Luxol host European champions Barcelona in UEFA Futsal Champions League mini-tournament

Luxol St. Andrews Futsal Club will be hosting the UEFA Futsal Champions League Main Round Path A Group 3 mini-tournament between October 25 and 30 at the University Sports Complex.

A third-time event held in Malta, first-ever with the Maltese representatives hosting this event pitted from Path A in a Group 3 also comprising Slovenian Champions Dobovec, Dutch representatives Hovocubo, and reigning European Champions Barçelona (Spain).

Addressing a press conference following Luxol’s Super Cup success on Friday when they defeated University of Malta 11-1 and ahead of a brief training experience in Poland over the coming days where they will play friendly matches against Polish Champions Piast Gliwice, were Luxol officials Mireille and Joe Aquilina, in their roles of Event Coordinator and Chairman of the club, President Mario Vella, and Technical Director Nathaniel Jones.

Nathaniel Jones highlighted the fact this could be a unique opportunity for Luxol Futsal to write history and progress to the Elite Round with the best sixteen teams in Europe, being that three of four teams in this Group 3 held in Malta will be granted qualification.

He added that this tournament will arguably represent the highest standards in terms of international Futsal being that reigning European Champions Barcelona will also be involved. He also presented new signings for this UEFA competition, Slovenian Dejan Bizjak and four Brazilian newcomers, Diece, Rodrigo Fumaca, Victor Dias and goalkeeper Celio Cabral.

Other signings for this Euro experience include homegrown Luke Gatt, Andre Ciancio, Gregory Busuttil, and Ryan Marmara.

The Luxol Technical Director added that the skills and knowledge of the game by new additions, also engaged with the attributes of coach Gabriel Dobre, and established players in the team including Mark Zammit, Stefan Vella, Emil Raducu, Everton Veve, Maicon Da Silva, and Celino Alves, will surely render this group of athletes the best possibility of writing history and qualify to the Elite Round of this well-regarded competition.

Club chairman Joe Aquilina affirmed that friendly matches in Poland later this week will surely serve to gauge where the team currently stands.

With regards to the UEFA tournament, Aquilina announced that the sale of tickets will cover all six matches.

“We want people to enjoy a good three days of competitive high-level Futsal, moreover support the home team during the two more balanced games”.

President Mario Vella also highlighted the logistics requirements to host a tournament of this sort, saying that this is the end result of the collective effort of a group of people who passionately give their all to see this Futsal club grow.

“This is a team well prepared for elite European level,” added Vella who thanked the sponsors for their trust and for being part of this event.

Minister for Tourism Clayton Bartolo said “Sports tourism is a sterling opportunity to promote the Maltese Islands. Investing in athletes and promotion through Visit Malta are pivotal to our strategy competitiveness of generating incremental tourism throughout the year”.

Permanent Secretary within the Ministry for Education, Sport, Youth, Research and Innovation Matthew Vella added that sports give the opportunity to reap what you sow, and all efforts in recent years undertaken by Luxol are a huge inspiration to other clubs in various disciplines to set the ball rolling and step up to be successful.

Vella also encouraged the Maltese public to be part of this event and push Luxol Futsal Club forward in their pursuit of making history and become the first ever Maltese club to qualify from this UEFA Champions League Main Round, thereafter join the best sixteen teams in the next Elite Round of competition.