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04.05.2012, 14:56
Fridrikas: "Special support for Budućnost and Popović"
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The seven-time EHF Champions League winner talks about tomorrow's final and her special relationship with Bojana Popović.

»EHF CL Channel »2011-12 Women's CL
»Finals
»
 

Fridrikas: "Special support for Budućnost and Popović"

Ausra Fridrikas is the most successful woman handball player ever. The former back player has seven EHF Champions League titles in her locker, which she collected while wearing the jerseys of Hypo NÖ and Slagelse Dream Team.

Lithuanian-born Fridrikas was voted World Handball Player of the Year in 1999, the year in which she was also selected as the MVP (Most Valuable Player) at the 1999 World Championship, and where she received a bronze medal with the Austrian team.In this exclusive interview with ehfCL.com Fridrikas talked about her special relationship with Budućnost's Bojana Popović, this season's EHF Champions League, and her favourites for the title.

ehfCL.com: The final matches in the EHF Women's Champions League are due to start on Saturday. Did you think that Budućnost and Győri Audi ETO would make it to the final?

Ausra Fridrikas: I was 100 per cent confident that the Montenegrins would make it. They have a quality team that showed confidence and a solid performance throughout the season and were able to improve their game plan when necessary.

Honestly I was a little surprised about Győri Audi ETO´s advance to the final. I had tipped Larvik as the second favourites for the title, but the title holders met Budućnost in the semi-final and were eliminated there.

ehfCL.com: You have a special connection with Bojana Popović, your former team-mate in Slagelse Dream Team. Are you good friends?

Ausra Fridrikas: Yes, we keep in touch and I still follow her games. For me she is one of the most outstanding handball players in the world.

Her special goal from seven metres in the semi-final against Cecilie Leganger was really amazing. I’ve watched it at least 1000 times! I was wondering all the time whether I would be able to score like this!

For some fans such a goal would show arrogance and underestimation of the opponents, but against such a fantastic goalkeeper, for me, it showed coolness and confidence.

ehfCL.com: You´ve won seven EHF Champions League titles, so you must know how to win crucial matches. Is there a secret formula to achieving victory in the finals?

Ausra Fridrikas: No, not really. You must forget the pressure and show optimism and total coolness. The most important thing is to be self-confident and focused on the tasks, and then nothing can go wrong.

ehfCL.com: Who will you be supporting in the final?

Ausra Fridrikas: I´ll follow both games and hope that both final matches will be fair and the best promotion for handball. I wish both teams the best of luck in the two ties.

To be honest, it’s unfair to say it for the Győr supporters, but due to my special connection with Bojana, I will support her side in the finals and wish her a fantastic game in those crucial matches. It would be a real pity if she finished her playing career after this season!


TEXT: Márk Hegedüs
 
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