Futsal champions Luxol St Andrews have been given a lucrative draw in this season’s Champions League competition when they were drawn to face holders Barcelona, Slovenia’s Dobovec and Zvv Hovocubo, of the Netherlands, in the Main Round.
The tournament will be played in Malta between October 25 and 28.
Luxol St Andrews earned the right to play in the Main Round of UEFA’s most prestigious club competition on the back of some impressive results achieved in Europe in recent years that enabled them to amass enough points to boost their co-efficient and avoid playing in the preliminary round.
This is the first time that a Maltese club will be facing a top European side like Barcelona in a UEFA Futsal competition.
The Blaugrana were crowned European champions for the fourth time in their history last May when they beat Sporting Lisbon 4-0 in the final.
“For us, this is a very prestigious draw,” Joseph Aquilina, Luxol St Andrews chairman, told the Times of Malta.
“So far, no club in Malta has hosted a team of the calibre of Barcelona in Malta. Our club has made giants strides forward in European futsal since our debut in 2015.
“We started ranked 54th in Europe but the team enjoyed a lot of success over the years, qualifying past the Preliminary Round on several occasions. #
“Last year, we competed in the Main Round tournament in Malta and just missed out on reaching the Elite Round for a point after placing joint-second.
“That performance enabled us to gain more points and today we are 17th in Europe which handed us a berth in the Path A of the Champions League.
“For us this is a great opportunity and the club is already working hard to ensure we arrive for this tournament with the best possible squad of players.”
Aquilina said that Luxol’s upcoming participation in the Main Round has an added incentive as a strong performance in the tournament could see them progress to an historic berth in the Elite Round which sees the top 16 teams in Europe fighting for the title.
“This tournament is going to be a great challenge for us,” Aquilina said.
“We have a great opportunity to rewrite not only our club’s history but also that of futsal in Malta. In fact, qualification to the Last 16 of the competition would be something no Maltese club has ever achieved.
“We are aware that Barcelona are stronger than us but we have already faced Dobovec two seasons ago and only lost to them in the final seconds of the match while I also believe that we can offer a good challenge to Dutch club Hovocubo.
“Obviously, our main goal at the moment is to strengthen the team with quality foreign players that hopefully can help our club achieve an unprecedented result in the history of Maltese futsal.”