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04.09.2007, 12:37
"You must take a chance like this"
«Go back »Print Version


Danish right winger Christian Hjermind talks to Eurohandball.com about his return to Spanish top club, Ciudad Real.

» »2007-08 Men's CL
»Group Matches
»BM Ciudad Real
»
 

"You must take a chance like this"

It is normal for players to finish their careers in their home country. It means to have more time for family, seeing old friends and building the future after handball. Exactly this was the plan of Christian Hjermind (34) as well. After having great successes in foreign leagues, the Danish right winger returned home. After winning the Champions League with Ciudad Real, he signed for KIF Kolding.

Hjermind in the last 16 of the Champions League with KoldingHowever, a few months ago he received a phone call from his old club. The question was something like this: “We are looking for a successor of Mirza Dzomba who went back to Craotia. Are you interested in joining Ciudad Real again?”

Christian Hjermind did not need much time to think it over:

“When you get such a chance, you have to take it. It was an easy decision.” Hjermind and his family moved back to Spain. “For one season,” Hjermind says.

Now his team are preparing for the new season with the motto: “Five possible titles, five titles for us”.

“Yes, I returned to Ciudad Real to play in the Champions League again and to play in one of the best teams in the world.”

Hjermind and his team mates work hard, as their last season was not what they expected. They were eliminated by Portland in the quarterfinals of the Champions League and by Barcelona in the Spanish Cup. As a result, Hjermind and Ciudad are hungry and willing to get back some titles.

“Kiel had a fantastic season winning a triple, so we wish to play a similar role and also fight for the triple this season,” Hjermind says. However, he knows well: “When German and Spanish clubs play against each other, they are close to each other. There’s no favourite, any team can win. You also need luck to win, as most of the matches are decided in the last seconds.”

Hjermind knows both sides – Spanish and German – as he played for SG Flensburg-Handewitt as well, just on the other side of the Danish border.

Difficult fixtures

Kolding went out against Veszprém last year. Hjermind may reach more this season with CiudadKiel’s top scorer, Nikola Karabatic, who carried out the draw for the forthcoming CL season, prepared a very special surprise for Hjermind: Ciudad will play against Flensburg in the first group phase.

“I enjoy seeing all the people in Flensburg. This will be a very special feeling for me coming to the Campushalle where I spent five very successful years. The atmosphere is brilliant, but from a sportive point of view, it is very tough to play in the first round against such a good club. Flensburg were the hardest opponent in that pot.”

Hjermind thinks that both teams will qualify for the next round after all. They may even meet later on: “I think Flensburg are strong enough to reach the CL semi-finals again.”

The Danish player has the same opinion as his team mate, Olafur Stefansson. The Icelandic player told Eurohandball.com a couple of days ago:

“The last four teams in the Champions League will come again from Germany and Spain. Teams such as Celje, Montpellier or Veszprém are on a high level and are able to cause surprises, but at the end, the same teams will play the semis as last years: Kiel, Flensburg, Ciudad Real, Barcelona – and maybe Hamburg.”

In case Ciudad could reach the CL finals, those would be last matches for Hjermind with the Spanish club. So which would be his favourite opponent? Maybe Flensburg?

“In case we reach the finals, I don’t mind at all against which team we have to play,” he says.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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