Only a month after the EMF Champions League has finished in Terme Čatež, the best of Europe is preparing for the start of the WMF World Cup on the 6th of October. Out of the nine nations being part of the WMF World Cup – Romania, Czech Republic, Russia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Portugal, Kazakhstan, Hungary, Spain, France – six of them were also represented at the EMF Champions League by their best teams, amongst the 76 teams participating.
Bosnia and Herzegovina were represented by seven teams at the competition. The most successful one was, without a doubt, ECOS who marched right into the final after winning 6 of their seven matches. In the final, it took Montenegrin Dadi/Eurozox NO-MI a penalty shootout to get a victory over them.
Hungary brought 8 teams to Slovenia this year, amongst them the former ECL Champions Aramis SE – Mad Dogs. This year they bid farewell to the Champions League in the group of 32 after an unfortunate penalty shootout against Juventus Sibiu. Karmacsi Autó-GBB and National Iron Team got to be part of the Last 16 phase, proving that Hungary will have a strong team at the World Cup as well.
Portugal was represented by two teams at the competition. While L Lourosa FC/ Florgrade didn’t make it pass the group stage, Bonde Sem Freio made one step more and only said goodbye after an intense match at the qualification round for the last 32, where they lost 2:3 against Polimark Unisol Group.
The Czech Republic, the former host of the EMF Euro 2017, had three teams playing at the Champions League. Two of the teams were eliminated in the qualification stage for the Best 32, while their best team, Restaurace u Pecků Praha has gone to the phase of best 16, before losing against Romanian Ary&Roby. All the Czech teams showed real strength and potential on the fields, the national team has once again serious chances to take a medal home from the WMF World Cup.
Romania introduced 9 of their strongest teams to the audience of the Champions League. In line with the expectations and their reputation, once again they proved to have a fair place amongst the very best of Europe. Last year’s runner-up, Juventus Sibiu came fourth at this year’s edition, while fellow countrymen MAV Glissando finished third. With Golden Boys and CS Luceafarul Cluj Napoca also between the best 8 teams of the EMF Champions League, Romania showed just how good of a player-supply they have to choose from for the WMF World Cup.
Last but not least, from the nations participating at both the WMF World Cup and ECL Spain had three teams in Slovenia. Their best, Recambios Pando bid farewell to the competition after losing against Ireland’s Transylvania FC in the group of best 32.
On behalf of EMF and the organising team, Andrej Manfreda would like to “thank all the players, team delegates and team leaders for participation. We [the organising team] did our best and apologise if something went wrong.”
“Special thanks to the ECL staff and to the EMF members, Minifootball Associations’ leadership, who invested a lot of energy and time to bring their teams, and to help ECL17 became an interesting event.”
“We would like to invite everyone to the ECL 2018. We will work hard for a year to make ECL 2018 very successful. Until then we invite team leaders to participate in building the event better, and send us their opinion, suggestions, thoughts and remarks to [email protected] or by messaging EMF’s official Facebook site” – Andrej Manfreda added.