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07.09.2018, 14:20
Who has the best goalkeeper duo?
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FIRST-HAND INSIGHT: Even the best team won’t win the VELUX EHF Champions League if their man between the posts isn’t good enough, so here are the top 10 teams with the strongest goalkeepers

»EHF CL Channel »2018-19 Men's News
»
 

Who has the best goalkeeper duo?

Having an excellent goalkeeper is great. Having two excellent goalkeepers is even better.

The VELUX EHF Champions League proved it once again last season: goalkeepers are among the most important players on a team. And without an outstanding duo, your chances to go far in the competition are slim.

So here are our top 10 goalkeeper duo's this season:

10. Filip Ivic / Vladimir Cupara (Kielce)
The departure of Slawomir Szmal leaves a big void to be filled in Kielce. And while Ivic struggled with injuries last season and Wolff is expected to land in Poland in 2019, this very much looks like a transition period between the posts for the VELUX EHF Champions League winners from 2016.

9. Torbjoern Bergerud / Benjamin Buric (Flensburg-Handewitt)
Bergerud stunned everybody with his performances during the last major championships with Norway. Buric has gained a lot of experience with Slovenian side Velenje in the VELUX EHF Champions League a couple of years ago and that might be very useful to help Flensburg fulfil their promises.

8. Björgvin Gustavsson / Emil Nielsen (Skjern)
The marriage between ice and fire: young gun Nielsen proved last season that, at only 21, he already has what it takes. Gustavsson, on the other hand, has already seen a lot handball-wise, including a 2008 Olympics final, but is hungry to play a competition in which he’s never had much success.

7. Mikael Appelgren / Andreas Palicka (Löwen)
Rhein-Neckar goes at it again with the Swedish pair, which spends the whole year together as they are also teammates in the national team. If they play at the level they’re used to, they should help the German side reach the knockout phase again - and maybe more this time.

6. Mirko Alilovic / Marin Sego (Szeged)
The Croatian pair will do its best to send the Hungarian side to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne for the first time. Sego has spent last season in José Manuel Sierra’s shadow while the situation was similar for Alilovic in Veszprém. They might have aged a little bit, that doesn’t mean they are any worse. And they are hungry to prove they still have the fire inside them.

5. Cyril Dumoulin / Arnaud Siffert (Nantes)
The two French goalkeepers were one of the surprises last season, and obviously a key to Nantes’ maiden qualification for Cologne. They might have different styles, but they complement each other perfectly. Dumoulin delivered his best season ever, and the question is: can he do it again? If not, will Arnaud Siffert be able to step into the spotlight?

4. Roland Mikler / Arpad Sterbik (Veszprém)
He may be 38, but Sterbik remains one of the most efficient goalkeepers in Europe. He proved it again many times in the last couple of seasons with Vardar, and there is no wonder why Ljubomir Vranjes wanted last-season All-star Team goalkeeper in Veszprem. Especially since, in Hungary, he will form an impressive pair with Mikler. Hard to tell which one of the two will be No. 1 - but that may be the strength here.

3. Thierry Omeyer / Rodrigo Corrales (PSG)
One of the best pairs of the regular season fell flat at the VELUX EHF FINAL4. Still, they are among the top ones of the circuit. Corrales, for his first Champions League campaign with Paris, delivered some impressive performances, while Omeyer’s experience came handy a couple of times. This will be Omeyer’s last before retiring, for sure an extra motivation to do well.

2. Gonzalo Perez de Vargas / Kevin Møller (Barça)
Two of the best up-and-coming goalkeepers of the competition: Perez de Vargas has already become a firm No. 1 between Barça’s posts. This summer, he has been joined by Møller, two years older, but with a similar profile. Less explosive but as efficient with former club SG Flensburg-Handewitt, he should bring some variety in the Blaugrana defence. If this pair is not the best right now, it should still grow and turn into it before long.

1. Vincent Gerard / Nikola Portner (Montpellier)
Best goalkeeper of both the World Championship 2017 and the EHF EURO 2018 with France, and winner of the VELUX EHF Champions League 2017/18 with Montpellier: there is not much that Gerard can’t achieve at the moment. Last season was probably his best ever with the club, and he was key in Montpellier’s spectacular performance. And when he wasn’t having such a good day, Swiss soon-to-be-star Portner never missed a chance to give the team a helping hand.


TEXT: Kevin Domas / ew
 
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