“With heart and mind”Article
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Words of joy and sorrow from the final press conference.

“With heart and mind”

With a big bottle of sparkling wine the players of Ciudad Real went into the cabin shouting, singing and dancing, while the Kiel players left the court virtually without emotions. Just ten minutes before this, EHF president Tor Lian handed over the big CL trophy to Ciudad’s captain, Jose Hombrados. A huge Spanish fiesta began with sparkling wine all over.

Disappointment on the Kiel sideThe players of THW stood there disappointed, but they also felt that the squad of Ciudad were better and more focused for 60 minutes and the 31:25 victory (after losing 27:29 at home) was well-deserved. Kiel didn’t find their pace, their usual speed and made too many mistakes, especially in attack.

The two sides mentioned these factors at the post-match press conference:

“We made too many technical mistakes in attack and we didn’t play with passion. Before the match the players looked as if they would attend a funeral, not a Champions League final. I couldn’t bring a smile on their faces,” said THW coach Noka Serdarusic.

"The victory of Ciudad Real was well-deserved; we didn’t have any chance,” said the THW coach who added that especially the defending against Nikola Karabatic was decisive.

“We have beaten the best team in the world and it was a great sensation after the defeat a week ago,” said Ciudad Real’s coach, Talant Dujshebaev. “I’m so proud of my team, even more so for not having all our players with us due to injuries.” 

One of the players to miss the second leg was Siarhei Rutenka, who was out with a shoulder injury. He put it this way:

Shining happy Spanish people“For me the match was the most terrible 60 minutes of my whole life. I couldn’t help my team, but at the end the players – first of all goalkeeper Árpád Sterbik – played an absolutely fantastic match. He was brilliant.”

For Ales Pajovic it was a very special match. The Slovenian played for Kiel in the Bundesliga last year before returning to Ciudad Real:

“This final was my dream, and my dream came true by winning this final with Ciudad. We are happy to have won two very close matches.” 

On the other side, Nikola Karabatic was utterly disappointed:

“We played very badly, without concentration and we failed against Árpád Sterbik. But we still have the chance to become German champions and we already won the German Cup. We will have two titles, so it was is not so bad. Nevertheless, our disappointment is terrible.”

Also Viktor Szilágyi was devastated:

”We had a hand on the trophy, but it was snatched by Ciudad. This was our own fault that we let them win.”

Albert Entrerrios obviously chilling:

“We played on a different level respect to the first match. We played with our hearts and minds, so we deserved to win.”

TEXT: Björn Pazen