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30.08.2007, 15:25
The EHF Champions League introduces - part 2
«Go back »Print Version


Eurohandball.com launches new interview series for season 2007/08. In the first four weeks, we will introduce you life and handball in FC Barcelona through László Nagy, who talks about his career, experience and also about the CL Qualifiers.
 

EHF Champions League introduces:

László Nagy (FC Barcelona) – part 2/4

László Nagy talks about FC Barcelona with great affectionDespite his young age, born in 1981, László Nagy is the second longest serving current Barcelona player (after goalkeeper Barrufet). The Hungarian was transferred to the Catalonians in 2000 and he has soon become a standard player of the team. His most important titles with the club are Spanish Championship (2002/03 and 2005/06), EHF Cup (2002/03) and most of all, the Champions League trophy (2004/05).

Barcelona won the first leg of the CL Qualification match in Portugal against ABC Braga. First of all, László Nagy comments on this game, but then Eurohandball.com asks him what it means for an athlete to be part of FC Barcelona.

Eurohandball.com: Yesterday’s 28-26 Barcelona victory against the Portuguese side suggests great battle. What was the game like?

The 18-year old talent arrived to a successful team László Nagy: It was more difficult than we expected. We met a very well prepared team that made good use of playing on home court. Nevertheless, we are satisfied with the victory. We were already leading by six goals, but they came back to two at the end. Our objective was to qualify for the Champions League with two victories and we made the first step.

Eurohandball.com: Let’s go back to more remote memories now and continue with your experience at FC Barcelona. As you said, you were very young when you arrived to Barcelona. Any sports fan would imagine FC Barcelona as a huge club with many successful teams. What did you expect when you arrived?

László Nagy: I had great expectations, of course. I was 18 when I was signed by the club and I knew – even if we talk only in terms of handball – that this was the most successful club ever with world-class players.

Responsibility: Nagy had to replace UrdangarinThe club, the environment and the mentality of the people are extraordinary. I could never have imagined anything like this before. It is a dream for any 18-year old player; it was a dream to me.

Eurohandball.com: And there were great expectations from the other side as well…

László Nagy: I had a difficult task ahead. I had to replace a successful player, part of the Royal Family, Iñaki Urdangarin. I found myself in the starting line-up all of a sudden to my greatest surprise.

The first year was critical, I had to fit in. It was difficult without my family, but the team made it easier for me. The stars I met here are special people: special in a positive sense. It was a real surprise that in a club with 5 Champions League titles a young player is treated this way.

Eurohandball.com: The slogan of FC Barcelona is “Més que un club” (more than a club). What did or does this slogan mean for you?

Brazilian influence on the handballer: Rivaldo (photo by courtesy of www.fcbarcelona.cat)László Nagy: Many people don’t believe me when I say, but I was a Barcelona fan even before coming here. I’m not an expert, but I like football and this was my favourite club. Probably because of the Brazilian football star, Rivaldo, who played for the football side those years.

Anyway, at first I did not understand what this slogan means. Step by step I saw what huge forces stand behind FCB and I also saw the people whose lives are determined by this club. I’m sure that the blood of these people is not red, but red and blue.

Eurohandball.com: The club is also known for its perfect conditions and infrastructure for the athletes. How is life there?

László Nagy: The club has a firm financial background; you don’t have to worry about that. All you need to do is to concentrate on sports. We have great equipments and a fantastic medical staff behind us.

Fabulous atmosphere at the top matchesOur team plays the matches in Palau Blaugrana, a hall with a capacity of 8,000. The arena is filled for the most important Champions League games and many people come to see us when we play before the football game.

Eurohandball.com: Is there cohesion in the club between the various successful sports disciplines such as basketball, football and handball?

László Nagy: We use the same sports complex. It is a huge area and our sports hall is close to the football stadium. The players often meet in the medical centre as well, and there are occasions when we represent the club together. Every year – around March or April – we visit children in hospitals together. We also meet at the club’s Christmas party. It has a great atmosphere.

Eurohandball.com: Barcelona is a big city unlike small but beautiful Szeged. Could you get used to living there?

László Nagy: Who says he cannot, is lying. This is a splendid city with a wonderful atmosphere. I arrived in 2000 and I have a contract until 2013.

Nagy in the background: the CL victory in 2005Eurohandball.com: You signed this contract after a CL victory…

László Nagy: Yes, originally, my contract was valid until 2007 and we signed until 2013 after the Champions League victory in 2005. It was preceded by very quick negotiations.

Eurohandball.com: is this CL victory your most important title?

László Nagy: I won two Spanish championships and an EHF Cup as well. These are the most important ones for me, but the Champions League is on the top of my ranking. I scored 9 goal is the final and I’m proud of this achievement.

The friend, Romero, also had to suffer for the CL title in 2005The whole year was very hard. We have beaten Ciudad Real in the final by one goal in aggregate – the decisive one was scored by Iker Romero. We calculated after the seasn that we lost 14 matches in the Asobal and in the CL that season, Ciudad Real lost only two, but we clinched the CL trophy at the end.

Eurohandball.com: You mentioned Iker Romero, who is probably your best friend. Who are your mates in the team?

László Nagy: Yes, Romero is perhaps my best friend here, Victor Thomas is also a very good friend, but I can’t say more names. I have a very good relationship with all the others and I don’t want to leave anyone out…


…Though László Nagy did not want to say more names this time, next week we will try again. We will ask him about the promising new squad of FC Barcelona and we will also talk about the players who just joined the team during the summer. Don’t forget to check out the next part of our series!

Previously:

EHF Champions League introduces: László Nagy – part 1/4


TEXT: Eurohandball.com
 
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