Warm welcome for Xepkin and LozanoArticle
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Two former favourites returned to Kiel and the German fans proved that they did not forget what they have done for the club.

Warm welcome for Xepkin and Lozano

The handball fans of Kiel got to like him a lot. Andrei Xepkin, the Ukrainian-born player holding a Spanish passport, looks a bit like a huge Teddy. The 43-year old player spent two months with the team between April and June. In this period he won the German championship, the German Cup and also his seventh Champions League title.

Xepkin's popularity is unchanged in KielOn his return to the city of this handball fable, Andrei Xepkin was quite overwhelmed by the reaction of the fans. As Barcelona were preparing for the match, all cameras were pointed at him. He already got a big applause one hour before the game when they started the warm-up. And when the team line-up was announced, the player got minute-long applause once again.

“I spent a nice time with Kiel, so I was very happy about this game,” said Andrei Xepkin. “But I did not count on such a warm welcome.”

From the point of view of the result, the Olympic champion player, who was training the Barcelona reserve team before being convinced to return again for having too few players, must have been just as unsatisfied as the other Spanish stars. “We knew that it would be very difficult against this Kiel,” said a disappointed Andrei Xepkin. “However, I did not expect this.”

There was another Barca player who got a special welcome: Demetrio Lozano, who was wearing the THW shirt between 2001 and 2004. The left back did everything he could to avoid this terrible display and reached nine goals.

“I analysed 15 matches during the preparations,” said Noka Serdarusic. “In none of those was he as strong as today.”

Lozano was greeted by many friends like ZeitzWords of praise that do not give comfort. Demetrio Lozano threw the wet shirt against the door of the hall and then the Spanish led a quick verbal counterattack:

“We will have another 60 minutes in the Palau Blaugrana.”

Andrei Xepkin did also not give up the hope: “We still hope,” he said before leaving. And he had the eyes of a teddy once again dreaming about another handball fable. That would be his eighth Champions League title…

TEXT: Jan Kirschner