"David, you go into goal…"Article
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After 22 years and more than 70 titles on club level outstanding Spanish goalkeeper David Barrufet ended his career.

»EHF CL Channel »2009-10 Men's News

"David, you go into goal…"

David Barrufet is the most successful player in the history of handball by looking at titles on club level - and he’s the most successful Spanish sportsmen in any sport.

On May 30th this great career came to an end with the second place at the EHF FINAL4. After his 22nd season in the same club, David Barrufet played his last matches for FC Barcelona in Cologne.

In his outstanding career the goalkeeper of Barca and the Spanish national team won 71 titles in club level in 22 seasons – and never changed his club. In February the 39 year old captain of both teams announced that he would quit – but will remain at FC Barcelona in the legal department.

Barrufet was born on 4th of June 1970 in Barcelona and transferred to FC Barcelona in the age of 14. Only four years later he played in the first team of the most successful club in the history of EHF Champions League. Before his last two matches Barrufet talks about his career, his secret of success, his love for FC Barcelona, his past and his future in this exclusive interview.

eurohandball.com: It’s completely unusual in modern professional sports to stay at one club for the whole career. Didn’t you have the wish to change the club?

David Barrufet: No, I’m "cule", a fan of FC Barcelona, since I was born. To play for FC Barcelona is the greatest thing for each Catalan boy.

eurohandball.com: What’s so special with FC Barcelona?

David Barrufet: It’s a special feeling. I’m playing for the most important club in the handball history and for a club that represents the pride of a country.

eurohandball.com: Are you still in contact with the "old colleagues", with whom you started your career?

David Barrufet: Yes of course. I meet them often and enjoy a lot to meet my old colleagues.

eurohandball.com: Compared to the football players, what’s the standing of handball in Barcelona?

David Barrufet: The FC Barcelona handball team has a long history inside the club. The team is the most awarded in the history of European and Spanish handball, and this fact deserves a lot of respect from every member of FC Barcelona.

eurohandball.com: What were the greatest moments in your career?

David Barrufet: Every title you win, everything that you learn, every friend that you meet is the best moment in my career.

eurohandball.com: What was your most important title?

David Barrufet: Each title has his special signification. I like to enjoy every one of them.

eurohandball.com: What was the biggest disappointment in your career – as a sportsmen and in normal life?

David Barrufet: Either in professional sport or in normal life you have the best moments and the worst moments. You just have to learn from those moments.

eurohandball.com: What’s your special motivation to remain on top level for some many years?

David Barrufet: The special motivation is – day by day – giving my best on highest level. In any training, in any moment, in any game…just do your best.

eurohandball.com: Do you have a certain psychological trick?

David Barrufet: No, the only trick is hard work.

eurohandball.com: What was the reason for you to finish your career?

David Barrufet: I used to say that I would like to end my career when I still can do things for the team and now is the moment.

eurohandball.com: Which one is the best handball league in the world – Asobal or Bundesliga?

David Barrufet: Both leagues are the best leagues in the world. The comparison is so hard!

eurohandball.com: Did you have a role model when you started playing handball or during your career?

David Barrufet: When I came to the first team there was a goalkeeper called Lorenzo Rico. He was my role model during this time.

eurohandball.com: How is it today to be a role model for younger players?

David Barrufet: It’s a big responsibility. If you know that a lot of young players are mirroring you, it’s always important, how you act.

eurohandball.com: What are the things you learned from sports for your normal life?

David Barrufet: The spirit of cooperation. A lot of times you the need support of other people which are close to you, to achieve your goals.

eurohandball.com: How did handball change in the last 20 years? What are the biggest differences from the point of view of a goalkeeper?

David Barrufet: Handball changed a lot in the last 20 years. Maybe the most important change is the resources that we have to prepare games and practices. Technology is present in the world of handball.

eurohandball.com: By looking at the start of your sportsmen’s life –why did you become a goalkeeper?

David Barrufet: When I was at the school, the current assistant coach of FC Barcelona, Toni Rubiella, was my coach. One day we didn’t have a goalkeeper and he told me "David, go into goal!". This was the day I became a goalkeeper.

eurohandball.com: Goalkeepers are said to be crazy guys – what’s your opinion?

David Barrufet: You can find all kinds of goalkeepers, but all have a special condition.

eurohandball.com: What will you do with your life without handball?

David Barrufet: I’ll start to work in the legal department of FC Barcelona. I have the lawyer degree and I’ll mix two of my passions: sports and law.

eurohandball.com: How much does family mean to you?

David Barrufet: It’s the best I have in my life.

eurohandball.com: If your children would like to become professional sportsmen, maybe handball players – would you say yes or no?

David Barrufet: My parents allowed to me to develop my personal life. In the case of my children the only advice I’ll give them is: Enjoy whatever you do!

eurohandball.com: If you were asked by a child, what’s the best thing in handball – what will you say?

David Barrufet: The possibility to get to know people around the world and growing like a person as like a sportsman.

eurohandball.com: Is there still humanity in professional sports or does the money reign everything?

David Barrufet: We are human beings and of course the humanity is present. If we lose the awareness about human relationships, we will lose the essence of life.

eurohandball.com: On club level and in the national team you were the captain for a long period. Do you have a special leading role or leading character?

David Barrufet: It’s important to be yourself. I don’t have a special role. I try to do my job the best I can.

Facts and figures of Barrufet’s career:

EHF Champions League titles: 6 (1995-96, 1996-97, 1997-98, 1998-99, 1999-2000 and 2004-05)
European Champions Cup titles: 1 (1990-91)
Cup Winner’s Cups titles: 2 (1993-94 and 1994-95)
European Supercup titles: 5 (1996-97, 97-98, 98-99, 99-00 and 2003-04)
EHF Cup title: 1 (2002-03)
Spanish Supercup titles: 13 (1988-89, 89-90, 90-91, 91-92, 93-94, 96-97, 97-98, 99-00, 2000-01, 03-04, 06-07, 08-09 and 09-10)
Pyrenees League titles: 10 (1997-98, 98-99, 99-00, 2000-01, 01-02, 03-04, 05-06, 06-07, 07-08 and 09-10)
League Cup titles: 6 (1994-95, 95-96, 99-00, 2000-01, 01-02 and 09-10)
Catalan League titles: 6 (1990-91, 91-92, 92-93, 93-94, 94-95, 96-97)
Spanish Championship titles: 11 (1988-89, 89-90, 90-91, 91-92, 95-96, 96-97, 97-98, 98-99, 99-00, 2002-03 and 05-06)
Spanish Cup titles: 10 (1989-90, 92-93, 93-94, 96-97, 97-98, 99-00, 2003-04, 06-07, 08-09 and 09-10)

Success with Spanish national team:

Runner-up Junior’s World Championship (1989)
World Champion (2005)
Bronze medal Olympics Games in Sydney 2000
Bronze medal Olympics Games in Beijing 2008
Silver medal European Championships in Spain (1996)
Silver medal European Championships in Italy (1998)
Bronze medal European Championships in Croatia (2000)
Silver medal European Championships in Switzerland (2006)


World’s best goalkeeper of the year Award by IHF: 2002, 2003

TEXT: Björn Pazen