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28.05.2017, 15:40
Gensheimer: "You should never lean back"
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INTERVIEW: The Last of the German Mohicans speaks about goals, focus and PSG’s chances at the VELUX EHF FINAL4
 

Gensheimer: You should never lean back

With 106 goals on his tally, Uwe Gensheimer currently leads the top scorers list of the VELUX EHF Champions League prior to the VELUX EHF FINAL4. In the 2010/11 season, he was part of the pinnacle event with his former club Rhein-Neckar Löwen and even became top scorer of the competition.

Since last summer, the 30-year-old left wing has been part of the Paris Saint-Germain squad, and hopes for his first international title with PSG after lifting two domestic trophies already. In this interview, Gensheimer talks about being the “Last German Mohican” in Cologne, his preparation and what everything depends on at the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

ehfCL.com: You are top scorer in the VELUX EHF Champions League, you just lifted the title in the French championship right after you became cup winner; your confidence is sky-high now, right?

Uwe Gensheimer: Indeed, we are full of confidence and it is our clear goal to win the trophy in Cologne. Fighting for titles such as in the Champions League was one of my main reasons for transferring to Paris.

ehfCL.com: How important - in your opinion - is it to have VELUX EHF FINAL4 experience like you have from 2011 and PSG have from 2016?

Uwe Gensheimer: I do not know if this experience has a major impact, but it is correct that you have to know what happens in Cologne, off the court, and what to expect on it. In 2011, the event had just begun to grow. Two years ago, when I attended the event as a spectator, it was completely different. Now I am eager to see how it feels to be on court again. The whole event became bigger, the side events have grown too - it is incredible to be part of this event as a player, but we must focus on the two handball matches that lay ahead.

ehfCL.com: For the first time ever, the VELUX EHF FINAL4 will take place without the participation of a German club - thus, you are the Last German Mohican. Do you hope the German fans will get behind PSG?

Uwe Gensheimer: Of course, I count on them; they should be for us.

ehfCL.com: Did you expect that Löwen, Kiel and Flensburg would fall en route to Cologne?

To be honest, I did not think much about this topic. In Paris, we focus on ourselves and our performances. Those four teams, which made it to Cologne, fully deserve to be part of the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

ehfCL.com: PSG defeated Veszprem twice this season - do you take such results as additional motivation or could such a mind-set lead to compliancy?

Uwe Gensheimer: We have proven that we have managed to beat them - this is what we have in mind. All the teams, which clinched their berth for Cologne, have quality, and all the teams know each other very well. Thus, there is not such a big advantage. But having faced Veszprem twice this season, makes the preparation for this semi-final easier for us. We know Veszprem well, and we also know that they desperately want to win this trophy that they dramatically let slip from their hands one year ago.

ehfCL.com: So do you think that all the teams can beat each other on a given day?

Uwe Gensheimer: In all four matches, it is about 60 minutes of handball. Anything can happen in 60 minutes, and you have to be incredibly aware not to lean back too early, but to put the pedal to the metal for 60 minutes. Veszprem had to undergo this experience in last year’s final, when they let a nine-goal gap slip from their hands against Kielce. You can never rest, not even in a period of the match when it looks like the deal has already been sealed. When the tide turns, it is incredibly difficult to get back on your feet again. Our advantage is that we have an squad with final-winning experience.

ehfCL.com: Is the preparation for a VELUX EHF FINAL4 different to a normal match?

Uwe Gensheimer: In terms of training and video analyse, it is the same as for every match. But because of all those side events, it is different. We arrive on Thursday, earlier than normally. Then you have a lot of appointments off the court, which are completely different to a normal match.

ehfCL.com: You will very likely finish your first season with Paris by becoming Champions League top scorer, did you expect to fit into the squad so quickly and easily?

Uwe Gensheimer: It feels great to start with Paris in such a successful way and to back up my previous performances with the national team and Rhein-Neckar Löwen. I fit in quite well and managed to help my teammates. It is nothing more than a slight bonus to be top scorer.

ehfCL.com: So you have settled in easily in Paris?

Uwe Gensheimer: Definitely yes - from the sporting point of view. In my private life, I still need the city map quite often to find some places. My French is good enough to communicate, but there’s still room for improvement.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc
 
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