Lövgren close to his 29thArticle
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The 38-year old Swedish star is fighting for the last trophy of his stunning handball career.

Lövgren close to his 29th

Strictly speaking, Stefan Lövgren did not win the Champions League in 2007, the only CL title of THW Kiel in the history of the club. The 38-year old Swedish could not play due to an injury, though he spent the second game on the bench to boost the determination of the team mates.

Lövgren on his way to the Ciudad Real goalIt is surely different this time. Stefan Lövgren stepped on court in the first leg of the CL against BM Ciudad Real. The chances before the return game are not so bad as THW took a 39:34 victory.

“Five goals are good advantage, but not a comfortable lead,” warns the experienced player. “We still have to improve as Ciudad Real will improve too.”

In any case, this will be the last chance of the captain to win the Champions League. Stefan Lövgren will finish his career within two weeks. In the last 10 years he has been part of the Bundesliga history playing nine years for THW Kiel. In this period he collected an impressive 28 titles including world and European Championship gold medals.

Though his farewell game will be played in August, he will return to Sweden already in July. Lövgren has ready plans for the future. “It will be a major change as everything has been revolving around handball so far,” said the THW captain.

However, Lövgren will not have to live without the game. In Uddevalla (North from Göteborg), the Swede will be teaching handball in a sports school. He will spend six hours a week with handball talents between the age of 16 and 19. In addition to this activity, the THW star will found a a sports and business agency together with his former team mate, Martin Schmidt. Their main area will obviously be handball.

The Swede is the "brain" of THWBut these are still only plans. Lövgren will play three more games, one against Ciudad Real and two in the Bundesliga. As he did it on Sunday in Kiel, he will take a lot of burden off from the shoulders of Filip Jicha and Nikola Karabatic. The veteran player had seemingly no problems with the exceptionally high speed of the game. The two teams have scored not less than 9(!) goals between the 43rd and the 45th minute of the game. Ciudad Real scored 16 goals in the first 15 minutes after the break.

“In the phase when you are not good enough in defence, you must keep the ball longer,” said Stefan Lövgren after the tiring encounter.

One thing is clear, however: on 6 June, the official end of the season, the Swede wants to celebrate three titles on the balcony of the Kiel Municipality together with the fans. The Champions League would be his 29th title.

TEXT: Jan Kirschner