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09.10.2015, 12:30
Opposite ends of a generation come together in French line-duel
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We look at different ends of the spectrum with a 19-year-old French line player coming up against one of the stalwarts of French handball's pivot position

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Men's CL
»Group Phase
»
 

Opposite ends of a generation come together in French line-duel

Barcelona's Palau Blaugrana will not only see a handball game between a club that won the EHF Champions League twelve seasons ago and its current titleholder, but there will also be a clash of two generations of French line players.

The older one being FCB's Cedric Sorhaindo and the younger one, Ludovic Fabregas, who will be wearing Montpellier jersey.

Sorhaindo, aged 31, is definitely looking forward to it: "Facing a French club is always a little bit special for me," he says.

"You always want to give your best, since there will be people in the opposite team who will know you.

“I've spent most of my career in France, Montpellier were the best of the best at the time, so I'm looking forward to a great game.”

Montpellier, on the other hand, are going to Catalonia with “no pressure on (their) shoulders” according to Fabregas, who, at 19, is already a key element to the team.

“Barcelona will be favourites since they're titleholders, they've got players we all look up to like Filip Jicha, Victor Tomas - too many to name!"

After last weekend's win against KIF Kolding (30:25), the young guns are still confident they can do something against Barcelona:

"Every game has its own story, and nothing's decided in advance.

We showed in the previous games against Kielce and Vardar Skopje that we could play level with top teams for forty or forty five minutes, even away from home, so why not in Barcelona?"

Montpellier has been struggling, suffering two losses before finally beating KIF Kolding last weekend, but Barcelona has had their own problems as well.

After an early loss against Rhein-Neckar Löwen (22:21), they narrowly beat IFK Kristianstad (34:32) and Pick Szeged (30:28).

“Losing Nikola Karabatic was no easy thing to go through, since he's a major asset in every team he plays for,” explains Cedric Sorhaindo, who saw his friend leaving for Paris this summer.

"We’ve had to integrate some new players, and that takes time.

“Even though we haven't been playing the way we wanted to lately, we managed to snatch four points already, which is the only thing we'll remember by the end of the group phase."

And of course, Xavi Pascual and his boys would like to continue this run.

"We have to win every home game, and try our best away," explains Sorhaindo, who has already been to Cologne twice with the Spanish club.

“Montpellier is a team that can surprise us if we’re not careful, with their fast breaks and their ability to play high tempo handball.

“We're not taking them lightly at all."

Cédric Sorhaindo has been sporting the national team jersey for years now, and has been crowned internationally multiple times, while Ludovic Fabregas just took his first steps in international territory at the end of last season.

“At first, we didn't quite understand what this 19-year-old boy was doing there,” admits Sorhaindo, who maybe feared that someone would take his place.

“But during the national team gathering, he just showed why he deserved to be there. He's talented, he's hard-working and to tell you the truth, he's much more confident than I was at his age.”

Big words that speak a lot for the Montpellier youngster who has recently signed his first professional contract.

“Cedric is someone that I admire, and I'm very happy to have played next to him in the national team,” remembers Ludovic Fabregas, without hiding his ambition to play again for France.

“As a person, he’s very nice and he has taught me a lot handball-wise. But that won't stop me from holding back him on Saturday!

“Of course he's ahead of me when it comes to experience, but now it’s time to show him my tricks!”


TEXT: Kevin Domas / bc
 
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