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The Palau Blaugrana has witnessed many successes over the years / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE

FC Barcelona may have been knocked out of soccer’s Champions League, but all four of the other professional teams are still in contention for their continental titles, and there is plenty to look forward to over the next few weeks. The roller hockey and futsal teams are already into their Final Fours, and the basketball and handball teams are both close to qualification for the same stage in their own sports.

Euroleague Final Four beckoning

Barça are 2-0 in their best-of-three Euroleague quarter final with Galatasaray of Turkey, and a win on Sunday will confirm their presence in Final Four in Milan. That game is at the Palau Blaugrana, and even if they lose, they’ll have two further chances, with game four, should it be required, also being played in Barcelona, and game five in Istanbul. It would be the fourteenth Final Four for two-time champions Barça.

Barça Alusport first up

The futsal team will be the first to play its Final Four. The venue is the Azerbaijani capital, Baku, where they’ll face host club Araz Naxçiva in the semi-final on Thursday 24 April (6.00 PM CET). If they win, they’ll face either Dynamo Moscow (Russia) or Kairat Almaty (Kazakhstan) in the final on Saturday 26.

This is be the third consecutive Final Four for the futsal team, who won the trophy for the first time in UEFA Futsal Cup in the Catalan city of Lleida, but last season went out in the semi-finals to Kazakh side AFC Kairat, 5-4.

Roller hockey on May 3 & 4

Barça’s roller hockey team are also well on course for yet another European crown. The side coached by Ricard Muñoz are into the final stages of the European League after comfortably beating Portuguese outfit Valongo in the quarters. At a venue as yet to be decided, Barça will face another side from Portugal, Benfica, in the semis-finals, the team that put FCB out of the competition in a penalty shootout at the same stage twelve months ago. If they manage to avenge that loss, in the final eight-time champions Barça will play the winners of another Catalonia v Portugal clash between Vendrell and Porto.

Rhineland challenge for handball team

Xavi Pascual’s handball team has the two legs of a quarter-final against Germany’s Rhein-Neckar Löwen to navigate in order to reach the Final Four of the EHF Champions League. The first is in Germany this Sunday (7.15 PM CET), and the return at the Palau will be on Saturday 26 (8.15 PM CET), for which a big turnout from the fans would a major boost to the team’s hopes.

FCB have already won the Spanish Liga Asobal withour losing a match to date, and are seeking their fourth Final Four in five years. In 2009/10, Barça lost the final against Kiel of Germany, and a year later won the title by beating fellow Asobal club Ciudad Real. In 2011/12, Barça missed out of the Final Four when they lost to Copenhagen in the quarters, and in last season’s final, they lost in overtime to Hamburg.

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