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24.08.2007, 10:43
"Better the Hunter than the Hunted"
«Go back »Print Version


Exclusive interview with Flensburg’s “Mr. Continuity”, Lars Christiansen.
 

"Better the Hunter than the Hunted"

He runs and runs and runs..... Lars Christiansen is like the old advertisement for the legendary VW Beetle in the 1970’s. The 35-year old left winger of SG Flensburg is “Mr. Continuity” in his club.

He started his career in Denmark, but he has been playing on the other side of the Danish border since 1996. The Danish international match record holder (249 caps) had a great share in all the titles SG won in this period: one German championship title, two CL finals, three German Cup In the CL Final against Kielvictories and a European Cup success. Christiansen was top scorer in the Bundesliga twice and he holds an eternal record in his club with 1294 goals in 503 matches.

And yet, Christiansen wants to “win titles”, as he said before the season. He is not willing to stop professional handball, especially as he has never been seriously injured in his whole career. In an exclusive interview with Eurohandball.com, the Dane with the permanent smile on his face talks about his future, the special affection to Flensburg and his “second job” as an owner of a “Hummel” store in Hamburg.

Eurohandball.com: Everybody says THW Kiel when asked about the favourite for the upcoming Bundesliga season. Can it be an advantage for SG Flensburg?

Christiansen: Of course. It is better to hunt then being hunted. I think we will belong to the favourites in the Bundesliga next season.

Eurohandball.com: Your club will play one of its official matches in Copenhagen, in your home country. What do you think about this plan?

Christiansen: I like the idea and I’m sure, that it makes sense. 800 to 1000 Danish spectators come for our home matches in Flensburg, so I think we will able to sell out all the tickets in Copenhagen as well.

Flensburg could almost send on court a complete Danish national teamEurohandball.com: Men’s handball is developing quickly in Denmark. Do you think SG Flensburg is still the best “Danish club”?

Christiansen (laughing): Yes, still. We can see this when we play against Danish clubs. We always beat them. But it’s right, there is no other club with more Danish national players than Flensburg.

Eurohandball.com: How did you manage to complete this long period of professional handball without a serious injury?

Christiansen: This is a matter of skills combined with luck. Yes, I had luck in a lot of situations.

Eurohandball.com: On 30 August, you are going to open a Hummel sports store in Hamburg. Is this the first step towards a life after handball? Or how long do you want to play?

Christiansen: I want to play as long as I have fun with handball and I’m still able to perform on a similar level. At the moment everything is alright, so I don’t think about ending my career.

No doubt: Christiansen still enjoys handballEurohandball.com: The store is in Hamburg. Do you think people will give certain looks to you if Flensburg wins against HSV?

Christiansen:I have no doubt about this. There’s a very good and friendly relationship between Flensburg and Hamburg. Handball is a sport where players and supporters know the difference between things that happen during the 60 minutes on court and the rest of their lives. But maybe it’s different in Hamburg (smiles)… I have to see, I never had a store in Hamburg before.

Eurohandball.com: You will start your 12th year in Flensburg. What makes this club so special?

Christiansen: Flensburg has always been the absolute top for me. The club was the one I was looking for. We have great challenges and great development in the last years, everything – including the team building strategy – is perfect.

Exclusive environment for handballEurohandball.com: It is not usual nowadays that players stay at one club for such a long time. Did you have a special reason for this?

Christiansen: Flensburg has everything I was searching for and not only concerning handball. I like this city very much.

Eurohandball.com: You will play against former winner, Ciudad Real, in the Champions League. What are your expectations from these matches?

Christiansen: Ciudad Real are the greatest task and the biggest burden in the first group phase. After these matches we will know where we stand in Europe and where our way will lead us this season.

Eurohandball.com: Your former team mate, Christian Hjermind, plays for Ciudad Real again. Looking forward to see him again?

Christiansen: Yes, of course. It’s always great to meet old mates. For five years we played together in Flensburg, for ten years in the national team. But he’s not the only one I like to meet as there are other Danish players in Ciudad Real as well.

Eurohandball.com: Flensburg – as Germans say – dance on three weddings (league, cup and CL). At how many weddings will you dance in April 2008?

Shooting for the CL trophy this year again?Christiansen: We have already won two titles this season: We won the preparation tournaments “Hummel Charity Cup” and the Jacob Cement Cup”, so there is only one title missing (he smiles). That was a joke. We want one title this season, this is our main objective. Which title this will be, we’ll see.

Eurohandball.com: What would you prefer: winning the Bundesliga or reaching the CL Final?

Christiansen:This is a very easy question: Bundesliga. We played already two CL finals, but did not win unfortunately. If I should choose between the German championship and the CL trophy, I would take the second one.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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