EHF Champions League introduces: László Nagy (FC Barcelona) – part 3/4Article
«Go back launches new interview series for season 2007/08. In the first four weeks, we will introduce you life and handball in FC Barcelona through László Nagy, who talks about his career, experience and also about the CL Qualifiers.

EHF Champions League introduces:

László Nagy (FC Barcelona) – part 3/4 

"The right attitude" - says László Nagy...Despite his young age, born in 1981, László Nagy is the second longest serving current Barcelona player (after goalkeeper Barrufet). The Hungarian was transferred to the Catalonians in 2000 and he has soon become a standard player of the team. His most important titles with the club are Spanish Championship (2002/03 and 2005/06), EHF Cup (2002/03) and most of all, the Champions League trophy (2004/05).

In the third part of our interview series, we will talk to László Nagy about the old and new Barcelona. Nagy will tell us what he thinks about the new coach and team mates, but he will also reveal a very important secret of the successful Barcelona teams. You joined Barcelona seven years ago. Who were the greatest stars back then?

László Nagy: Well… I could list you the whole team. They won five Champions League titles in a row. I could of course tell you the name of Enric Masic, who was the captain of the team and a determining figure, or the 1999 World Player of the Year, Rafa Guijosa, who marked a period of the club. However, all the players were great stars.

Masip receives a CL Trophy from King Juan What does a new player need to stay in the team? What did you need for this?

László Nagy: Apart from the abilities, you also need determination. I think I had it in me and I felt the confidence of the others right from the beginning. The right attitude is very important in this club. This is also the reason why many players are able to stay here for a long time. Those who have this special attitude can have a good career in Barcelona.

I was lucky with this. I played together with a playmaker such as Enric Masip, who gave me brilliant assists and he prepared the space for me. I just had to score goals and the fans got to like me soon. Who had the most remarkable mentality in the team? Did you have a leader?

László Nagy: Xavier O’Callaghan, for example. He was mentally very strong; he was on a higher level than the others. Not by chance, today he works in the club management.

Cadenas has a difficult job after coaches such as Valero You will start your eighth season in the club. What’s your opinion about the new team of FC Barcelona?

László Nagy: There are great expectations from the team. The signings were very successful. We have many new players, while others left the squad. In addition, a new coach, Manolo Cadenas, took the team over.

Looking at the things from my perspective, it is going fine. The team are on the right track, but we have to wait more time to see, of course. What can you tell us about the new coach?

László Nagy: Cadenas has very clear ideas about the team. He tries to get the most out of every player and he demands us to behave as a unified team on and off court. Off court? He wants you to go out for a beer together?

László Nagy: No, not this. He wants us to discuss every detail of handball among each other before and after trainings or matches. When we watch a video on the opponent, for example, we also talk about it in private, not only together with the coach.

One of the new stars: Garabaya from Cadenas has large shoes to fill, though. Everyone will compare him to former legendary coach of Barca, Valero Rivera, who won over 50 trophies with the club including six Champions League titles…

László Nagy: Yes, he is a legendary coach and Cadenas is often compared to him. I think Rivera was stricter, but Cadenas demands a lot of discipline too. But this is good for the team. When you have 14 players who want to do 14 things, it won’t work. And what about the players? A number of big names joined the team.

László Nagy: Barcelona signed world class handballers for all positions. The right winger Rocas had very good seasons with Portland, he is a strong player.

With the arrival of Hvidt, we have three goalkeepers who would have a standard place in any team in the world. One of them will have to be left out, unfortunately. We had similar situations before.

Two great pivots also arrived: Danish national player Noddesbo and the Spanish international Garabaya. They work well in attack and in defence too.

Another player from Valladolid - Gull is right back just as NagyGull came from Valladolid, who will be very good in attacks. He was top scorer in the Spanish league two years ago. Together we will solve this right back position well.

And finally, we have Lozano. He does not need to be introduced to anyone; he spent a couple of years in Barcelona before and he won two CL titles. Barcelona just played the first official home game. How did the fans welcome this new team?

László Nagy: There were around 4,000 people on the stands and I felt already during the team presentation that they welcomed us with great affection. The atmosphere was very good and there were big celebrations after the 9-goal victory. It was not an easy game, though. Braga had the advantage for a long period.

László Nagy: Yes, Braga had the lead at halftime. In the first 30 minutes our defence was not working well. We got 20 goals – this is telling. Barcelona must never get 20 goals in 30 minutes. We discussed it in the break and we got only 8 goals in the second half. You can’t celebrate too much. The Spanish Supercup Final is coming up on Sunday.

László Nagy: We will play against Ciudad Real in Salamanca. The title will be decided in one game and we want to win of course. A victory would give strength and confidence before the beginning of Asobal League.

The objective is to win the away games as well - similar spectacular goal will be Barcelona are always expected to win, I guess…

László Nagy: The philosophy of the club is to win every single competition that we start. Only victories bring you premium; no one is paid for second places in Barcelona. Is it true for the Champions League as well?

László Nagy: We did not look so much forward to analyse our opponents, but we know our group. We know that there are no unbeatable teams in this group. We have one extra objective for this season: we want to win the away games in the Champions League whenever it is possible.

In the closing chapter of our interview series next week, we will talk to László Nagy about the chances of FC Barcelona in the Champions League, but we will also ask him about his objectives for the 2007/08 season and beyond.


EHF Champions League introduces: László Nagy – part 1/4
EHF Champions League introduces: László Nagy – part 2/4