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19.03.2008, 13:03
Kiel vs Barcelona: an historic battle
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Read about the CL past of the two teams and find the comments of Enric Masip and coach Cadenas.
 

Kiel vs Barcelona: an historic battle

Kiel and Barcelona are not the perfect strangers. The two great clubs have played marvellous games in the knock-out phase of previous CL seasons.

Xepkin and Masip can tell the team about the matches from the pastBy looking at the statistics, the Spanish club was more successful so far. Nevertheless, this semi-final seems to be very equal as Barcelona will play the second leg in the Palau, which is an important detail.

The Champions League has seen this pairing three times so far and these games brought three victories for Barcelona. On all occasions, the second leg was played in the Palau Blau Grana.

It means that the statistics look favourable for the Catalonians who always reached the final of this competition after playing against Kiel and they even won to CL titles in these years.

The first duel of the teams was in 1999/2000. The Spanish and German teams faced each other in the final of the CL and Barcelona got the trophy. Kiel were better in Germany and won by 28:25, but Barcelona’s time arrived in the Palau. They won 29:24 in Barcelona and the Valero Rivera team took the title. This was the last one for the “Dream Team” including Barrufet, Masip, Xepkin, Guijosa, Ortega and the others…

Barcelona won the last Champions League in 2004/05 as well. Kiel and Barcelona met in the quarterfinals and it was a very equal duel. The Germans defeated the Spanish side by 30:25 in Kiel, but once again the second leg was the key. Barcelona won 33-27 and reached the semi-finals. At the end, Barcelona won the CL by beating Ciudad Real in the final.

Season 2000-01 was different. The “Dream Team” of Valero Rivera defeated Kiel in the semi-finals, but lost the final. Portland won the title, but the Catalonians knocked Kiel out. As usual, this was also a very equal battle that Barcelona decided in the Palau. Kiel won by 28-24 in Germany and Barcelona by 33-28 in Spain. This was the beginning of the end for the great Barcelona of Valero Rivera.

Kiel are the best

The big generation won two titles after beating KielFormer Barcelona player and current club manager, Enric Masip, also commented the pairing on the website of FC Barcelona.

“Kiel are the champions and is the best team in this moment. It is one of the most attractive matches possible in the today’s handball. We must be very strong with a hard defence. We have to stop them playing their handball and score easily. They score a lot of goals and play with a lot of fast breaks. The best news is that the second game will be in Barcelona”.

The Spanish coach, Manuel Cadenas, remembered that Barcelona never won in Kiel:

“They are very strong. Kiel’s squad is formed by the best players of Europe. Kiel play very fast, but Lövgren is able to control the game and play quietly. They are very athletic and Omeyer is one of the best goalkeepers in the world.

“Serdarusic is a very experienced coach. They have been trying to win the CL for some seasons and they got it last year. This makes them stronger.”


TEXT: Fernando Urra Goñi
 
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