Golden Goodbye of Top Scorer
The Women’s Champions League has come to a spectacular end with a high quality final between Slagelse and Lada Togliatti. There were a couple of outstanding performances in both teams: Postnova, Bliznova, Marennikova on the Russian side; Leganger, Lungu or Turey on the other. The top scorer of the finals was Bojana Popovic with 18 goals on her own, but this is no surprise at all. The Serbian star of Slagelse has become top scorer of the entire Champions League season with 96 goals - for the third time in her career. She tells eurohandball.com how…
Bojana Popovic: We played a very good game in Russia and the result was also okay for us. It was our third CL Final already, so we have experience and we know that we always perform better at the second matches. It gave us self-confidence.
eurohandball.com: The match and the cup have been decided quite early…
Bojana Popovic: We knew our opponent and we knew that they are a very good team. They have many good and young players. We chose the right tactics, our defence worked well and our fast breaks were dangerous. The match was practically decided at 8-1.
eurohandball.com: The Champions League started with difficult matches for Slagelse, but you were able to time your top form well. How was it possible?
Bojana Popovic: The team worked hard and we worked the right way. We had injuries last year and we could not play with a complete team. This year was different and we could time our form for the most important phase of the season.
eurohandball.com: Still, there must be a secret… What is yours?
Bojana Popovic: We know what to do and we prepare for every single game. I just enjoy handball, I love to play. I play it with my heart as if every match would be a final. I always count back the days to my next match.
eurohandball.com: Anja Andersen seems to prepare the team perfectly for the big matches. What is so special about her?
Bojana Popovic: She is really special. She was a great player and she knows everything about handball. She understands it very well and only after five minutes of play she knows what we must do, what we have to change to win.
She has a great knowledge about the game, but she also understands the players well. She is different with anyone depending on the players themselves.
eurohandball.com: The team seems to have a good relationship on court. What about off court?
Bojana Popovic: I have never seen a team like this before. There is a family atmosphere, we spend a lot of time together and we talk about other things than handball as well.
eurohandball.com: And you are leaving this team at the end of the season. You were apparently moved during the celebrations.
Bojana Popovic: I was so sad before the game. I tried to think about the final and not about the fact that it is going to be my last match in Slagelse. I was sad to see all those people who love me knowing that I’m leaving.
After the match I should have been happy for the victory, but I was even more downhearted that it was my last game here.
eurohandball.com: Finally, to talk about something positive, you have become the top scorer of the Champions League. Did you follow the ranking?
Bojana Popovic: I did not think about it. I only saw at the end that I was there. I always do things to win, not to be a top scorer. It just happens.
eurohandball.com: What motivates you after reaching practically everything that is possible on club level?
Bojana Popovic: I love to play handball and I like to stay on top. I’m happy that I found so many friends in Slagelse in the last five years and perhaps it is even more important than the Champions League itself.
I really found many friends, and I’m happy to have met Anja Andersen. We are really close to each other, I learnt a lot from her. Our relationship will last for sure despite leaving the club.