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31.08.2010, 10:09
New Captain, New President, Previous Objectives
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VELUX EHF Men's Champions League countdown, part 3: FC Barcelona-Borges (ESP)
 

New Captain, New President, Previous Objectives

Seven EHF Champions League finals, five titles – FC Barcelona-Borges is still the record holder of the most important club competition of the world as well as Spanish titles.

In 2010 they were close to their seventh EHF CL title, but THW Kiel turning around the game in the last minutes at the first ever EHF FINAL4 stopped the dream of the Catalans in the LANXESS Arena in Cologne.

Especially bitter for goalkeeping legend David Barrufet who played his last ever match in his long lasting and highly successful career with the world record of 71 national and international titles.

This season Barcelona is starting a new attempt to grow their trophy cabinet in their legendary museum in the Camp Nou football arena.

But facing the opponents of next season’s EHF Champions League Group Phase the club representatives were really shocked and called Group A "the group of death".

Coach Xavi Pascual mentioned: "It’s a terrible group. People always talk about a group of death but I think this surpasses it. There is no team that has a clearly lower level than the others. If our worst enemy would have compiled a group, it would have been this!"

In the Group Phase Barcelona will meet their last final opponent THW Kiel again – aside the winner of the wild card tournament, the improving Polish side from Kielce, former EHF Champions League winners Celje and the French runners-up Chambery.

In the preparation period Kielce was beaten twice. "Those were test games matches, we’ll have to see how it works under competition circumstances," Laszlo Nagy said. The Hungarian succeeded Barrufet as the new team captain.

Thus the Hungarian who arrived ten years ago at the age of 17 in Barcelona wrote history, as he is the first player not born in Catalunya to carry the captains armband in the long history of FC Barcelona-Borges.

And after 27 titles within his decade in Barcelona Nagy still has the hunger to win any trophy – especially the EHF Champions League: "Last season we lost the final. Since we have started our preparation for the new season, we have been thinking about just that game. Next year we want to play in the final again and this time win it, in order to take away that thorn from us. We have a strong team and our aim is once again to play for all possible titles."

The team of Barcelona-Borges had to be reinforced, as some players of the successful last season’s squad left the club. The Danes Mikkel Hansen and Joachim Boldsen returned to their home country or the experienced Spanish internationals Demetrio Lozano and Ruben Garabaya found new clubs within the Asobal league.

But the hardest search of the club’s officials was to find a successor to goalkeeping legend David Barrufet – and they found him in Germany. Young Swedish international Patrick Sjöstrand arrived from Flensburg and hopes to continue the history of strong Scandinavian goalkeepers in Spain, started by Tomas Svensson.

Cedric Sorhaindo – Olympic, World and European Champion with France – has come to fill the gap that Garabaya left on the line player position. Third newcomer is a Spanish top star – Raul Enterríos, member of the World Champion team of 2005, who played for Valladolid before.

"I want to adapt as soon as possible to the style of play and the dynamics of the team," Enterríos said – and added: "I’m new in Barcelona, and when you join a different team you discover many new things. Here you have all the home comforts and I have been warmly greeted by the squad. I am sure all this will help me to settle quickly."

But not only some players are new – even the president of the whole club has changed: Sandro Rossell, coming from football and having been a ball boy at the Camp Nou Arena in his younger days, and working for Barca since long time, was voted new President on 1. July.

Key facts

Newcomers: Cedric Sorhaindo (from Toulouse Handball, FRA), Johan Sjöstrand (from Flensburg, GER), Raúl Entrerríos (BM Valladolid, ESP)

Left the club: Demetrio Lozano (to Cai Aragón, ESP), Ruben Garabaya (to NaturHouse La Rioja, ESP), David Barrufet (Retired), Mikkel Hansen (to AG Copenhagen, DEN), Joachim Boldsen (to AG Copenhagen, DEN)

Coach: Xavi Pascual (ESP, since 2009)

Club records

Five time CL winner, eight time CL finalist, once winner of the European Champions Cup, Barcelona has won the Spanish championship and the Spanish cup each 17 times, aside they won the European Cupwinners Cup five times and once the EHF Cup.

Find more info here.


TEXT: Björn Pazen
 
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