EHF Cup countdown, part 9: FC Porto (POR)
A lot to live up to
The 2013/14 season was a historic one for FC Porto.
The Portuguese side became the only club to claim their domestic title for the sixth year in succession and they advanced to the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase for the first time.
This term, attention turns to the EHF Cup and an even longer run in this competition for Ljubomir Obradovic’s men, after they fell to Ukrainian side Motor Zaporozhye in qualification for the top flight competition.
Porto then pulled off a shock in reaching this stage by overcoming Spanish powerhouse Ademar Leon.
Despite the departure of some top talent, including line player Tiago Rocha, who has joined Polish giants Wisla Plock, the squad remains strong and it will need to be, if they are to emerge from Group C.
Porto have been pitted against Vojvodina (Serbia), Berlin (Germany) and Skjern (Denmark) in one of the tougher line-ups in the competition, but club director Manuel Arezes insists his side are ready to make their mark once more.
“After a historic qualification for the group phase of the EHF Cup, FC Porto will try to reach the quarter-finals and continue making history in this competition,” he said.
“The experience from last season’s Champions League participation might be a good help, as well as the support of a crowd that loves handball. We invite everyone to join FC Porto on this fantastic journey.”
Team captain Ricardo Moreira added: “We are so happy that we qualified for the group phase and our only goal is to continue to achieve more and more, so we’re really working for that to happen.”
Three questions for coach Ljubomir Obradovic:
eurohandball.com: What are your expectations for the EHF Cup Group Phase - regarding your objectives and your group opponents?
Ljubomir Obradovic: “Our clear aim is qualification for the next round.”
eurohandball.com: What does participation in the EHF Group Phase mean to you and your club?
Ljubomir Obradovic: “This participation allows us to improve our game and to show the European clubs the quality of the players that represent FC Porto. We also want to show our fair play.”
eurohandball.com: Which teams are your personal favourites to reach the EHF Cup Finals?
Ljubomir Obradovic: “My personal wish is for FC Porto to be there, the rest is sport.”
FC Porto (POR)
Road to the group phase:
Qualifying Round 3 Porto vs Ademar Leon 29:24, 25:28
Coach: Ljubomir Obradovic (since 2009)
Newcomers: Yoel Cuni (Madeira), Edgar Landim (Belenenses), Nuno Gonçalves (Sporting), Nuno Roque (Águas Santas), Wesley Freitas
Left the club: Hugo Rosário (Águas Santas), Tiago Rocha (Wisla Plock), Vasco Santos (AA Avanca), Miguel Sarmento (ADA Ismai), João Moniz (Águas Santas), Belmiro Alves (Águas Santas), Pedro Spinola (Sporting CP), Wilson Davyes (Nantes)
EHF European Cup competitions records:
VELUX EHF Champions League records:
Cup Winners’ Cup:
Portuguese champions: 1953/54, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1958/59, 1962/63, 1963/64, 1964/65, 1967/68, 1998/99, 2001/02, 2002/03, 2003/04, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2012/13, 2013/14
TEXT: Björn Pazen / jh
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