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Meet the Futsal Champions League final four: Benfica, Palma, Sporting Anderlecht, Sporting CP

We introduce the teams that will compete in the knockout finals in May.

Benfica, Palma, Sporting Anderlecht and Sporting CP will compete in the knockout finals
Benfica, Palma, Sporting Anderlecht and Sporting CP will compete in the knockout finals SPORTSFILE

Some familiar names will compete with fresh forces in the UEFA Futsal Champions League finals on 4/5 and 6/7 May.

While two-time winners Sporting CP and 2010 champions Benfica are back again in the knockout showpiece, another pair of teams will be there for the first time. Mallorca Palma Futsal came through on debut while Sporting Anderlecht Futsal will end a 15-year Belgian wait for another semi-finalist after dramatically dethroning Barça.

The finals hosts and draw date are to be confirmed.

Finals contenders

Benfica (POR), Mallorca Palma Futsal (ESP), Sporting Anderlecht Futsal (BEL), Sporting CP (POR)

    Benfica

    Road to the finals
    Main round Group 4 winners (W3-1 vs Haladas, W4-1 vs Uragan Ivano-Frankivsk, W8-1 vs United Galati)
    Elite round Group C winners (D3-3 vs Chrudim, W6-0 vs Luxol St. Andrews, W2-1 vs Kairat Almaty)

    Top scorer: Vinicius Rocha 7
    Previous best
    : winners (2010)
    2021/22: third place (L4-5aet vs Barça, W5-2 vs ACCS)
    Semi-final record: W1 L3
    In brief: Aiming to join Portuguese rivals Sporting on two titles; runners-up in 2003/04 and winners in 2009/10 as hosts, they have lost three semi-finals since their home Lisbon triumph. Their squad includes several players among the winners of UEFA Futsal EURO 2018 and 2022, the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup and 2022 Futsal Finalissima with Portugal in André Sousa, Afonso Jesus and Bruno Coelho.

    Final tournament/two-legged final appearances
    2022: third place
    2021: quarter-finals
    2016: third place
    2011: fourth place
    2010: winners, hosts (W3-2aet vs Inter FS, Lisbon)
    2004: runners-up (L5-7agg vs Inter FS, two legs)

    2022 finals: Benfica take bronze

    Mallorca Palma Futsal

    Road to the finals
    Main round Group 1 winners (W11-5 vs Sporting Paris, D2-2 vs Kairat Almaty, D2-2 vs Sporting Anderlecht Futsal)
    Elite round Group B winners (W8-2 vs Dobovec, W5-0 vs Piast Gliwice, W2-1 vs Novo Vrijeme Makarska)

    Top scorer: Hossein Tayebi 5
    Previous best
    : Debut European season
    In brief: Squad includes Mario Rivillos, a 2017 winner and 2016 runners-up with Inter FS as well as 2018 bronze-medallist with Barça, as well as other players with finals experience in Tayebi (Kairat, 2017 third place & 2019 runners-up; Benfica, 2021 quarter-finals & 2022 third place), Chaguinha (Benfica, 2016 third place) and Marlon (Inter FS, 2019 fourth place). Palma have never won a major title, having been last season's Spanish league runners-up and 2015/16 Copa del Rey finalists, but neither had Ekaterinburg when they claimed the European crown in 2007/08.

    Sporting Anderlecht Futsal

    Road to the finals
    Main round Group 1 runners-up (D2-2 vs Kairat Almaty, W4-0 vs Sporting Paris, D2-2 vs Mallorca Palma Futsal)
    Elite round Group D winners (W3-2 vs Futsal Pula, D5-5 vs Barça, W9-0 vs United Galati)

    Top scorer: Diogo 5
    Previous best: Elite round
    2021/22: Elite round
    In brief: Rebranded from Halle-Gooik, who reached the elite round on all seven entries before their summer merger with football's Anderlecht, and pipped Barça on goal difference having come back from 5-2 down to draw their direct encounter. Now hoping to emulate 2004/05 winners Action 21 Charleroi, who were also Belgium's previous finals contenders when they reached the first four-team showpiece in 2006/07. Their experienced squad includes several with finals experience including Diogo, a two-time runner-up with Sporting CP, as well as 2016 FIFA Futsal World Cup winner Maximiliano Rescia of Argentina,

    Sporting CP

    Road to the finals
    Main round Group 2 winners (W5-3 vs Futsal Pula, W7-1 vs Ayat, W7-0 vs Novo Vrijeme Makarska)
    Elite round Group A winners (W4-2 vs Loznica-Grad 2018, W4-2 vs Uragan Ivano-Frankivsk, W5-0 vs Città di Eboli)

    Top scorers: Hugo Neves, Anton Sokolov 5
    Previous best: winners (2019, 2021)
    2021/22: runners-up (L0-4 vs Barça)
    Semi-final record: W6 L3
    In brief: Been in the final five times in six years, with a squad containing the core of the side who won UEFA Futsal EURO 2018 and 2022, the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup and 2022 Futsal Finalissima with Portugal. In the post-2006/07 finals for the ninth time, equalling the record of Barça and Kairat, and technically are setting a new mark of ten having also hosted the one-off eight-team showpiece in the inaugural edition of 2001/02.

    Previous final tournament appearances
    2022: runners-up: (L0-4 vs Barça, Riga)
    2021: winners (W4-3 vs Barça, Zadar)
    2019: winners (W2-1 vs Kairat, Almaty)
    2018: runners-up (L2-5 vs Inter FS, Zaragoza)
    2017: runners-up (L0-7 vs Inter FS, Almaty)
    2015: third place, hosts
    2012: fourth place
    2011: runners-up (L2-5 vs Montesilvano, Almaty)
    2002: semi-finalists, hosts

    2021 final: Barça 3-4 Sporting CP

    The final tournament had four teams from 2006/07 to 2019/20 and eight teams in 2001/02 and 2020/21. A two-legged final was played from 2002/03 to 2005/06, with two-legged semi-finals held in the last of those four seasons.

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