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25.05.2016, 20:00
A week-long show and the best experts in Hungary
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FEATURE: It is no surprise all of Hungary goes crazy this weekend, handball is all over the place and the best pundits are ready to offer expert opinions.

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Men's CL
»Final Four
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A week-long show and the best experts in Hungary

Handball is a national sport in Hungary and Sport TV dedicates almost the entire week to cover the preparations of Veszprem. Their regular handball show (Third Half) will have hour-long extra editions every day, where viewers will have the chance to relive the best moments of the season along with Veszprem’s road to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and listen to expert opinions.

The broadcaster even came up with a surprise: handball fans will have the chance to re-watch the last Hungarian triumph in Europe’s top handball competition (IHF Champions Cup), Honvéd’s victory from 1982.

Sport TV lined up a great pair of experts for the event. In the studio they will have Lajos Mocsai, former coach of the Hungarian national team and Veszprem, present president of the Hungarian University of Sports. Mocsai, who coached Veszprem for three years before Antonio Carlos Ortega took over in 2011, will offer his views as a studio expert, while Attila Borsos will be a co-commentator.

Borsos, a household name in Hungarian handball

Attila Borsos was one of the few Hungarian handball players, who played most of their careers abroad. The right wing, who was capped 135 times, played in France for a decade and also has a French passport.

The well-respected Borsos has been a TV pundit for almost ten years now, however, he is only back in Champions League action since Sport TV took over broadcasting rights from DigiSport in Hungary.

Borsos has been to all FINAL4s, even in those where there were no Hungarian teams. When asked to provide three things that could help Veszprém win the VELUX EHF FINAL4 he quoted the doctrine: Attack wins the battle but defence wins the war.

Defence, goalies and experience

"I believe Veszprem’s defence is second to none not only in the FINAL4 but in the entire VELUX EHF Champions League. Playing against Veszprem is an extremely exhausting job for any team in the world and if they are given the chance to take up formation in defence, opponents have to sweat blood not only for goals but even for chances to shoot. I believe this could be an important factor in Cologne.”

Borsos believes goalkeepers will be important and Veszprem’s pair of goaltenders are better than their opponents’. "None of the fellow FINAL4 participants has a pair of goalies like Veszprem have.

"Kiel, PSG and Kielce have great goalkeepers but they are instantly in trouble if those world class players have bad days while Veszprem have two equally great goalkeepers.

Finally the expert claimed Veszprem will no longer be confused and disoriented by the biggest handball event in the world. "FINAL4 experience is key and Veszprem are in Cologne for the third consecutive season. This means they will no longer be crushed by the enermous pressure the media attention, the fans’ expectation and the burden of being called favourites bring.

The three key players

Borsos believes there is only one clutch player in Veszprem. "Laszlo Nagy will be a key figure both in defence and attack for Veszprem. Xavi Sabate will have to find a way to substitute his captain from time to time because due to the difficult right back situation at Veszprem he  needs to be on top of his game in both matches.”

As for Kiel, Borsos believes Niklas Landin is the man to look out for. "He can decide Kiel’s fate almost by himself. If the goalkeeper has one of those days, the German fans will have a lot to celebrate but if he is below par (by his own standards, of course) Kiel may not win a single game in the FINAL4.”

It is hard to choose just one player from the star-studded squad of PSG and Borsos picked two. "The duo of Mikkel Hansen and Nikola Karabatic and I don’t think I have to give any further comments. These are the game’s top players and their contribution to PSG’s FINAL4 run will be crucial.”

A memory from Cologne

Borsos has been following international handball for more than 30 years now and claims the FINAL4 is one of the greatest shows in Europe. The ex-Hungarian international believes there were great events but there was one that stood out for him.

"The VELUX EHF FINAL4 is all about tension and from this point of view my favourite of the Cologne action was the 2010 final, when Kiel beat Barcelona. That final was an absolute highlight, the real clash of giants we had expected and if you need further proof of the tension just watch the brawl at the end of the final. That was the final I remember as if it happened yesterday.”


TEXT: Bence Martha / br
 
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