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30.04.2008, 12:35
Experts' Column: Pastor and Brand on the final
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The Spanish and German national coaches share their thoughts with Eurohandball.com before the CL Final.
 

Experts' Column: Pastor and Brand on the final

The highlight of the Men’s Champions League season is coming up with the clash of the winners of the last two CL editions, the Spanish and the German champions.

Spanish coach, Juan Carlos Pastor 
...and his German counterpart, Heiner Brand 

Before Ciudad Real meet Kiel, Eurohandball.com talks to the coaches of the Spanish and German national teams, Juan Carlos Pastor and Heiner Brand, to know what they expect from the Final coming up on Sunday evening.

Eurohandball.com: What do you think about the two sides? Did they improve as a team respect to last season?

Juan Carlos Pastor: I think Ciudad Real are more settled thanks to last year´s work. Their major problem has been a great number of injuries in the squad

Heiner Brand: Kiel have also improved a bit. They show perfection sometimes. They improved in attack; with Karabatic and Jicha they have power and they play a fast game. It is difficult to stop them.

Eurohandball.com: What was your impression about the performance of the teams seen in the CL?

Juan Carlos Pastor: They have done quite well so far. The mosf difficult match for Ciudad was the secong match against Hamburg.

Heiner Brand: They showed a great performance. Their best match was the semi-final against Barcelona in Kiel. They won by 10 goals against a good team, but they also could have won by 13 or 14 goals.

Eurohandball.com: What do you think about the opponents? Do you agree that this is the strongest possible final?

Juan Carlos Pastor: Yes, but Ciudad Real are the team that will be able to face them. It will be an exciting final.

Heiner Brand: HSV are on the level of Ciudad and the semi-final was open until the end. Players such as Stefansson or Rutenka are really great, but they are not so strong as a team. I believe that Kiel have better physical qualities and maybe more self-confidence. They are fighters for all the 60 minutes of the game.

Karabatic was decisive last year and Brand expects him to repeat his good performanceEurohandball.com: What about the chances in the CL Final? Who are the favourites?

Juan Carlos Pastor: The chances are fifty-fifty. The victory will be decided on small details.

Heiner Brand: I believe that Kiel have better chances. I would say 70% for them.

Eurohandball.com: The first game will be played in Spain. Is this an important factor? Is it possible that the first game will bring decision already?

Juan Carlos Pastor: Ciudad Real usually prefer to play the first match at home. I don´t think that the final will be decided in a single match. Probably, there won´t be more than four goals of difference.

Heiner Brand: The first match can only decide if a team win by ten goals. It will not happen this time...

Eurohandball.com: Which players can be the stars of the CL Finals?

Sterbik in the goal may be a key player for Ciudad - Pastor saysJuan Carlos Pastor: There are great players on both sides. It could be Sterbik, Rutenka, Urios or Enterrios from Ciudad Real; Omeyer, Karabatic or Jicha from Kiel.

Heiner Brand: There are so many stars that it is difficult to say. If we look at the whole season then it could be Karabatic.

Eurohandball.com: What do you expect from the first match?

Juan Carlos Pastor: A great show for the fans and a good match.

Heiner Brand: Anything can happen in the first game. It could be three goals for Ciudad Real, or even a victory for Kiel.


TEXT: Eurohandball.com
 
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