Rutenka in the focusArticle
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The transfer of Rutenka was the summer hit in Spain. Read what's new on the Spanish market.

»EHF CL Channel »2009-10 Men's News

Rutenka in the focus

The Spanish Champions League teams are getting ready for the new season. Ciudad Real, Barcelona and Valladolid are qualified for the group stage while Ademar Leon will have to win a place. There were stars retiring, new players coming during the summer, but the biggest attention was around Shiarei Rutenka. His transfer from Ciudad to Barcelona was a “galactic” transfer.

Trying to defend the title

The most valuable player on the Spanish marketThe current champion, Ciudad Real, are in for a difficult season after Stefansson, Rutenka, Urios, Laen, Zorman and Pajovic left the squad. They were important players and they all left Ciudad in different circumstances. The Slovenians looked for new challenge in Celje; Stefansson could not say no to Rhein Neckar Löwen; Barcelona paid one million Euro for Rutenka and gave a very good contract for the player, while Rolando Urios Fonseca has retired after two seasons suffered with injuries.

Talant Dujshebaev also tried to reinforce the team, but the budget for this season has been considerably decreased. There are four new faces in Ciudad: Julen Aginagalde, Igor Evdokimov, Eric Gull and Joan Canyellas. Aginagalde and Evdokimov are pivots from Leon and Chehovskie and they will try to maintain the levels of Laen, Rutenka or Urios. Eric Gull will reinforce the right back position and share it with Metlicic. Canyellas was chosen to replace Rutenka in the back line.

Magdeburg, Dessau, Fusche and Rhein Neckar will be the opponents in the preseason for Ciudad before the beginning of the official competition in Spain and Europe. The rivals in the Champions League will not be easy either: FCK Handball, Hamburg and Zagreb.

Barcelona: a step forward

The word ‘crisis’ does not exist in the vocabulary of Barcelona. The Catalonian team spent a million Euro on Rutenka’s transfer, which proves that Barça will maintain a very high level. Xavi Pascual will stay on the bench after six months work in the past season. The club decided to put their trust in the coach after some good performance in the final phase of the last season.

Rutenka, Saric, Igropulo and Sarmiento are new in Barcelona. The objective is old: the Champions League title and taking back the supremacy in Spian.

At the same time, Kasper Hvidt returned home after successful seasons in Spain.

Enric Masip, Barcelona manager, talked about Rutenka as “the best player in the world. His transfer was very difficult, but we needed him”. Saric (from San Antonio) is another important reinforce for the club. He will share the goal with Barrufet and Losert. Sarmiento (from Leon) was one the best players of the Asobal League last season. The young Spanish will be the playmaker of the team.

Kiel and Kolding are coming up in the CL for Barcelona. The Catalonians have won seven titles so far and they will try again.

Valladolid growing up

Valladolid will return to the Champions after a third place in the Spanish League and the Cup Winners’ Cup title. Juan Carlos Pastor’s team will show nice handball with young and talented players as Entrerrios, Perales or Victor Hugo. The club kept together the same team during the last two seasons and it allowed Pastor to build a very competitive squad.

Valladolid have good memories from the CLValladolid want to keep on growing. The new players are very different. Eduardo Gurbindo is a right back who began his career in San Antonio. He will share his position with Cristian Malmagro. Luka Scurek is a Slovenian pivot who will try to replace Carlos Prieto (transferred to Rhein Neckar). Tomas Svensson is not necessary to present. The Swedish goalkeeper arrived from San Antonio and will be the couple of Jose Manuel Sierra.

Montpellier, Kiel and Lemgo are waiting for Valladolid before the season. Juan Carlos Pastor knows the key of a successful season: “I say the key is the team! We have to work harder because the successes of the past will not help us out”.

Leon going for a CL place

Leon will host the Wild Card Qualifier tournament as Celje, Lemgo and Kadetten will be looking for a place in the CL. The Leon team has not changed much, but two very important players left: Sarmiento and Aginagalde. The coach Jordi Ribera will try to solve the problems with two new players and some young talents.

Dalibor Doder and Nicola Prce are the new boys in Leon. The Swedish playmaker arrives from CAI Aragon and the Croatian right back from Pilotes Posada. They know the Spanish competition perfectly, but they have no experience in the Champions League yet. Ribera will give the opportunity for young players as well.

The coach says about the Wild Card Tournament: “It will be a top level tournament. It is a challenge for us and a very attractive round. Celje and Lemgo are very difficult rivals and we will see very interesting matches. It is true that we do not have a lot of new players, but it is good to continue the work from last season”.

TEXT: Fernando Urra Goni