EHF Champions League

Profiles of the All-star team nominees

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Profiles of the All-star team nominees

45 players and 5 coaches to choose from: Who is the best of the best of the Women's EHF Champions League 2015/16?

Fans will get to vote for the best players of each position as well as best defender, best young player and best coach to fill the coveted places in the All-star team.

Players from 17 nations and 12 clubs from the current season have been nominated.

The vote will be open until Tuesday 3 May and the fans’ choice for the Women's EHF Champions League All-star team will be announced during the Women's EHF FINAL4 in Budapest on 7 and 8 May 2016.

Before voting here, take a closer look at the nominees:


Marta Zderic (CRO) - Buducnost

• playing her tenth consecutive CL season, and her third with Buducnost, after she moved from Podravka in 2013
• started as a back player, but soon she moved into goal
• in Buducnost she chose number 43, the decision to use that unusual number for a goalkeeper was made by her niece Lara
• despite an early exit at the EHF EURO 2014 on home court in Varazdin she has had an impressive season in the Buducnost goal so far


Amandine Leynaud (FRA) - HC Vardar

• playing her ninth season in the CL, six with Metz Handball and the last three with Vardar
• arrived at the Macedonian club in 2013, along with French teammates Siraba Dembele and Allison Pineau
• currently the number one French goalkeeper
• main strength is on 6m line shots


Katrine Lunde (NOR) - Rostov-Don

• one of the best goalkeepers in the world with a big collection of major trophies won both with clubs and the Norwegian national team
• her move to Rostov-Don after five years at Hungary's Györ was one of the biggest transfer events in Europe 2015
• missed the last season at Györ because of pregnancy
• already worked with Jan Leslie at Aalborg


Kari Grimsbø (NOR) - Györi Audi ETO KC

• joined Györ from Danish Team Esbjerg during the 2014/15 season, as Croatian Jelena Grubisic, the replacement for pregnant Katrine Lunde, gor injured
• All-star goalkeeper of the 2012 Olympics
• started her career at the age of 5, had her debut for Byasen in the Norwegian league at the age of 17


Darly Zoqbi de Paula (ESP) - Fleury Loiret Handball

• acquired the Spanish nationality in 2014, in order to play with the national team
• arrived in Europe in 2002, player with various Spanish and French clubs before signing to Fleury in 2013
• knew Fred Bougeant from her four years in Le Havre, where they reached the EHF Cup Semi-Finals in 2008, won two French national cups and took part in the Cup Winners’ Cup Final 2014/15
• firm fan favourite in Fleury, where her Panther outfit has become one of the symbols of the club

Left wings

Majda Mehmedovic (MNE) - Buducnost

• her mother played handball as a goalkeeper
• started handball in Bar at the age of 12 with her brother Musa and immediately loved it
• It took her two years to get into the first team after being signed by Buducnost, now her efficiency makes her stand out
• voted for the 2013/14 CL All-star Team as the best left-wing


Louise Sand (SWE) - IK Sävehof

• Louise has been crazy about playing ball all her life and for her confirmation she only wanted a ball as present
• with her 160 cm, she is not among the tallest on a court, but she more than compensates for that through her outstanding technique
• joined Sävehof in 2009 after spells with Kärra and Önnereds
• Sweden national team member since 2012


Manon Houette (FRA) - Fleury Loiret Handball

• has spent her entire professional career in Fleury Loiret
• she played every minute of every game in Fleury's Cup Winners' Cup campaign last season
•  quick and very efficient, she was elected best left winger of the French league for two seasons (2013/14 and 2014/15)
• made her national team debut last season and has been a regular fixture ever since


Aniko Kovacsics (HUN) - Györi Audi ETO KC

• played as number one playmaker due to the pregnancy of Anita Görbicz in the last season
• the 24-year-old made her CL debut at the age of 16 and is already in her ninth season
• able to play left wing and was deployed in that position by Hungary during EHF EURO 2014
• awarded best young player of the 2012/13 CL


Maria Fisker (DEN) - CSM Bucuresti

• known for her speed and has a scoring percentage well above 80%
• started playing handball when she was five
• joined Viborg in 2006 from third division club Vissing Hadsten
• transferred to Randers HK in 2009, returned to Viborg in 2011
• Bucuresti as her first experience outside Denmark, where she was studying to be a nurse
• voted in the Women's EHF EURO 2014 All-star team

Left backs

Cristina Neagu (ROU) - Buducnost

• named the World Handball Player of the Year after leading Romania to bronze medal at the EHF EURO 2010
• top scorer (53 goals) and All-star member of the EHF EURO 2010 and the 2014/15 CL season (102 goals), also MVP of the WCh 2015
• voted in the Women's EHF EURO 2014 All-star team
• missed nearly two of the last four years, after a shoulder injury and a torn ligament in her knee
• lost two CL finals, one with Oltchim (2013) and once with Buducnost (2014)


Alexandrina Barbosa (ESP) - Fleury Loiret Handball

• signed from Thüringer HC in the summer of 2014
• very quick, very powerful and one of the best left backs on the continent and definitely Fleury's sharpest offensive weapon
• former Portugese citizen, she now has a Spanish passport and has reached the final of the EHF EURO 2014 with the national team
• at the age of 29, she already played in five different countries: Portugal, Spain, Romania, Germany and France


Andrea Penezic (CRO) - HC Vardar

• extented her contract with Vardar until 2017
• raised the Slovenian title and cup four times with Krim Mercator before joining Vardar
• best left back in the All-star Team at the WCh 2011
• played also for Lokomotiva and Podravka
• Croatian player of the year six consecutive times
• together with Cristina Neagu the top scorer of the 2014/15 season with 102 goals


Lois Abbingh (NED) - HCM Baia Mare

• played four years at German side VfL Oldenburg (2010-2014) before she transferred to Baia Mare
• made her comeback on the court after an eight-month injury break in January 2015
• top scorer and member of the All-star team at the 2010 U18 World Championship and top scorer of the 2011 U19 EHF EURO with the Netherlands
• top scorer of the Dutch league in the 2009/10 season at the age of only 18


Nerea Pena (ESP) - FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

• Spanish international signed from Itxako in 2012 and has been a clutch player for Elek ever since
• injury-prone sharp shooter has been through difficult times injuring the same knee twice, but when fit she is the focal point of FTC’s attacks
• finished as runner-up both at the EURO 2014 with Spain and in the CL with Itxako in 2011
• voted to the All-stars of the EURO 2010

Centre backs

Allison Pineau (FRA) - HCM Baia Mare

• French star has been named the "World Player of the Year" in 2012
• suffered two knee injuries, but came back more powerful than before
• is in the run for the top scorers crown
• a social-media addict, she has a page on which she posts on a daily basis and has over 43,000 fans


Isabelle Gulldén (SWE) - CSM Bucuresti

• fast, flexible and creative playmaker and a reliable penalty shooter
• started playing at the age of seven for IK Sävehof
• won the Swedish championship four times in succession with Sävehof (2007 to 2011)
• played for three clubs in her whole career: Sävehof, Viborg and CSM Bucuresti
• MVP and top scorer (58 goals) of the EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary & Croatia


Nycke Groot (NED) - Györi Audi ETO KC

• has a major share of the playing time at the playmaker's position due to the injury of Antia Görbicz
• her entire career at top level in Denmark until she joined Györ in the summer of 2015
• with FC Midtjylland the top scorer of the Women's EHF Final4 2014 (20goals)
• player of the year in the Danidh league in 2014


Ekaterina Ilina (RUS) - Rostov-Don

• one of the best Russian playmakers and the big revelation of the last season
• moved to Rostov-Don in 2014 from Lada Toliatti just after winning the EHF Cup with that team
• became the Junior World Champion with the Russian team in Bratislava 2008
• won her first domestic trophies later than international ones, having become the Russian champion and Supercup winner with Rostov in 2015


Andrea Lekic (SRB) - WHC Vardar SCBT

• competed in karate and reached blue belt before moving on to ball sports including volleyball, basketball, football and tennis
• voted the 2013 World Handball Player of the Year
• All-star Team at the EHF EURO 2012
• organises her own handball camp every other year
• extended her contract with Vardar until 2017

Line players

Heidi Løke (NOR) - Györi Audi ETO KC

• World Handball Player of the Year (2011)
• famous daughter in a big handball family as both of her siblings are professional players and all siblings are line players
• in 2011 she took the title with Larvik as the CL top scorer, and in 2012 she only narrowly missed it with Győr only to achieve it one year later
• member of the All-star teams at the London Olympics, 2011 WCh and EHF EURO 2010, 2012 & 2014


Dragana Cvijic (SRB) - Buducnost

• started handball at the age of 10, first as goalkeeper, but being very tall for her age, Dragana’s first coach put her at left back
• in 2007 at Crvena Zvezda she moved to the line
• joined Buducnost in 2011, just in time to help them on the way to the CL title
• Serbian national team player voted the best line player of the WCh 2013


Oana Manea (ROU) - CSM Bucuresti

• in 2008 diagnosed with ventricular extrasystole and stopped playing for six month
• can gather the team behinder her, one of the reasons she has been named captain both at Oltchim and the national team
• scored 6 goals in the close loss against Györi Audi ETO KC
• make-up is her hobby, considers to become a full-time make-up artist after finishing her handball career


Marit Malm Frafjord (NOR) - Larvik

• used to play for Larvik's rivals Byasen HE, but joined Larvik in 2014 after a three year long foreign adventure at Viborg HK
• crucial in the centre of defence as well as in the attack, to Larvik and the Norwegian national team
• one of the most experienced players of the team


Anja Althaus (GER) - HC Vardar

• first German player to play in FYR Macedonia
• switched from being a designer in advertising to a hairdresser, and is known as stylist to her teammates in both her club and national team
• two EHF Champions League titles with Viborg (2009, 2010)
• one of the most famous German players with over 200 caps for Germany and more than 500 goals

Right backs

Nora Mørk (NOR) - Larvik HK

• best scorer of the Norwegian team at the EHF EURO 2014 (41 goals)
• voted the best right back of the EHF EURO 2014
• can also play on the right wing, her twin sister and teammate Thea plays on the left wing
• joined Larvik in the 2009/10 season and debuted in the national team in 2010 as a 19-year-old
• in 2014/15 she had her record-breaking CL season so far with 98 goals


Katarina Bulatovic (MNE) - Buducnost

• Serbia-born shooter arrived to Buducnost in 2014 after one-year stints with Oltchim and Györ
• made it to the CL final for the first time in 2007 with Slagelse
• won the CL title with three different clubs - Slagelse, Buducnost and Györ
• voted at right back in last season's All-star team


Barbara Lazovic-Varlec (SLO) - HC Vardar

• arrived from Krim together with Andrea Penezic in the summer of 2014
• before she joined vardar she played only for krim besides a year-long stint in Zaječar, Serbia
• married to Vuk Lazovic, a handball player from Serbia
• contemplated a switch to Serbia, but remained
loyal to the Slovenian national team


Szandra Szöllösi-Zacsik (HUN) - FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

• back in business for 2015/16 after two serious shoulder injuries, which saw her out of action for almost two years after a maternity leave
• Ferencváros and national team teammate Mónika Kovacsicz is Zacsik's niece
• won both Hungarian and Slovenian titles; scored a last second penalty against later CL holders Viborg, which saw her team triumph on away goals in 2011


Line Jørgensen (DEN) - CSM Bucuresti

• the captain of the Danish national team started playing handball at the age of only three
• her two cousins, Lars and Kenn Eiberg Jørgensen, have both played in the Danish national team, both also as right backs
• joined CSM after stints aith GOG and FC Midtjylland
• won the EHF Cup with FCM in 2011 and bronze with Denmark at the WCh 2013

Right wings

Iuliia Managarova (UKR) - Rostov-Don

• moved to Rostov in 2013 and quickly became one of the favourite players of local fans
• quiet and humble off the court, but a natural leader in the game with a powerful shot and great scoring abilities
• was a key player in the Ukraine national team, but opted to change citizenship hoping to play for Russia
• champion of three countries: Ukraine (Smart Krivy Rog), Romania (Oltchim) and Russia (Rostov-Don)


Alexandra Do Nascimento (BRA) - HCM Baia Mare

• after 11 seasons played for Hypo Niederösterreich took a new challenge and accepted Baia Mare’s offer
• with 501 goals scored over 12 seasons one of the top scorers of the CL history
• her husband, the Chilean right wing Patricio Martinez, followed her to Baia Mare and plays for the men’s team
• despite injury worries, Do Nascimento missed only one game this season and is Baia Mare's second top scorer with 50 goals


Jovanka Radicevic (MNE) - HC Vardar

• started playing handball at the age of 12
• best right wing at the EHF EURO 2012 when she won the championship with Montenegro and at the World Championship 2015
• in 2013, she won the CL title with Györ
• with Buducnost, she won seven championships and cup titles in Montenegro (2005-2011), two regional league titles (2010, 2011) and two titles in the Cup Winners’ Cup (2006, 2010)


Amanda Kurtovic (NOR) - Larvik

• made a comeback to Larvik in summer 2015 after three years joining from league colleagues Oppsal
• for a long time, she seemed to be heading for Danidh nykobing Falster, but ended in Larvik
• has been bothered quite a lot by injuries through her career



Carmen Martin (ESP) - CSM Bucuresti

• Spanish player started handball when she was 7 years old, in Roquetas del Mar, her hometown
• named the best right wing of the EHF EURO 2014, after ranking third in the top scorers list
• reached the CL final in 2011 with Itxako and the semi-final in 2013 with Krim Ljubljana
• loves drama movies, her favourite being "The Notebook"


Eduarda Amorim (BRA) – Györi Audi ETO KC

• 2014 IHF Player of the Year
• Brazilian international arrived in Europe in 2006
• first joining Kometal Skopje in FYR Macedonia, transferred to Győr in 2009
• passed the 300 goals milestone in the European top flight in the 2013/14 season
• All-star left back at the WCh 2013 and the CL 2013/14


Sabina Jacobsen (SWE) - FC Midtjylland

• joined FC Midtjylland from another Danish league club, Randers HK in the summer of 2014
• has played four years in the Danish league all in all, as she joined Randers from Swedish club Lugi HF in 2012
• part of the Midtjylland team who won the Cup Winners' Cup in the 2014/15 season and the Danish championship the same year
• part of the Midtjylland team who won the Cup Winners’ Cup in the 2014/15 season and the Danish championship the same year
• named the best defender of the Women’s EHF EURO 2014 in Hungary and Croatia, where she also won bronze with Sweden


Kinga Achruk (POL) – Buducnost

• the third Polish player in Buducnost’s history, after Monika Marzec and Izabela Puchacz, who played in Podgorica from 2003 to 2005
• her mother Malgorzata played handball for Montex Lublin and Zaglebie Lubin
• with Zaglebie Lubin she won a Polish title in 2011 and three Polish cups in 2009, 2011 and 2013, when she scored 14 goals in the final
• named Poland’s best player in 2012


Anna Sen (RUS) – Rostov-Don

• came back to Rostov-Don after a season in Hungary where she played for Györ
• her first spell at Rostov was 2011-2014 and during that time she won the Russian Cup twice, in 2012 and 2013
• has also played for Kuban Krasnodar and Zvezda Zvenigorod, but has never been a Russian champion yet
• in 2008 won the Junior World Championship with Russia and became the top scorer of that tournament


Andrea Klikovac (MNE) – HC Vardar

• as a young girl filled her album with photos of her idol Bojana Popovic and dreamed to be alongside her
• received personal congratulations from Popovic after Montenegro won the EHF EURO 2012
• considered as one Montenegro’s best young players
• one of the youngest players in Vardar, but has been at the club longer than many of the current squad

Young players

Julia Eriksson (SWE) – Sävehof IK

• one of many Sävehof’s young guns who have really developed in the 2015/16 season as she became their top scorer
• joined from the club Kärra in the lower leagues in the summer of 2014
• got her international break-through in the CL main round in 2015/16, scoring seven goals away against HC Vardar, 11 at home against FC Midtjylland and seven away against Györ
• her skills have not yet earned her a nomination for the national senior team, but she has played 27 internationals for the junior team


Luca Szekerczes (HUN) – FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

• widely considered to be the best right back of her generation in Hungary
• voted to the All-star teams of both the EHF EURO in 2013 (where Hungary finished as runners-up) and WCh in 2014
• youngster will have to fill in for the team’s most prolific scorer, Zsuzsa Tomori, who signed to Györ
• was offloaded a couple of times but was called back in the summer
• voted Youth Player of the Year in Hungary in 2012


Kristine Breistøl (NOR) – Larvik

• has been with Larvik since 2012 when joining from Baekkelaget
• has played 37 junior internationals for Norway and scored 100 goals
• standing 191 cm tall, she has a perfect height for a back court player in women’s handball
• the 21-year-old is considered a player for the future in Larvik
• has already developed a very good and varied shot, benefiting also from her height


Eliza Iulia Buceschi (ROU) - HCM Baia Mare

• despite her young age, 21, she has already been selected many times for the Romania national team
• her father Costica was Baia Mare’s coach until January 2015
• on the 31st of January 2011, the Buceschi family made history in the Romanian League for Baia Mare as Carmen and Eliza – mother and daughter – played on the same time, while Costica was coaching
• top scorer for the club in Europe this season with 43 goals so far


Emma Ekenman-Fernis (SWE) – Sävehof IK

• joined Sävehof ahead of the 2015/16 season from Sporvägens IF in Stockholm
• her original club was Roserbergs IF in rural Roslagen in central Sweden, though
• despite an injury spell, she has developed into one of the key players in the Sävehof team over the season
also soon turned out to be an asset to the club in the CL


Dragan Adzic (MNE) - Buducnost

• retired due to injury in 1998
• almost a decade was an assistant to many coaches in Buducnost
• became head coach in 2010
• in 2012 won the CL in May with Buducnost and EHF EURO in December with Montenegro
• met his wife Timea after she came to the club as an interpreter to former coach, Hungarian Gyula Zsiga


Jan Leslie (DEN) – Rostov-Don

• signed with Rostov-Don in 2014
• his first experience away from his home country Denmark
• won the Russian league in his debut season, having led Rostov-Don to the champion’s title for the first time since 1994
• previously worked in Denmark at Skjern, Aalborg, Esbjerg and Randers and won the EHF Cup in 2010 and the Danish league in 2012 with Randers
• considered one of the top Danish coaches of the new generation


Ambros Martin (ESP) - Györi ETO KC

• born in Lanzarote, Canary Islands
• joined Győr in 2012
• previously coached top Spanish side Estrella Itxako for seven years, winning the EHF Cup in 2009
• also eliminating Györ in the semi-final on the way to the CL final in 2010/11 during that spell
• in his first season with Györ he won their first European trophy


Tor Odvar Moen (NOR) – Larvik

• has made a comeback to the job as head coach ahead of the 2015/16 season, succeeding Ole Gustav Gjekstad, to whom he was assistant coach for the previous three and a half years
• has been with Larvik since 1997, taking care of several different jobs in the club
• head coach in the club for the second time, as he took over at New Year 2011, as now late Karl Erik Bohn left with immediate effect
• led Larvik to the club’s only CL triumph so far – in 2011
• has his strongest qualities in the tactical area and in communication with the players


Gabor Elek (HUN) – FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

• son of legendary Ferencváros coach, who led the team for almost three decades, now plays in the arena that is named after his father, Gyula Elek
• has been at the helm in Ferencváros since 2008 but he won his first domestic gold medal in 2015 having already won an enermous amount of silvers behind Györ
• won back-to-back Cup Winners’ Cups with his team in 2011 and 2012
• respected member of the Ferencváros family, apart from his father his mother also played for the club


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