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03.10.2017, 10:00
Five debutants, five former winners, two players eyeing their fifth trophy
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FACTS AND FIGURES: All you need to know before the start of the Women's EHF Champions League Group Matches
 

Five debutants, five former winners, two players eyeing their fifth trophy

With the qualification tournaments done and dusted, boarding has been completed for the Women’s EHF Champions League 2017/18. Here are the most important facts and figures prior to the start of the group matches, in which 16 teams coming from 11 nations are taking part.

0 champions have successfully defended their title since the inauguration of the Women’s EHF FINAL4 in 2014. The last team to win twice in a row were Györi Audi ETO, becoming the first FINAL4 winners in 2014 after also winning the last version under the old playing system.

1 club can win the EHF Champions League after raising the EHF Cup trophy the previous season: Rostov-Don from Russia.

1 more draw is needed until the Women’s EHF FINAL4: the draw for the final event. The 12 teams advancing from the group matches will appear in two groups with clubs from Groups A and B, and Groups C and D, respectively. The final standings of the main round determine the quarter-finals.

1 woman can become the first female winner of the EHF Champions League as a player and as a coach: Irina Dibirova, who won the trophy as a player with Slagelse (2005) and Zvenigorod (2008), and is now coach of Vardar.

2 of the 16 participants in the group matches have been part of all four FINAL4 tournaments so far: Buducnost (MNE) and Vardar (MKD). Also, Györ (HUN/3 times), Bucuresti (ROU/2), Midtjylland (DEN/1) and Larvik (NOR/1) have played at the FINAL4.

2 teams advanced to the group matches as winners of the qualification tournaments: Kristiansand (NOR) and Thüringer HC (GER).

2 former Champions League winners failed to qualify for the group matches: Austrian record champions Hypo Niederösterreich (winners in 1994, 1995, 1998 and 2000) and Croatian record champions Podravka Vegeta (1996).

3 teams per group will proceed to the main round. Groups A and B will compose Group 1 of the main round, Groups C and D form Group 2. Group match results against opponents who also advance, will stand in the main round.

4 (which means all) participants of the Women’s EHF FINAL4 in 2017 (and 2016, which had the same lineup) have qualified for the group matches again: Bucuresti, Györ, Buducnost and Vardar.

4 times Kristiansand’s goalkeeper Katrine Lunde and Rostovs’s right back Katarina Bulatovic have won the EHF Champions League trophy to top the individual ranking among players in the current season. Overall record holders are Ausra Fridrikas and Bojana Popovic with six trophies each.

5 former Women’s EHF Champions League top scorers are on court in the 2017/18 group phase: Anita Görbicz (Györ/2014: 87 goals, 2012: 133), Zsuzsanna Tomori (Györ/2013: 95), Cristina Neagu (Bucuresti/2015: 102), Isabelle Gullden (Bucuresti/2016:108), and Andrea Penezic (Vardar/2017: 98 goals).

5 teams are making their debut in the group matches: Bietigheim (GER), Gdynia (POL), Kristiansand (NOR), Nyköbing (DEN) and Brest (FRA).

5 nations have two teams each in the group matches. Due to the new system and the nations ranking, Hungary and Denmark automatically have two spots. Also, France, Germany and Norway take part with two teams.

5 former or current Women’s EHF Champions League winners (including all winners since 2011) with a total of 9 titles are part of the 2017/18 group stage: Krim (2001, 2003), Larvik (2011), Buducnost (2012, 2015), Györ (2013, 2014, 2017) and Bucuresti (2016).

6 former or current female World Handball Players of the Year are part of the 2017/18 group phase: Cristina Neagu (Bucuresti/2010, 2015, 2016), Eduarda Amorim (Györ/2014), Andrea Lekic (Vardar/2013), Allison Pineau (Brest/2009), Linn-Kristin Koren Riegelhuth (Larvik/2008) and Anita Görbicz (Györ/2005).

10 of the 11 previous seasons (8 consecutive times from the 2006/07-2013/14, plus 2015/16 and 2016/17) Györ have at least qualified for the semi-finals.

11 nations represent the winners of the Women’s EHF Champions League: Denmark (6 titles), Austria (4), Hungary (4), Slovenia (2), Montenegro (2), Norway, FYR Macedonia, Spain, Croatia, Russia and Romania (1 each).

11 national champions, and thus 11 nations, are part of the group matches.

11 clubs that were part of the group matches in 2016/17 are back again: Bucuresti, Györ, Buducnost, Vardar, Thüringer HC, Larvik, Rostov, Metz, FTC, Krim and Midtjylland. Five teams from last season failed to qualify again: Esbjerg, Leipzig, Glassverket, Astrakhanocka, Sävehof.

22 times – including the new season – Buducnost have been part of the Women’s EHF Champions League.

116 matches (including qualification) will have to be played before we know the winner of the Women’s EHF Champions League this season: 8 qualification matches have already taken place, 48 group and main round matches are up next, followed by 8 quarter-finals, and 4 FINAL4 matches.

5748 goals have been scored during the 2016/17 season, an average of 47.9 per match.


TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew
 
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