Against all oddsArticle
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Race for the EHF FINAL4: Interview with MKB Veszprém coach Lajos Mocsai.

»EHF CL Channel »2009-10 Men's News

Against all odds

Although the experts and the international handball press esteems Barcelona is the favourite, but coach Lajos Mocsai promise Veszprém will try to do everything to disprove it and get into the EHF FINAL4. How do you see your opponent in the quarterfinal, the Spanish team of FC Barcelona Borges?

Lajos Mocsai: We have read their statements where they say that they are very happy and proud to play against us. I reckon they think that they have already reached the EHF FINAL4. They obviously have a good reason for being so confident, having 22 players in total. In the last years they have always had two world-class players on almost every position, and they have 3 players on each of the remaining positions. That means that they have an extremely wide scale of tactical variations both in attack and in defence. Any team that can beat them automatically becomes a huge favourite for winning the Champions League. I would say that the FC Barcelona Borges is at least on the same level of Ciudad Real, Hamburg or Kiel. Are you satisfied with Veszprém’s season performance so far?

Lajos Mocsai: We are among the best 8 teams of Europe, so I clearly consider that as a great success for the club. Although Veszprém has only a fifth of Barcelona’s budget, the handball court is still the same to all of us. I would say preparation is a very important part in this quarterfinal clash. Our team is working hard and is motivated for Sunday’s match in Barcelona, as these matches also are filled with prestige. We have played a lot of matches against the Spaniards, and they have defeated us several times. Only in 2004 we managed to knock them out in 2004 (Ed.: in the Last 16 Veszprém made it to the quarterfinals by only one goal in total). But we know that Barcelona physically is a totally different team now. Are you optimistic for the two games?

Lajos Mocsai: We are full of hope. There are still open questions and the biggest one is travelling. We don’t know yet how to get to Barcelona with the complicated situation in European air traffic. If we won’t get permission from the authorities, we will have to travel by bus. That means 2000 kilometres distance and two extra days. Then again I also have good news, as I can count on all my 16 players. I have to mention that in this season Veszprém has not been beaten by a large score difference on any away court, so we are positive to achieve the best possible result in Spain. What would it mean to Veszprém to be part of the EHF FINAL4?

Lajos Mocsai: That would of course be a huge success. And while experts and the international handball press see Barcelona as favourite, we will try our best to prove them all wrong.


TEXT: Ildikó Balogh (