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The 2015 FIFPro Tournament has gotten off to an exhilarating start. The preliminaries and last 16 rounds have contained excitement, skill and entertainment and allowed participants to show the best of themselves.

This weekend on Friday 10 and Saturday 11 July eight teams have their chance to show their skills and advance to the FIFPro Tournament Final weekend on 16 and 18 July in Rijnsburg, the Netherlands.

 

Austria-Spain

The quarter finals kick off this Friday evening in Drassburg, near Vienna. The team from Austria, representing the Vereinigung Der Fussballer (VdF), faces off against two-time defending champion Spain.

The Austrians are one of two remaining sides to have played two official games in this year’s tournament, winning in penalties each time, against Ukraine and Belgium. The side, which has had to replace six players who have signed contracts already this tournament, is a pleasant surprise and will look to continue its run with a victory on Friday.

On the other side, the Spanish side showed its skill and tactical nous in its 2-1 victory over Greece in the previous round. Though it had to replace its coach this week (Victor Fernandez signed with FC Cartagena) its place as defending champions makes Team AFE the nominal favorites in Austria. The new manager, Oscar Arpon, must be careful not to underestimate his sides foes, least they lose their Finals Tournament opportunity.

 

On 11 July three matches will played. Poland will play Serbia in Wodzislaw Slaski, near Krakow. France will play Slovenia in Morangis, near Paris while the Swiss side will host the Czech Republic in Niederhasli, near Zurich.

 

Poland-Serbia

The Poles are coming off an astounding 3-0 triumph over Denmark while the Serbians beat Montenegro 2-0 in Podgorica. With both sides showing such impressive qualities in their first official match, this game is rife with intrigue and each side will be wary of the others’ capabilities. Poland may have a slight advantage with playing at home but Serbia has shown last week that away conditions do not affect its squad. The home team will hope that it can mirror last week’s strong performance.

 

France-Slovenia

France and Slovenia are two sides on the opposite side of the spectrum from Poland and Serbia. They are teams which are happy to have advanced, both going through in the previous round by penalty shootout. In this match each team will look to increase their output and solidify their defence. The questions abound; will France protect better against the counter attack and can they convert more chances into goals? Can Slovenia organise themselves better defensively against a strong French attack? These questions breed anticipation and promise a surprising match which will be a treat for onlookers.

 

Czech Republic-Switzerland

Finally, Switzerland and the Czech Republic will play in a match of squads which have surprised some with their advancements. In their last 16 round matches both were considered underdogs, to the Netherlands and Portugal respectively, but both dispatched their opponents, setting up this intriguing matchup.

The Czechs are the other side who has played two official matches, dispatching Romania in their first game before the aforementioned victory over Portugal. This preparation may indeed prove valuable for the Czechs but they face an organised Swiss side which easily beat the Netherlands, who are to host the Finals Tournament. These conflicting positives spell an unpredictable game which can go both ways. How will new players in the Czech squad such as Jiri Jarosik affect the team dynamic? Can the Swiss break down the Czech defence if Portugal could not?

 

Storylines flourish in this, the quarterfinal round of the FIFPro Tournament. Each game promises to be unique and provide something different for the onlookers.

 All matches are free entry and supporters as well as scouts and club representatives are encouraged. Please contact FIFPro for more information.

 

For additional inquiries and further information, please call FIFPro:

+31 23 5546970

Raymond Beaard at r.beaard@fifpro.org

Mitch McAnally at m.mcanally@fifpro.org