UEFA Under-19 Futsal EURO 2022 final preview: Spain vs Portugal | European Under-19 Futsal Championship
UEFA European Under-19 Futsal Championship hosts Spain will defend their title against Portugal in Saturday’s final at the Olivo Arena in Jaén.
Spain clinched the inaugural title at Riga 2019 with five perfect wins (to match their three in qualifying), and started in similar style here with two tournament-record wins, 9-0 over Romania and 11-1 over Croatia, finalist of 2019..
However, the next two matches proved tougher tests, with Spain drawing 2-2 with Ukraine top of Group A on goal difference and then needing extra time before seeing Poland 5 -2 in a rematch of their 2019 semi-final.
Portugal are the team with a perfect campaign this time around. Top scorers in qualifying with 27 goals, they beat Poland 4-2, France 2-1 and Italy 6-1 before a 4-1 semi-final loss to Ukraine.
They are more than familiar opponents, with the duo having met six times since May last year. That month each won one win apiece in friendlies in Portugal, before Spain hosted their neighbors twice in December, a 1-1 draw followed by a 2-1 win at the outside. Then in March, Spain won 4-1 in Portugal the day before another 1-1 result.
Views of the camps
Albert Canillas, Spain coach: “Portugal and Spain know each other very well. We have played many friendlies against them, so there will be no surprises for both teams. It will be a very balanced game, very competitive, which will be decided by the small details.
Simão, Portuguese player“I think after every game we’ve improved and we’ll be at our peak in the final. We’ll face the game like it’s the game of our lives and we’ll play to win.”
Diogo Santos, Portuguese player: “We feel that through this competition we have evolved. Everyone trusts their colleagues, we are a family.”
- Spaniard Nicolás is the top scorer in the final with five goals, equaling compatriots Adrián Rodríguez and Antonio Pérez’s total in 2019. Nicolás is the only Spanish player from the 2019 squad to be involved again.
- Spain scored 27 goals in this final, already three more than their tally in Riga.
- Portugal scored 43 goals in total during the campaign (including qualifying, for which Spain were excused), more than any 2019 tally.
- This is a familiar final from the senior level. Spain beat Portugal 4-2 to win the Senior Men’s Futsal EURO in 2010, but Portugal avenged that loss 3-2 after extra time in the deciding match in 2018. They also eliminated Spain in the Amsterdam semi-finalists earlier this year on course to retain the title, which they added to the 2021 FIFA Futsal World Cup crown, having ousted their neighbors along the way. Meanwhile, Spain have beaten hosts Portugal in both Senior Women’s EURO finals, in 2019 and 2022.
- There were 91 goals in total in these finals; already 13 more than in 2019 even before the centerpiece.
Players are eligible to participate in the competition if they were born on or after January 1, 2002, the date originally set when the competition was scheduled to conclude with a final tournament in September 2021 (before postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic). The biennial competition will return to odd-numbered years from the next edition, with the final tournament in September 2023.