January 30, 2018
Slovenia will take on Serbia as the UEFA Futsal Euro 2018 opens in Ljubljana's Stožice Arena today, the STA reports on January 30, 2018. A total of 20 matches will be played until the final day on 10 February, with Spain defending their European champions title from two years ago.
The opening day is almost sold out, more than 10,000 spectators expected, including UEFA president Aleksander Čeferin and former football stars Luis Figo of Portugal and Dejan Stanković of Serbia.
It will be the 11th edition of the European Championship in futsal, a variant of association football played on a hard court, smaller than a football pitch, and mainly indoors.
The tournament will feature 12 teams divided into four groups, with the best two teams from each group advancing into the quarter-finals, to be played on 5 and 6 February.
Group A features hosts Slovenia, Serbia and Italy, Group B Russia, Kazakhstan and Poland, Group C Portugal, Ukraine and Romania, and Group D defending champions Spain, Azerbaijan and France.
Slovenia will be looking to at least match its best success to date at European futsal championships, the quarter-finals appearance four years ago in Belgium.
Book makers have put Spain as the main favourites, followed by Russia and Portugal with the main star of the tournament and arguably the best futsal player in the world Ricardinho.
It will be the last Futsal Euro to be held every two years and with 12 teams, with the next tournament to be held four years later and with 16 teams.