Clash of the handball giantsArticle
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Facts and figures: THW Kiel vs. Ciudad Real – the ultimate comparison of the best clubs before the Champions League Final.

Clash of the handball giants

The Champions League Final will be the fifth duel between THW Kiel and Ciudad Real in history of the two clubs.

In the current 2008/09 season, they already met three times: Ciudad won the semi-final of the Champions Trophy in Veszprém 31:24. Kiel fought back and won the first clash in the main round at home by 33:26. The game in Ciudad Real was mostly equal, but the Spanish champions finished better and collected the two points (35:33).

Before the season Ciudad won two of the three matches played: the Bronze match of the Champions Trophy in 2001 (32:20) and the second leg of last season’s Final in Kiel by 31:25. This result meant the CL title for the Spanish side after losing at home by only 27:29.

In the current season both clubs dominated their domestic leagues. Ciudad won 25 consecutive matches and became champion one round from the end. Kiel won 27 matches in a row and became champion with five rounds to go. On top of all, Kiel celebrated their third consecutive German Cup title just two weeks ago.

The stars

Stefansson is just one of the many starsThree past or current World Players of the Year will meet in the Final. Ciudad coach Talant Dujshebaev (1994, 1996), Ciudad goalkeeper Árpád Sterbik (2005) and Nikola Karabatic (2008) will appear in Kiel on Sunday.

In addition to them, five current Olympics and World champions (with France) will face each other: Didier Dinart, Jerome Fernandez and Luc Abalo from Ciudad Real vs Karabatic and Thierry Omeyer from Kiel.

The spectators will also see a very special Icelandic duel: Kiel coach Alfred Gislasson won the Champions League with SC Magdeburg in 2002 together with the current Ciudad Real player, Olafur Stefansson.

Stefansson won the Champions League title three times (twice with Ciudad Real, once with Magdeburg), just as his coach Dujshebaev (once with Santander/player, twice with Ciudad Real). Didier Dinart also won it on three occasions (once with Montpellier, twice with Ciudad Real).

On the other hand, Karabatic and Omeyer won the title twice (once with Kiel and with Montpellier).

Top scorers

The top scorer of THW is the Czech international Filip Jicha with 89 goals at the moment. He’s just four goals behind current leader Kiril Lazarov from Zagreb, who was eliminated in the quarterfinals. It means that Jicha has the best chances to grab the top scorer’s crown.

The most prolific player on the Ciudad Real side is Jonas Källman (63 goals). Kiel’s Vid Kavticnik (68) and Marcus Ahlm (64) both scored more than him.

Champions League history

For THW Kiel it is the 12th Champions League season; for Ciudad it’s the 6th.


1994/95: eliminated in the group phase
1995/96: eliminated in the group phase
1996/97: eliminated in the semi-finals by Zagreb
1998/99: eliminated in the quarterfinals by Portland
1999/00: defeat in the finals against Barcelona (by a single goal)
2000/01: eliminated in the semi-finals by Barcelona (one goal missing again)
2002/03: eliminated in the quarterfinals by Ljubljana
2004/05: eliminated in the quarterfinals by Barcelona (one goal again…)
2005/06: eliminated in the quarterfinals by Flensburg
2006/07: CL WINNER by beating Flensburg in the finals
2007/08: defeat in the finals from Ciudad Real
2008/09: FINALIST

BM Ciudad Real

2003/04: eliminated in the semi-final by Celje
2004/05: defeat in the finals from Barcelona (one goal was missing)
2005/06: CL WINNER by beating Portland in the finals
2006/07: eliminated in the quarterfinals by Portland
2007/08: CL WINNER by beating Kiel in the finals
2008/09: FINALIST

Current CL season

Jicha has been playing in top formKiel and Ciudad Real marched to the finals. Both clubs won all their six group phase matches, whereas Kiel had the bigger hill to climb as they met Barcelona. But even in the famous Arena “Palau Blaugrana” Kiel took both points – for the first time ever in their club’s history.

In the main round the two finalists met each other and shared the points with two home victories.

The quarterfinal was easier for Kiel as they made a draw in Zagreb and won the second leg at home clearly. Ciudad have beaten Veszprém at home 29:24, but lost in Hungary by 29:32.

In the semi-finals both teams met German opponents. Kiel had no problems against Rhein Neckar Löwen after a 37:23 gala at home, but Ciudad Real had to fight hard for the two close victories against Hamburg.

Domestic titles

THW Kiel (26)

German champion: 15x (1957, 1962, 1963, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)
German Cup Winner: 6x (1998, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2008, 2009)
German Super Cup winner: 5x (1995, 1998, 2005, 2007, 2008)

BM Ciudad Real (13)

Spanish champion: 4x (2004, 2007, 2008, 2009)
Spanish Cup Winner: 4x (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008)
Spanish League Cup Winner: 3x (2004, 2007, 2008)
Spanish Super Cup Winner: 2x (2005, 2007)

International titles

THW Kiel (5)

Champions League winner (2007)
EHF Cup winner: 3x (1998, 2002, 2004)
Champions Trophy winner (2007)

BM Ciudad Real (8)

Champions League winner: 2x (2006, 2008)
Cup Winners’ Cup winner: 2x (2002, 2003)
Champions Trophy Winner: 3x (2005, 2006, 208)
World Cup winner: 2007

TEXT: Björn Pazen