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23.10.2015, 10:50
Spaniards abroad clash for important early points
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FACE TO FACE: After sharing monumental experiences in the past, the two Spanish players now fight at opposite ends for early pickings
 

Spaniards abroad clash for important early points

With six Spanish players in Fleury Loiret's squad, there was bound to be a player who has already crossed paths with Nerea Pena - the sole Spanish player wearing the green of FTC.

Alexandrina Barbosa, who arrived in France in the summer of 2014, played with the 25-year-old for two seasons from 2010 to 2012 in Itxako.

“Alexandrina is a happy person, always laughing and very competitive. She have a huge influence on the game because she can do things to other players cannot,” remembers Pena, who has been playing in Hungary for four seasons.

“We have so many great memories together, we played the Champions League final in 2011 against Larvik and lost,” she says.

“Nerea is a very tough defender, who can also shoot from distance.”

For their first game ever in the Champions League, Fleury drew away against Thüringer, another of Shandy's (Barbosa’s nickname) old clubs.

“Both teams had their chances but I think that winning a point in your first match of the competition is not a bad thing,” explains Barbosa.

“Now, we have to confirm this good result by winning at home against FTC.”

The Hungarian side, on the other hand, won against HC Podravka Vegeta (28:16), but Nerea Pera expects a completely different game in France.

“I expect a really good match,” she says.

“Both teams play fast handball and this can be a good but also a bad things too.

“I think if we play like we did in the last few matches we can fight for a win, but we know that it will be a difficult game.”

Both teams have big ambitions of course and both Spaniards bring success to the table:

“We played the Champions League final and 2014 European Championship final together, and even though we are far away from each other, we spend a lot of time together,” laughs Barbosa.

And now, both teams are competing to grab a ticket for the Champions League Main Round.

“This is a new, young Ferencvaros but an ambitious one,” Pena says, insisting that what the team has shown so far this season is convincing.

Barbosa knows that Fleury can surprise a lot of people in the competition: “Making it to the Cup Winners’ Cup final last season gave us a lot of confidence, as did beating Vardar Skopje twice in pre-season. We want to take everyone by surprise!”


TEXT: Kevin Domas, Bence Mártha / bc
 
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