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25.05.2018, 22:10
Opening party lights up the final weekend
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FEATURE: FINAL4 teams held a meet and greet with hundreds of fans at the Opening party in front of LANXESS Arena.

»EHF CL Channel »2017-18 Men's CL
»Final Four
»
 

Opening party lights up the final weekend

One of the most exciting parts of the VELUX FINAL4 has finally arrived! Opening party of the 2018 edition gathered hundreds of fans from all across the Europe in front of the LANXESS Arena in Cologne, all of them with the same goal – to support handball and the best four teams of the Champions League, HB Montpellier, HC Vardar, Paris Saint-Germain Handball and HBC Nantes.

With three of the four teams being from France, Cologne experienced a true overflow of French fans with Macedonian fans staying strong and with hopes of Vardar defending the title.

“We came from Macedonia for the second time, we were here last year and witnessed a miracle and we hope for the same this year,” said the excited Mitevski couple from Macedonia all dressed up in the colours of their beloved team, Vardar.

Sebastien, a supporter from Clermont-Ferrand, France came for the third time. For handball, of course, but also to enjoy the time with his friends. “We normally are for Paris but this time we support all French clubs; we are missing Veszprem for the atmosphere but Vardar is here!”

Marco from Syracusa, Sicily is a handball player playing in the top league in Italy. He came with his club president and coach and is eager to watch the VELUX EHF FINAL4: “This year, my heart is for Montpellier. A new team in the handball world will make some improvements.”

Opening party started with the musical number by the Groovin Affairs after which fans had a chance to win official merchandise through the official FINAL4 mobile application.

Proof that the gathered fans are true handball enthusiasts was the moment when the recently retired female handball player Anja Althaus came to the stage.

“Normally I talk a lot but right not I can’t find words to describe this amazing season and winning the trophy. This game felt like a dejavu because last year I was also in the finals but my team lost and this year I experienced what it is like to win the Champions League again. I know I said this last year, but after this I definitely decided to retire from handball and make some new steps in my life,” said Györ line player, who was crowned with her last team in Budapest a fortnight ago, in front of cheering fans.

Even though the party offered numerous entertainment acts, the most common question amongst spectators was “When are the teams going to arrive?”. After the team mascots warmed the crowd up, all four teams came to the stage one by one and threw promotion balls to the crowd.

Players also took selfies and signed autographs for their fans.


TEXT: Andreja Piskač, Ivana Bočkaj / br
 
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