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16.10.2015, 12:10
Left vs right in the Serbian duel
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FACE TO FACE: Momir Ilic and Marko Vujin, good friends face in Veszprem in the clash of the goal machines
 

Left vs right in the Serbian duel

685 vs 596 goals in the EHF Champions League so far, and such numbers sum up the job of both of these men: goal-machine.

Two of the best shooters in the handball world will come together in a mouth-watering encounter in Round 5 of the VELUX EHF Champions League.

Both men are from Serbia, both have been best friends for years, but both will put these facts aside for those 60 minutes in the sold-out Veszprem Arena.

If the match of MVM Veszprem and THW Kiel in the VELUX EHF Champions League were a boxing fixture, we might hear:

In the ‘right-hand corner’ he measures two metres, weighs 104 kilogrammes, has scored 685 goals in the Champions League, is two-time (2013/14 and 2014/15) VELUX EHF Champions top scorer with 103 and 114 goals, two-time Champions League winner, fights under the name name “Momo” – it’s Momir Ilic!

In the ‘left-hand corner’ he measures two metres, weighs 100 kilogrammes, has scored 596 Champions League goals, was 2014 Champions League finalist – it’s Marko Vujin!

For only in one season - 2012/13 - both Serbian EURO 2012 silver medallists were playing for the same club: THW Kiel.

Before this Vujin played six seasons for Veszprem, and since 2013 Ilic has been playing for Veszprem after four seasons in Kiel.

It’s not the first time they have faced off as they have met before in Cologne at the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

In 2014, Vujin and Kiel were victorious in the semi-final, and in 2015 Ilic and Veszprem struck back in the same stage.

Now they meet in the group phase, a top duel of Group A where we see an unbeaten Veszprem up against Kiel.

Ilic, in terms of scoring has the slight advantage on 23 goals so far, three strikes ahead of Vujin.

“We are really best friends,” says the THW right back, “we usually phone several times a week, and definitely do not only talk about handball.”

“But this week was different, we did not phone, yet,” says Ilic, “but we will have a short chat on Friday night, and after the match we will have the time to talk.”

Both Serbs praised this special event: “I love returning to Veszprem, seeing all the familiar faces.

I had six great years there, but this is professional sports, and on the top level you find yourself against each other quite often, as I was back in Veszprem in the 2012/13 season already,” Vujin looks back to his victorious outing, when Kiel secured their FINAL4 spot by beating the Hungarian record champions.

“It is always great to face Kiel. I had four successful years there, winning an enormous numbers of titles with THW,” says Ilic.

“Currently we are suffering from some injuries. And to beat THW you need to give 100 per cent, so the match will be tight and exciting, with no real favourite,” says Ilic.

Despite some defeats in Bundesliga and the opening Champions League defeat to Zagreb, he expects a strong and motivated opponent:

“I know Alfred Gislason for so long, and I know that after his tough preparation his teams need some time to adapt and to find their form.

“Kiel have found it now, proved by their extra-ordinary match at Plock.

“Alfred knows exactly what to do, and Kiel are on a roll, so it will be really hard to beat them.”

Vujin also speaks kindly of his former club and for his Serbian country-fellow:

“Momo never gives up; he fights until the very end; he has experience and routine, so he always makes the right decisions and he is a complete player in attack and defence – he is really hard to stop.

“But we do not only have to focus on him, but the whole Veszprem team. They represented individual world class, not only those like Momo and Aron Palmarsson, who played for Kiel before.”

Ilic expects a motivated Vujin: “He is simply world class, he can score from all positions, it will be really hard to stop him, but I think we know how we have to defend against him.”

Vujin believes it has no influence on the match, if he or Ilic scores more goals: “the main goal is to win regardless the number of goals I score.”

Ilic has a different view on the shooter’s duel: “Marko can score more than me, if we can win the match.”

Catch Ilic vs Vujin live on Saturday at 17:15 (local time) on ehfTV


TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc
 
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