting CP and Pula) were then drawn and placed in available slots in groups according to their seeding position; they will not act as hosts.
  • The teams in Pot 2 (positions 3 and 4) were drawn next, filling the remaining position 4 spots before filling position 3.
  • Pots 3 (position 2) and 4 (position 1) were then drawn, filling the remaining available slots in the groups.

Seeding pots

Pot 1: Eligible hosts
Mallorca Palma Futsal (ESP, Position 1)
Sporting CP (POR, 1)
Kairat Almaty (KAZ, 4)
Futsal Pula (CRO, 4)
Piast Gliwice (POL, 4)
Città di Eboli (ITA, 4)

Pot 2: Seeding positions 4 and 3
Dobovec (SVN)
United Galati (ROU)
Loznica-Grad 2018 (SRB)
Chrudim (CZE)

Pot 3: Seeding position 2
Sporting Anderlecht Futsal (BEL)
Novo Vrijeme Makarska (CRO)
Luxol St. Andrews (MLT)
Uragan lvano-Frankivsk (UKR)

Pot 4: Seeding position 1
Barça (ESP, holders)
Benfica (POR)