The Spanish futsal team wrote its two most brilliant pages thousands of kilometers from our country. If in 2000, more than 8,000 kilometers away in Guatemala, he achieved his first stardom by defeating Brazil 4-3; In 2004, it came second in Taiwan with more than 10,000 spectators, defeating Italy in the final (2-1). In 2024, the challenge to reach third place will take place in Tashkent, capital of Uzbekistan, with about 8,500 from Spain as a reference (kilometer zero). A world championship that will take place between September 14th and October 6th.
Spain comes to the Uzbekistan event as the second best team in the world. We are only surpassed by Brazil, who lead us by 75 points, having overtaken current world champions Portugal by 27 points as 2023 draws to a close. A year in which the team, led by Fede Vidal and with the invaluable help of Albert Canillas, completed an almost perfect classification: with five wins and a draw in the “Elite Round” and completed the four victories in the “Main Round against Cyprus and Moldova.
Fede Vidal, national coach, Therefore, take stock of what has been achieved in 2023 and set your sights on 2024: “We must take positive stock of 2023, a year in which we worked based on the classification. We have achieved the goal, which is becoming more and more demanding in a sport.” “It grows every year. We know that the World Cup is the big challenge for this team and we will work hard for it. Every year there are more teams with options, it becomes more difficult, but the players, the coaching staff and the fans want it very much,”
Currently seven teams have already qualified: Uzbekistan in its capacity as host country, New Zealand as representative of the Oceanic Confederation and the five European countries that did so directly: Spain, France, Kazakhstan, Portugal and Ukraine. There are therefore 17 places available. two more Europeans in the playoffs on April 8 and 17; four will be for Conmebol, which will be made clear in Copa América futsal between January and February; four Asians at the Asian Cup, which takes place from April 17 to 28; three Africans in the Africa Cup of Nations and four for Concacaf in the Futsal Championship. Some of these competitions cause great controversy because the representatives of the different confederations understand that FIFA has given up on them and only cares about them when they have to face a World Cup qualifier.
CLÀUDIA PONS WORLD CHALLENGE
The women’s team, three-time European championsIt too faces a global challenge. Together with Portugal, they compete in the “EliteRound”, in which the eight best teams in Europe, divided into two groups, compete for the four places that FIFA allocates to European teams. The top two in each group qualify.
Everything indicates that, unless the world panorama changes in the coming months, these four places will have to be given to Clàudia Pons, Portugal, Ukraine and Hungary, which are currently the four best teams, with the exception of the sanctioned Russia.
Spain, which ended the year with a win and a draw against Italy on transalpine soil, comes at a great moment for 2024, as Clàudia Pons confirms. “The balance is positive. A lot was shown in all facets of the game. There were moments when we suffered and we also lacked the determination that we lacked in the last few games,” explained the coach after the games in Italy.
CONTINUE BE THE KINGS OF EUROPE
Spanish futsal dominates Europe at club level. If FC Barcelona won the UEFA Futsal champions in 2022, it will be Illes Balears (Mallorca) Palma Futsal in 2023 that will have the opportunity to defend their title this year against Barça and the two best Portuguese teams of recent times: Sporting Clube de Portugal and SL Benfica.
UEFA’s naming of the organization after Yerevan, captain of Armenia, as the host of this “Final Four” has caused the four teams to express their protest, both individually and collectively, against a venue that is more than 6,000 kilometers away from the four participants, which for them is a Movement of hobbies will be a problem. However, despite their claims, the four assume that they will play in Armenia and the Spanish teams will try to retain the title in our country.
The WEC got away from them
As UEFA makes official the first UEFA Futsal Champions Women’s Championship, the WEC (Women’s European Championship), With its friendly nature, it is the only competition that allows the best clubs in Europe to compete with each other.
And this year what happened again the year before happened, that the Spanish representative did not play in the final. In 2022, Futsi Atlético Navalcarnero was eliminated by SL Benfica, and this time an unfavorable combination of results with an unexpected defeat against Bitonto eliminated the Spanish champions Pescados Rubén Burela. In the list of winners, the champions SL Benfica follow the Italians Città di Falconara.