Convenient to be favouritesArticle
«Go back talks to Kiel player Kim Andersson before the clash against FCK.

THW Kiel are about to play a game north of their Arena, a quite rare situation for them. The German champion will meet FCK from Denmark in the Last 16 of the Men’s Champions League.

Before the knock out rounds, talked to Kiel’s 27 year old Swedish left hander Kim Andersson. He has been playing for Kiel since 2005 and has extended his contract until 2013. His dream is to win the CL trophy again. How hard or easy will the Last 16 matches against FCK be?

Andersson: It will be a tough fight in the first leg in Copenhagen, as we have to play against the best possible team of Pot 4. But as we want to come further than the Last 16, we have to beat FCK, if possible twice. But it’s hard to play in Denmark. In Kolding for instance we only drew in Kolding. What are FCK’s strengths?

Andersson: With Ege and Hvidt they have two great goalkeepers, aside Boquist and Atlason that have experience from playing in the Bundesliga. Then again Hamburg won both matches against FCK in their group phase. That should be our objective, too. How hard is it to almost always be favourites?

Andersson: It’s a convenient problem. It shows that we have a strong team. Our fans expect success in every match, both in Bundesliga and Champions League. But especially in the German league the standing is quite close currently. And in the Champions League everything is possible, as you only meet the world’s best teams. How do you rate this season’s performance of THW in the Champions League?

Andersson: We were lucky, as we became number one in our group thanks to Kolding. This might be decisive for the rest of the competition. Our motto is: still four matches to the FINAL4 in Cologne. Before or in Cologne HSV Hamburg might be your opponent. The exact same duel as in the possibly decisive top match of the Bundesliga in May. Do you think about that?

Andersson: It’s ok for me to meet HSV three times in this season, but all of that is still far away. It’s a pleasure to meet Hamburg in a k.o. match in Champions League. But before our league match against them a lot of other teams want to beat both teams. What title will Kiel win this season, as you’re out of the German cup?

Andersson: If I could chose, I would take the Champions League title. I won the German championship four consecutive times, but the CL trophy is something very special, something not every player can go for. You won the CL title in 2007 – what’s special this season, as the winner will be decided in a FINAL4?

Andersson: This is something absolutely positive. If we could reach the final destination Cologne, it would be great for our fans, as they wouldn’t have to travel too far. We like to play in real big arenas, and the Lanxess-Arena in Cologne is something real big and real special. What teams will qualify for the FINAL4?

Andersson: Ciudad Real, Kiel, Montpellier and either Barcelona or Hamburg are my tips. But so many things can happen until the FINAL4. One bad day in the knock-out stage, and you’re out. All teams have to be aware until they’ve reached the FINAL4. You said in an interview that you’ll end your national team career after the World Championships 2011 in Sweden. What are the reasons?

Andersson: A mountain was made out of a molehill by the media, the story became too big. I only mentioned that I’ll play for the national team until the WCH in my home country. I can’t and don’t want to plan furthermore until 2012. Then again to participate at the Olympics would be something very special. Everything depends on my physical constitution. 2011 would have been a good year to quit, as then I will have played ten years for the national team. My body will answer all those questions. There had been rumours in the last years, which said you’re going to leave Kiel. What were the reasons to extend your contract until 2013?

Andersson: My family and I like it very much here in Kiel. One decisive advantage is that I’m only 500 kilometres away from home. It’s not only the money that matters, others factor are more important. I play for the best club of the world – enough reasons to stay in Kiel. Maybe THW will be the only professional club I’ve ever played for in my whole career. You mentioned the WCH 2011. Will Sweden become World Champion on home soil?

Andersson: I hope so, but I know that this will be very hard and is a highly set objective. But everything’s possible when having major events on home soil, like Sweden did at the EURO 2002 or France or Germany also did. Everything can happen!

TEXT: Björn Pazen