Sjöstrand: "I have to be me"
The retirement of David Barrufet opened the door to a new keeper in Barcelona. Johan Sjöstrand arrived to Barcelona last summer from Flensburg, and is trying to adapt to a new country and a new club.
ehfCL.com: How do you feel in Barcelona?
Johan Sjöstrand: I am very happy. I have begun a new stage at the great club Barcelona and everything is fine. There are not many clubs like Barcelona, and the fan support at the Palau Blau Grana is just great.
ehfCL.com: What are the differences between Barcelona and Flensburg?
Johan Sjöstrand: Everything is different. First of all, German handball is very different to Spanish. The game in Germany is much more physical, the players are bigger and stronger, they shoot faster. I have to adapt to the Spanish style but it will be very good for me.
ehfCL.com: How does it feel being in the shadow of Barrufet in Barcelona?
Johan Sjöstrand: Barrufet is a very special person in the Palau. But I can not think about him, I just play the best I can. I have to be me. I feel very good with the other goalkeeper, Saric. He is also helping me a lot with the Spanish language.
ehfCL.com: What are Barcelona’s objectives this season?
Johan Sjöstrand: We are Barcelona. The Spanish title is special for us and we will try to get it. The team lost the EHF Champions League title in the last minutes of the last game and we look for a new chance to win it at this year’s VELUX EHF FINAL4.
ehfCL.com: What is your opinion about your CL group?
Johan Sjöstrand: We have very strong clubs in our group, but there are more important teams in other groups. We will for sure meet teams that will be complicated to beat at the VELUX EHF FINAL4. THW Kiel look like favourites because they have a very strong team.
ehfCL.com: What do you think about the upcoming game in Chambery?
Johan Sjöstrand: On paper and compared to the other group opponents, Chambery are a less strong side in our group. But we still have to prepare very well for this game. There are no easy matches on this European level. They have a good team and their fans will help them a lot. We will have to play on 100 percent to get the victory.
TEXT: Fernando Urra Goñi