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26.04.2016, 15:00
Profiles of the VELUX EHF Champions League All-Star team nominees
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NEWS REPORT: Details and fun facts of all 50 nominees for the VELUX EHF Champions League All-star team 2015/16.

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Men's News

Profiles of the VELUX EHF Champions League All-Star team nominees

Which players impressed you the most this season? Vote for your favourite players and coaches and chose from 50 nominees for the VELUX EHF Champions League All-star team 2015/16.

Five players are nominated for every position as well as best defender, best young player and best coach.

17 clubs and 18 nations are represented in the nominees for the coveted places for which you can vote here.

The vote will be open until Tuesday 24 May 2016. The players who will make it into the All-star team will be announced during the VELUX EHF FINAL4 event in Cologne on 28/29 May 2016.


Thierry Omeyer (FRA) - Paris Saint-Germain Handball

• crowned best goalkeeper in history by the IHF
• played for one of the most prestigious clubs in the world, THW Kiel, and achieved more than any other goalkeeper
• returned to Montpellier for the 2013/14 season, reached the EHF Cup Final and decided to move on to PSG in the summer of 2014
• awarded the best goalkeeper and the MVP at the WCh 2015 in Qatar


Arpad Sterbik (ESP) - HC Vardar

• one of the best goalkeepers who holds three different citizenships: Hungarian, Serbian and Spanish
• after ten seasons spent in Spain moved from Barcelona in 2014 and signed a four-year contract with Macedonian runners-up
• dozens of international awards including the 2005 IHF World Handball Player of the Year
• voted as the best goalkeeper of the Spanish league five times


Niklas Landin (DEN) – THW Kiel

• joined Kiel in the summer of 2015 after three seasons with Bundesliga rivals Rhein-Neckar Löwen
• successor of legendary Kasper Hvidt in the Danish national team, broke through during the 2011 WCh
• played also for Gudme in Denmark, where he was number 1 already at the age of 20
• best goalkeeper at the 2013 WCh, the EHF EURO 2014 and the 2013/14 CL season


Mattias Andersson (SWE) – SG Flensburg-Handewitt

• awarded “best player of the Bundesliga season 2011/12”
• already in the younger age categories part of all All-Star teams and became soon member of the senior national team
• played at Kiel (2001-08), TV Großwallstadt (2008/09), before signing in Flensburg
• his saves at the 2014 FINAL4 were the major keys to win his last missing EC trophy


Rodrigo Corrales (ESP) – Orlen Wisla Plock

• coming to Plock in 2014 seems to be one of the best decisions made by the Spaniard who had been in the shadow of other keepers at FC Barcelona
• landed under Manolo Cadenas wings, which soon made the experts call him the future of Spanish handball
• talented, hard-working and dynamic player who soon gained hearts of the local fans with incredible saves in crucial moments of the games

Left wings:

Timur Dibirov (RUS) - HC Vardar

• in 2013 he joined Vardar as just the second club in his career
• the first was Chekhovskie Medvedi, with which he reached the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2010
• Vardar's top scorer in Europe with 75 goals
• fast break specialist and solid in defence


Uwe Gensheimer (GER) - Rhein-Neckar Löwen

• born in Mannheim, he is the club's local hero
• playing for “his” club since 2003, but leaving for PSG next season
• his talent discovered early as he became Junior European champion in 2006, one year later awarded MVP at the Junior WCh
• in 2011 and 2012 German player of the year
• top scorer of 2010/11 CL season
• best left wing of the EHF All-star team 2014/15


Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson (ISL) - FC Barcelona Lassa

• before his arrival to Barcelona spent just one season away from the Bundesliga since first arriving - in 2011/12 he played for AG Kobenhavn
• former Tusem Essen, VfL Gummersbach, Rhein-Neckar Löwen and THW Kiel player
• a key player with his enormous experience on top level handball and his equally large talent
• going back to Rhein-Neckar Löwen after this season to replace Uwe Gensheimer


Manuel Strlek (CRO) - KS Vive Tauron Kielce

• with his arrival in Kielce in 2012, he did his first steps abroad, after leaving his boyhood club Zagreb
• started gathering CL experience in 2006
• together with his fellow countryman Cupic on the other side, they soon created extremely effective duet of wingers
• All-Star team left wing at EHF EURO 2010 and 2016


Jonas Källman (SWE) - MOL-Pick Szeged

• signed in the winter of 2013/14 and showed his unique ability to defend in three positions
• vital part of both coach Juan Carlos Pastor’s defensive variatons and Szeged’s attacking edge
• spent more than a decade in Spain with Ciudad Real and Atlético Madrid before returning home (IFK Skövde) and finally signing a three-and-a-half-year contract with Pick

Left backs:

Momir Ilic (SRB) - MVM Veszprem

• top scorer and only player passing 100 goals (103) in the 2013/14 CL
• top scorer in the 2014/15 season with 114 goals
• joined THW Kiel in 2009 from VfL Gummersbach and won seven titles during his four years with the club, including two CL titles
• led Serbia to their first medal as an independent nation at EHF EURO 2012
• MVP of the EHF EURO 2012
• 2013/14 All-Star team left back


Mikkel Hansen (DEN) - Paris Saint-Germain Handball

• 2011 IHF World Handball Player of the Year
• reached the VELUX EHF FINAL4 with AG Kobenhavn in 2012
• son of former Danish international Flemming Hansen
• having grown into a top class player at GOG, played for Barcelona for two seasons before joining AG in 2011
• arrived in PSG before the 2012/13 season and is the top scorer so far in this CL season with 116 goals


Michal Jurecki (POL) – KS Vive Tauron Kielce

•  came back to Kielce in 2010, after playing in Germany for Hamburg and Lübbecke
• EHF EURO 2016 All-star left back was the hero of the Poland team even before the first whistle in Poland
•  clear leader for the team in both attack and defence, ranking second on the list of goals + assists at 61 (34 goals, 27 assists) before the final matches
• his team’s top scorer so far this season with 76 goals
• scored 10 goals out of 13 attempts in the Last 16 first leg against Meshkov Brest


Wael Jallouz (TUN) – FC Barcelona Lassa

• key player in the Tunisian national team
• transferred to Barcelona in 2014 and is one of his team’s top scorers
• became the first African player at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2014 in his first and only season with THW Kiel
• discovered by THW coach Alfred Gislason during the 2012 edition of the IHF Super Globe in Doha, when “Willy” played for Saudi club Mudhar


Iman Jamali (HUN) – IFK Kristianstad

• former Iranian heavy shooter on loan from Veszprém, where he is in his final season of a four-year contract
• spotted in the junior WCh where he scored 14 goals against Hungary and signed for Veszprem at the age of 19, where often compared to their Cuban legend Carlos Pérez
• in 2014, became the first Asian player to play at the VELUX EHF FINAL4
• carries a lot of responsibility after two highly skilled left backs Markus Olsson and Jonathan Stenbäcken left over the summer of 2015

Line players:

Julen Aguinagalde (ESP) – KS Vive Tauron Kielce

• one of the world’s top line players
• All-Star team line player of the 2013 WCh in Spain and the EHF EURO 2014 and 2016
• nominated for World Handball Player of the Year 2012
• joined Kielce from BM Atlético Mardid in 2013 for his first foreign league experience
• three VELUX EHF FINAL4 participations in 2010-2012


Andreas Nilsson (SWE) – MVM Veszprém

• Swedish international was part of Sweden’s silver medal winning team at the London Olympic Games in 2012
• joined the team in the summer of 2014 after a two-year spell with HSV Hamburg whom he helped to win the CL trophy in 2013
• played for Swedish league club IFK Trelleborg and IFK Skövde in the past
• off the court a keen golfer


Rastko Stojkovic (SRB) – HC Meshkov Brest

• joined Brest in December 2013 after spending a few months in Qatar
• the native of Belgrade started his career at RK Crvena Zvezda and moved abroad at the age of 24
• his first foreign experience was in Germany where he spent four seasons at Pfullingen and Nordhorn-Lingen, and with the latter team won the EHF Cup in 2008
• played for Kielce 2009-13 and won three titles of Polish champions as well as four Polish Cups, also reached the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2013


Tiago Rocha (POR) – Orlen Wisla Plock

• the first Portuguese player in Polish league; a hard-working player aware of his physical assets - despite his huge dimensions, possesses good coordination
• after spending twelve years at FC Porto, he made his first step abroad joining Płock in 2014
• Wisla Plock’s top scorer this CL season with 64 goals
• after the departure of Kamil Syprzak to Barcelona in the summer of 2015, shares his position with newcomer Marco Oneto


Alem Toskic (SRB) – HC Vardar

• joined Vardar in 2013 and currently plays his 10th and most successful EHF Champions League season with 52 goals
• started his career in Partizan and transferred to Celje where he played six seasons; for two seasons he wore the Zagreb jersey
• has been chosen among the best players of the third round in the 2015/16 season
• won the EHF EURO 2012 silver medal with Serbia
• plays his last season in Skopje before moving to Gorenje Velenje to join his family in Slovenia

Centre backs:

Nikola Karabatic (FRA) – Paris Saint-Germain Handball

• 2007 and 2014 World Handball Player of the Year
• MVP of the VELUX EHF CL season 2014/15
• came from FC Barcelona before this season
• won everything there is to win, as he has triumphed at Olympic Games, WChs and EHF EUROs with the French national team and won the CL three times (with Montpellier, Kiel and Barcelona)
• one of the most complete handball players with strengths in attack and defence


Dean Bombac (SLO) - MOL-Pick Szeged

• influential attacking player with 101 goals in the CL this season
• started handball when he was eight years old, making first team debut for his boyhood club RK Cimos Koper in 2007
• played for RK Cimos Koper in the EHF Champions League Quarter Final in 2011/12, scoring 46 goals
• won the EHF Challenge Cup, one Slovenian league title (both in 2011), as well as three domestic cups during his six seasons with RK Cimos Koper EC Trophies: Challenge Cup 2011


Rasmus Lauge Schmidt (DEN) – SG Flensburg-Handewitt

• came from THW Kiel after two seasons with coach Alfred Gislason, his stint with Kiel hampered by injuries
• joined local rivals SG Flensburg-Handewitt this season and played at his best so far
• gets a lot of playing time, even though the other centre backs are no others than Thomas Mogensen and Kentin Mahe
• missed EHF EURO 2014 due to a cruciate ligament injury and a same injury kept him out of the 2014 VELUX EHF FINAL4


Andy Schmid (SUI) – Rhein-Neckar Löwen

• five-time Swiss handball player of the year
• played for both Zürich clubs Grasshoppers and ZMC Amicitia until 2009
• joined Löwen after one season with Bjerringbro-Silkeborg
• key in attack – both as playmaker and as Shooter
• best Bundesliga player in the 2013/14 and the 2014/15 season


Domagoj Duvnjak (CRO) – THW Kiel

• THW’s top signing before the 2014/15 season
• 2013 IHF World Handball Player of the Year
• arrived from Hamburg, where he played since 2009
• not just a typical playmaker he is also a scorer and is an essential part of defence
• best Bundesliga player in 2013
• Croatian national team player who started his career in Zagreb

Right backs:

Kiril Lazarov (MKD) - FC Barcelona Lassa

• powerful back court shooter from FYR Macedonia
• most successful scorer at a single EHF EURO event (2012 Serbia, 61 goals) and also at WCh level (2009 Croatia, 92 goals)
• top scorer of the CL twice (2005/06 and 2007/08)
• maintaining his scoring reputation with 104 goals for Barcelona so far this CL season
• best right back of the 2014/15 All-star team


Marko Vujin (SRB) - THW Kiel

• in 2012, the Serbian shooter arrived in Kiel to fill the gap after the departure of Kim Andersson to KIF
• top scorer of the 2013/14 Bundesliga season (248 goals)
• won eight consecutive national championships with Veszprém and Kiel
• in the national team, he was key to silver at the EHF EURO 2012


Laszlo Nagy (HUN) – MVM Veszprém

• started his career as a basketball player and was close to a move to the USA at the age of 13
• in the end he decided for handball and became one of the best right backs of the world
• transferred from Szeged to Barcelona in 2006 and became the captain despite being a foreigner
• All-Star team right back of the 2013 WCh
• All-Star team right back of the 2012/13 CL season


Alex Dujshebaev (ESP) - HC Vardar

• son of Talant Dujshebaev joined Vardar at the beginning of the 2013/14 season
• played for Spain at the EHF EURO 2016 in Polandand helped his team to win silver
• best right back of the All-star team at the 2012 Men’s 20 EHF EURO and the 2013 Junior WCh
• top scorer of the Spanish ASOBAL with BM Aragon in 2011/12 and 2012/13


Jure Dolenec (SLO) – Montpellier HB

• in his first season with Montpellier in 2013/14, he had some ups and downs as he had to adapt to French defences
• made his name in the CL with his former team of Gorenje Velenje, scoring 64 goals in the 2012/13 season
• extended his contract with Montpellier until 2019
• at 27, he already counts nearly a hundred games with his national team

Right wings:

Victor Tomas (ESP) - FC Barcelona Lassa

• following the victories in 2005 and 2011, the Barcelona-born Tomas hopes to lift his third CL trophy at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne
• joined Barcelona’s youth team in 1998 and has not played for any other club
• his biggest assets are his great pace and his impressive flexibility that make him a strong player in attack but also in defence


Lasse Svan Hansen (DEN) – SG Flensburg-Handewitt

• one of the fastest wing players in the CL
• same qualities as Eggert on the other side: fast counter-attacks and a high scoring efficiency
• another task in his team: motivation and relaxing – as his business is mental coaching
• after four seasons at GOG Svendborg, he moved to Flensburg in 2008
• in addition to all his merits and trophies in handball, he was also a billiard champion in his home region Seeland


Gasper Marguc (SLO) – MVM Veszprém

• took part in the WCh in Spain 2013, where Slovenia placed fourth
• came to Veszprém from Celje where he was playing since 2009
• in the 2012/13 season, he played his best season so far and became Slovenia’s top scorer in the CL, netting 72 times (10th overall)
• played two amazing matches against THW Kiel in 2012/13, scoring 18 times from 18 shots against the legendary Thierry Omeyer


Tobias Reichmann (GER) – KS Vive Tauron Kielce

• joined Kielce in 2014 as the first German player in the Polish league, after playing for Magdeburg, Kiel and Wetzlar in the Bundesliga
• EHF EURO 2016 All-star team right winger, has scored 43 goals ahead of the final at 83%, including 26 out of 27 of Germany’s penalty shots
• was a crucial part of Germany’s win in the semi-final against Norway, tallying an incredible 10 goals from 10 shots
• shaes his position with Croatian Ivan Cupic


Kristian Björnsen (NOR) – IFK Kristianstad

• in for his second season with Kristianstad after joining from Norwegian league club FyllingenBergen in the summer of 2014
• has 45 internationals and 192 goals for Norway under his belt.
• being 191 cm tall, he is pretty tall for a winger and this gives him an even more varied repertoire of shots than many other wingers.
• started his career in the right back position, but already as a youngster, was moved to the wing


Viran Morros (ESP) - FC Barcelona Lassa

• born in Barcelona, he started his career with his current club before playing for three different ASOBAL teams
• won the Champions League title twice with Ciudad Real in 2008 and 2009 and once with Barcelona in 2015
• being nominated as best defender in the Spanish league in 2008 and in the EHF EURO in 2012 he also made it to the short list of the CL best defenders for three straight seasons
• His accolades with the national team consist of one gold (WCh 2013), one silver (EURO 2016) and two bronzes (WCh 2011 and EURO 2014)


Luka Karabatic (FRA) – Paris Saint-Germain Handball

• was a national-level tennis player until he was 19, only then turned his back on the yellow ball and chose handball instead
• began in Montpellier, then moved to Aix and finally to PSG in the summer of 2015
• on the CL list of Montpellier in six seasons, but did not enjoy too much playing time (in total 22 goals)
• PSG is the third club where he reunites with his brother Nikola


Timuzsin Schuch (HUN) - MVM Veszprem

• destined for greatness as his Hungarian father and Mongolian mother gave him names from their nation’s great leaders (István - the first Hungarian king, Timuzsin - the birth name of Genghis Khan)
• started his career at Gyöngyös but moved to Veszprém for his studies and the club spotted him
• transferred to Constanta where he won two titles and made his debut in the CL
• after his return, he became an irreplaceable force in the middle of Veszprém’s wall


Erlend Mamelund (NOR) - THW Kiel

• Was signed right at the start of the season, when Filip Jicha transferred to Barcelona
• Was Danish cup winner with FC Kobenhavn and Norwegian champion and cup winner with Haslum
• Wanted to finish his career at Haslum after this season, as he had already started a full time job as financial analyst at Ernst&Young, when he received Kiel’s offer
• Was top scorer of the Norwegian league twice in 2011 and 2014
• Was part of the successful Norwegian EURO 2016 squad, making it to their first ever semi-final


Tobias Karlsson (SWE) - SG Flensburg-Handewitt

• typical powerful Scandinavian defence specialist, who – together with Magnus Jernemyr - build the Swedish middle block in the last years
• team captain, a great honour after legendary Lars Christiansen left SG
• Swedish champion three times with Hammarby IF
• best defence player at the EHF EURO 2014

Young players:

Blaz Janc (SLO) - RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko

• one of the biggest talents in history of Slovenian handball
• teenager already in his 4th season in the first team making his debut in the CL being 15 years old
• after Gasper Marguc’s departure to Veszprém in 2014, he used his extended playing time to become the third best Celje scorer (44 goals)
• best right back at the Men’s 20 EHF EURO 2014 and Junior WCh 2015 where he was playing with players two years older than him
• best right back and top scorer of Youth WCh 2015


Domagoj Pavlovic (CRO) - HC PPD Zagreb

• born in Ivanic, where he began playing handball before joining RK Dubrava – club where he rose to prominence, which took him to HC PPD Zagreb in 2014
• came through all Croatian youth selections, before establishing himself as the key member of junior national team
• playing his second season for HC PPD Zagreb, alongside Croatian youth selection teammates Filip Ivic, Sandro Obranovic and Stipe Mandalinic
• Enjoys working with Veselin Vujovic, who is said to give him great confidence


Darko Djukic (SRB) - Besiktas Jimnastik Kulubu

• Made his first handball steps in his hometown Niš, where he rose to become a star of his boyhood club Železničar
• Had his first call-up for the Serbian national team in 2012, with only 17 years
• Among the few foreign players to remain at Metalurg in 2014/15, despite the financial troubles
• Scored 87 goals for Besiktas in his second VELUX EHF Champions League season
• Nicknamed “The man with the magic hands” for his spectacular goal against Veszprém


Lasse Andersson (DEN) - KIF Kolding Kobenhavn

• Joined KIF Kolding Kobenhavn in the summer of 2013 from second league club TMW Ringsted
• Born in Copenhagen and starting his career in the local club FIF
• Ongoing trouble in both knees has bothered and probably cost him a nomination for the Danish squad for the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland in January
• Has been awarded Rookie of the Year in the VELUX EHF Champions League twice in a row
• Will be leaving KIF after this season, but has so far been unwilling to reveal his next destination
• His physical strength and his powerful and varied shot makes him a left back for the future in the international top


Jerry Tollbring (SWE) - IFK Kristianstad

• joined from league colleagues Rimbo HK in the summer of 2014
• signed as substitute to experienced Johan Jepson, but his skills soon made him first choice on the left wing
• had his first senior national team experiences at the EHF EURO 2016 in Poland
• has played 20 matches in the youth team and was one of Sweden’s key players at Junior WCh in Brazil


Talant Dujshebaev (ESP) - KS Vive Tauron Kielce

• most awarded figure in the club
• during his longstanding playing career won plenty of trophies with three different national teams (CIS, Russia, Spain)
• has successfully continued as a coach for the last 10 years, known for his impulsiveness
• joined Kielce in the half of the 2013/14 season, replacing Bogdan Wenta
• changed the playing style of Kielce placing greater emphasis on the aggressive defence


Raul Gonzalez (ESP) - HC Vardar

• stalwart of BM Valladolid and a member of the Spanish national team during his playing career
• started his coaching carrier in Atletico Madrid and Ciudad Real working in team with Talant Dujshebaev
• replaced Zoran Kastratovic early in the 2013/14 season at Vardar
• steered the team to a historical success: the quarter-finals of the CL for the first time and has done it again last and this season


Veselin Vujovic (MNE) - HC PPD Zagreb

• hired by Zagreb right before the beginning of the 2014/15 CL campaign
• one of the best players ever, worked as a headcoach in Ciudad Real, Vardar, Yugoslavian national team, Serbia and Montenegro (fourth place at the OG in Sydney 2000)
• won with Vardar the regional SEHA League title
• known as an outstanding specialist but also as an impulsive coach


Javier Sabate (ESP) - MVM Veszprem

• signed with Veszprém as assistant coach of Antonio Carlos Ortega, but became interim coach after Ortega parted way with the club
• Spanish tactician earned a permanent contract on 8th January 2016, he is contracted until June 2017
• worked as an assistant coach under Ortega for more than ten years, their cooperation started at BM Antequera in Spain
• Veszprém is the first club Sabaté has lead as head coach, but in March 2016 he was appointed as interim coach to train the Hungarian national team


Ljubomir Vranjes (SWE) - SG Flensburg-Handewitt

• former Swedish national team player, still on the players’ list of Flensburg
• became club manager in 2009 and coach in November 2010
• after winning the CL in the 2014/15 season, he declined the number of top offers from PSG and the German national team
• led Serbia to the 2014 EHF EURO in Denmark in a caretaker role, but did not continue
• highly creative photographer in his spare time and just started to write his memoirs


TEXT: EHF / es