A farewell title?Article
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Interview with Löwen's top player, former CL winner Christian Schwarzer.

A farewell title?

This will be his third and last Champions League semi-final during his long career. Christian Schwarzer was successful in the semi-finals twice with FC Barcelona. In 2000, the Catalonians won the Final against THW Kiel, which will be the next opponent of Schwarzer’s club, Rhein Neckar Löwen.

Schwarzer assumes central role...In 2001 Schwarzer and Barcelona lost the final against Portland and then the line player returned to Germany. He was champion, Cup Winner and EHF Cup Winner with Lemgo. At the end of the current season, the 39-year old former German international, playing for Löwen since 2007, will end his career. He collected World and European Championship gold medals and an Olympic silver medal.

In an exclusive interview for Eurohandball.com, Schwarzer talks about the chances of Löwen against Kiel and the special circumstances of the semi-final matches.

Eurohandball.com: You played many important matches during your career. What does a Champions League semi-final mean for you?

Schwarzer: For every sportsman it’s a great thing to be able to play such matches. It doesn’t make a difference whether it was with Barcelona, CL quarterfinals with Lemgo or with Löwen. These matches are very special and have an important place in your whole career.

Eurohandball.com: What’s your estimation on the chances of Löwen against Kiel?

Schwarzer: Nobody expected us to come so far at our first ever Champions League season. We reached our target and now we want to go right to the Final. We played a very strong season in the “Royal class”, and we believe that everything is possible even against THW Kiel.

Eurohandball.com: Is it a good omen for you that you won your only CL title by beating Kiel in the finals with Barcelona?

Schwarzer: These things have nothing to do with each other. We are playing for the trophy and I don’t mind against whom. I wanted to play against Ciudad Real in the semi-finals as it’s a bit strange to play against a German side in a European Cup. It’s better to have real international matches. But we can’t change it now.

Eurohandball.com: This will be your last season on court. Do you feel special motivation to win a title – either Champions League or German Cup – before your farewell?

Will RNL celebrate at the end?Schwarzer: Of course I want to win a title before I end my career. It’s a great feeling to raise a trophy before you say goodbye. We have two chances and we’ll give all to it.

Eurohandball.com: In both competitions Löwen will meet THW Kiel. In the Bundesliga Löwen lost their home match against THW in October. What do you need to change now?

Schwarzer: We improved a lot since that weak start in the league. You will see a completely different team on Sunday. The two sides will miss some of important players for injuries. We’ll have to wait and see who will be able to replace them better.

Eurohandball.com: Will the discussion around your teams affect the match?

Schwarzer: We concentrate on sports; we’re not interested in all the other things around us.

TEXT: Björn Pazen