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The Euroleague Final Four is getting close as it all tips off on 19 May in the Stark Arena in Belgrade and ends just two days later on 21 May. Let's have a look at some of the facts surrounding the showdown:
1) The return of Real Madrid and Olympiacos. In Belgrade Barça and Anadolu Efes return after appearing in the same stage of the competition last season in Cologne. For their part Real Madrid and Olympiacos return to the final four after an absence of a season for the former and three season for the latter.
2) The Stark Arena the venue for the second time in four years. This year will be the second edition of the Euroleague Final Four in Belgrade with the first coming in 2018. The Stark Arena is a multi-use arena that has housed the Eurobasket tournament in 2005, the Davis Cup final in 2010 and the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 amongst other.
3) Mirotic and Jokubaitis, rewarded. Nikola Mirotic, with an average valuation of 19.4, has been chosen in the Euroleague starting five whilst the Lithuanian has been selected as the best player under the age of 22.
4) A special game for Higgins. The Belgrade event will be the sixth Final Four in a row for the Barça player. No other player has managed this feat before. This year will be even more significant for Higgins as he is returning from injury.
5) 16th appearance. Barça are making their 16th appearance in the Final Four. Only CSKA with 20 have made more. This year the blaugranes have made to this stage in the competition for the second season in a row under coach Saras Jasikevicius.
6) Second in a row. The blaugranes make their second consecutive appearance in the Final Four. Barça have reached the Final Four in 1989 (4t classificat), 1990 (2nd place), 1991 (2nd), 1994 (4th), 1996 (2nd), 1997 (2nd), 2000 (4th), 2003 (Champions), 2006 (4th), 2009 (3rd), 2010 (Champions), 2012 (3rd), 2013 (4th), 2014 (3rd), 2021 (2nd).
7) Objective: third win. The blaugranes will be looking for their third win in the Euroleague after victories at home in the Palau Sant Jordi in Barcelona in 2003 and the win in 2010 in Paris.
8) Fifth for Saras. The Barça coach has won four Euroleague titles as a player, one with Barça, two with Maccabi and another with Panathinaikos. Jasikevicius is the only player to have won the title with three different teams. If he take the title as coach in Belgrade, he will become just the fourth person to win the title as a player and coach.
9) Saras makes history. The Lithuanian, thanks to Barça's presence in the Final Four, becomes the first person to figure in at least three Final Fours as a player and three as a coach.
10) The return of the fans. This will be the first edition of the Final Four since 2019 in Vitoria with fans permitted inside the stadium.
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