Expert’s Column: Marit Breivik on the CL Final - Part 3Article
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EHF lecturer Marit Breivik is head coach of the Norwegian women’s national team. She led the Scandinavians to Olympic bronze in 2000, World Championship gold medal in 1999 and to three European Championship titles in 1998, 2004 and 2006.

Expert’s Column: Marit Breivik on the CL Final - Part 3

The CL winner SlagelseThe Champions League Final ended with Danish victory. Slagelse decided the matter already in the first half of the match and they had the possibility to play for the spectators as well.

Marit Breivik has been following the final with us. The legendary coach of Norway comments on the second leg of Slagelse vs Lada and she also shares her conclusions with us. Slagelse won comfortably at the end. What was the difference between the teams?

Marit Breivik: First of all the experience. Slagelse knew how to play a CL Final with two behind them. They played very hard; they were strong in defence, while the young Lada team were nervous. They were so nervous that they could hardly score against Leganger. Have you ever seen her in such a good form?

Leganger (right) has a great share in the successMarit Breivik: The shots were not good; the Russian players had lot of respect for Leganger. She was in a top form, just as at the 1999 World Championship won with Norway. The home players seemed to play with a smile on their face. They were beaming with self-confidence and their team play was flawless…

Marit Breivik: They are experienced players; they played at home and reached a good result in Russia. The match began very well for them and they have many good players, such as Popovic, Lungu or Turey, but we could also mention Hovgaard or others.

Slagelse had a very aggressive defence and it was very difficult to attack against them. Lada had too much respect, on the other hand. They are a very young team, maybe in one or two years they will be up to the task. With Popovic and possibly others leaving the club, do you think it is possible to repeat this success next year?

Marit Breivik: It is too early to talk about it, but Anja Andersen is able to build good teams. What is her secret?

Marit Breivik: She has many good foreign players, they train a lot together. Anja Andersen was a great player and she knows how to prepare them and how to reach top form for the most important period of the season.

Popovic with a special award received from Anja Is it possible to deliberately time good form for the finals?

Marit Breivik: It is a question of mental focus and goal setting. It is possible. Finally, what remain for you from the final? What was most impressive for you?

Marit Breivik: Slagelse was much better this time. Leganger was fantastic, Popovic was great in attack, but the most striking was their defence. They fought very well; I have never seen such a good defence from them before.

Click here to read the first part of Marit Breivik's Column
Click here to read the second part of Marit Breivik's Column