«jul 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2526272829301
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
303112345
«aug 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
303112345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«sep 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
«oct 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
2930311234
567891011
«nov 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
2930311234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293012
3456789
«dec 2018»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
262728293012
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
31123456
«jan 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
31123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031123
45678910
«feb 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
28293031123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728123
45678910
«mar 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
25262728123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031
1234567
«apr 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
1234567
891011121314
15161718192021
22232425262728
293012345
6789101112
«may 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
293012345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
272829303112
3456789
«jun 2019»
MOTUWETHFRSASU
272829303112
3456789
10111213141516
17181920212223
24252627282930
1234567
AlbaniaAndorraArmeniaAustriaAzerbaijanBelgiumBosnia HerzegovinaBelarusBulgariaCroatiaCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkSpainEstoniaFaroe IslandsFinlandFranceGreat BritainGeorgiaGermanyGreeceHungaryIrelandIcelandIsraelItalyKosovoLatviaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMoldovaFYR MacedoniaMaltaMontenegroMonacoNetherlandsNorwayPolandPortugalRomaniaRussiaSloveniaSerbiaSwitzerlandSlovakiaSwedenTurkeyUkraine
 
EnglandScotland
Other EHF Sites 

15.09.2017, 14:40
From school gyms to sold-out arenas
«Go back »Print Version


FEATURE: At the start of its anniversary season, a look-back at the past 25 years shows the impressive development of the EHF Champions League

»EHF CL Channel »2017-18 Men's News
»
 

From school gyms to sold-out arenas

It all started in a golf club in Vienna in 1993. The first draw for a new handball competition, called the EHF Champions League.

Two years after its foundation, the European Handball Federation had become the organizer of club competitions formerly carried out by the IHF.

At that day in 1993, no one could guess that 25 years later the new competition would attract hundreds of millions viewers of what has meanwhile been called VELUX EHF Champions League. Or that a final tournament called VELUX EHF FINAL4 would sell out eight times with 40,000 fans each at the pinnacle weekend of the competition.

In first eight years only Spanish winners

In the first eight years of the EHF Champions League only Spanish teams raised the trophy. That included a sensational series of five straight titles for FC Barcelona (1996-2000), who were led by Valero Rivera, still the coach with the highest number of trophies.

In the beginning, the group phase followed the qualification rounds and was carried out with eight teams. The two winners made it to the final, with TEKA Santander becoming the first winner in 1994. That team included Talant Dujshebaev, who was to leave his mark on Champions League history several more times.

A Swede became the first ever player to defend a title. Goalkeeper Tomas Svensson won the competition with Irun in 1995 and added five more trophies with Barcelona in the following seasons.

Playing system changed several times

During the winning streak of Barca, who had already won the former IHF Champions Cup, the playing system was changed to a group phase with 16 teams, followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final in the 1996/97 season.

The first non-Spanish winner was German side SC Magdeburg in 2002, coached by Alfred Gislason. Eight years later, he became the first coach to lift the trophy with two different clubs after also leading THW Kiel to the title in 2010.

[Click on picture for enlargement]

The next winners came from two more countries _ France (Montpellier) and Slovenia (Celje), with famous players like Siarhei Rutenka (six trophies in ]otal with Celje) or Thierry Omeyer (four trophies so far) and Nikola Karabatic (both Montpellier).

Between Barcelona’s sixth triumph in 2005 and their eighth title in 2015, all winners were either from Spain (Ciudad Real, three-time champions) or Germany (Kiel/3, Hamburg, Flensburg).

EHF Marketing GmbH founded in 2005

In a further development of the competition, the EHF Marketing GmbH was founded in 2005 and the playing system underwent several more adaptations - with or without main round and/or Last 16.

The all-time individual record for most trophies has been set by Andrej Xepkin, who won the EHF Champions League six times with Barcelona before helping out injury-struck THW Kiel in 2007 and taking his seventh trophy.

Implementation of VELUX EHF FINAL4

The biggest change in its 25 years came with the implementation in the 2009/10 season of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in the LANXESS arena in Cologne, while the VELUX Group became title sponsor of the competition.

In the meantime, the number of spectators in the arenas surpassed the 800,000 mark per season, and the number of cumulated TV viewers reached a new milestone with 383 million fans in 2015/16.

In the last two seasons, no clubs from Spain or Germany were victorious in Cologne. Kielce (Poland) and Vardar (FYR Macedonia) became the first winners from their respective countries, raising the number of nations that have won the most coveted trophy in club handball to six in 24 years.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew
 
Share
CONTACT FORM