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01.05.2016, 18:30
No nerves ahead of CSM's most important week
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BLOG: Cristina Varzaru is back for a Women’s EHF Champions League FINAL4 after six years. CSM’s right wing shares her feelings before fighting for her fourth trophy
 

No nerves ahead of CSM's most important week

Tick-tock, tick-tock. Do you hear the clock ticking? Budapest is calling… The throw off the most exciting part of the season is not far away now.

And for me, this FINAL4 is really, really special. What am I talking about? Next weekend will be the most important in CSM Bucuresti’s history!

An unexpected comeback

Playing in Viborg for seven years has helped me shape me as a person and as a player.

I learned a lot there and it really meant the world to me.

Of course, having the chance to win the Women’s EHF Champions League three times was a nice bonus, one that I will never forget in my entire life.

But the past is the past and now I must focus on the present.

Did I really think that I would have the chance to win a top European competition?

Not in a million years. When I came back to Romania in 2012, I knew I would hardly have the chance to play in do-or-die ties in Europe again.

But Lady Luck smiled and I am back in contention.

Now, six years after the Viborg dream-team won the Champions League, here I am again trying to get my hands on the trophy.

A different one, I hear that it’s lighter than the previous one, but who cares?

Lucky number 4?

On a more personal note, the numbers are on my side.

I have played in three semi-finals, and won all of them.

Will it be lucky number four next Saturday?

What I know is that this is the most difficult one. Why? I can not put my finger on it, but maybe just because it is all happening right now.

The nerves are long gone for me.
Of course, in 2006, when Viborg played against CBM Astroc Sagunto, my hands were literally shaking before the game.

Three years later, the nerves were there because we played against C.S. Oltchim Rm. Valcea, my former team in Romania -- that was a special game.
But now? I am just focused on the game. If I feel something, I am channeling it into the positive side of things.

I am sure that my teammates feel the same. We are an experienced team, with players that have won silverware, even at World Championships.

I trust the girls, especially after we managed to win twice against the previously unbeaten Rostov.

These results really helped us a lot.

Forget the losses against Vardar

Do I think we are able to win the trophy? Of course, I would not go to Budapest if not.

Do I think it will be easy against Vardar? There is no such thing as an easy game in such a tournament.

There are two games in two days, no room for mistakes.

If you are not ready, you will lose! It is as simple as that.

Back to Vardar now and they are a very good team. After they had a change of coach, they are playing with much more confidence and that is dangerous for every opponent.

After all, they beat Buducnost, the current title holders.

They have very good individuals, and backs like Penezic or Lekic, who could easily take the game into their own and create problems.

I would not call beating us twice this season an advantage.

We have to forget the results and understand what went wrong then.

What we did well and what we missed.

But now we do not have time to do something wrong. Everything must be at 100 per cent.

Expecting a lot from the Romanians

I would like to finish by adding a few words of my own about Budapest and the FINAL4.

Some of the Vardar, Buducnost, Györ or CSM die-hard fans will not be here.

But the atmosphere will be great. It does not get any better than having to play two games in two days for the most important trophy of the season.

Of course, the hall will be full of Györ fans and they will be amazing, like they always are.

So it is a plus that we will not play against them in the semi-finals.

But Budapest is close to Romania, close to Bucharest, and I know for a fact that many Romanians will come to support us.

We had a lot of ticket requests and that motivates us even further.

Because playing in a final would be the icing of the cake for us.

We had difficult moments this season, we could have been out from contention if we failed to win against Midtjylland in the Main Round.

But we showed that we are really a great team. We overcame injuries and difficult moments in order to be here.

So I expect you all in Budapest for what is shaping up to be the most interesting FINAL4 ever.

Maybe you will get a chance to celebrate CSM’s maiden trophy? It would not be the biggest surprise ever, right?


TEXT: Adrian Costeiu / bc
 
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