Facts and figures after the VELUX EHF FINAL4Article
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Top scorers, record winners and five times EHF Champions League champion – find some key numbers of the final weekend and the VELUX EHF Champions League season.

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Facts and figures after the VELUX EHF FINAL4

The 18th EHF Champions League season – renamed to VELUX EHF Champions League – has come to an end: F.C. Barcelona Borges (ESP) have won the Final against their Spanish opponents Renovalia Ciudad Real in Cologne with 27:24 (14:10).

Here are some facts and figures about the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne and the whole VELUX EHF Champions League season:

New record: F.C. Barcelona Borges (ESP) have won the EHF Champions League for the seventh time – and extend their record series. In 1996, 1997, 1998 1999, 2000, 2005 and now 2011 the Catalan club raised the trophy.

Final losers Renovalia Ciudad Real (ESP) remain the second most successful team in the history of the EHF Champions League with three cups (2006, 2008, 2009).

THW Kiel won twice (2007, 2010), all other winners only won one single title. Since 2005 three clubs have been dominating, and only they won the league: F.C. Barcelona, Ciudad Real and THW Kiel.

Short party: The VELUX EHF FINAL4 winners F.C. Barcelona Borges had a short celebration in Cologne on Sunday, as they straight away left with a charter plane to Barcelona in the night to continue their party there.

Double victory: For the first time in sports history one club won the UEFA and the EHF Champions League in the same year, even in between 24 hours. The "handball Messi" of Barca was goalkeeper Danijel Saric, the clear match winner of the handball Final. On the day before, the footballers had beaten Manchester United 3:1 in London.

Spanish dominance: For the 13th time a Spanish club won the EHF Champions League. Beside the ten titles of Barcelona and Ciudad Real, Santander (1994), Irun (1995) and San Antonio (2001) have raised the trophy.

Barca trio with second title: Iker Romero, Victor Tomas and team captain Laszlo Nagy won their second EHF Champions League title with F.C. Barcelona Borges. They are the only remaining players, who were part of the 2005 winning team.

Farewell: After eight years Iker Romero will leave F.C. Barcelona Borges and transfer to a Non-Spanish club for the first time in his long career: Füchse Berlin (GER). But the VELUX EHF Champions League won’t have to miss the World Champion, as Berlin are currently ranked third in the German league which means qualification for the top tournament.

Five times EHF CL winner: Welcome to the club, Siarhei Rutenka! The Belarusian just won the fifth EHF Champions League title of his career. 2004 he led RK Celje (SLO) to the final victory against SG Flensburg-Handewitt (GER), 2006, 2008 and 2009 he became EHF Champions League winner with BM Ciudad Real (ESP) – and now he was back on the winner’s podium with F.C. Barcelona Borges (ESP). After Jose Javier Hombrados (Santander, Portland, Ciudad Real) Rutenka is the second player in history to win five EHF CL titles with three clubs.

Brother duel: For the first time in the history of the EHF Champions League two brothers faced each other in a Final. But even the four goals of Alberto Entrerrios did not bring the title to Renovalia Ciudad Real against Raul Entrerrios (two goals in the final) and F.C. Barcelona Borges.

One country, ten nations: Although two Spanish teams met in the VELUX EHF Champions League final in Cologne, it was a very international match, as players from ten nations were in the squads of F.C. Barcelona Borges and Renovalia Ciudad Real: Spain, Russia, Sweden, Hungary, Denmark, Italy, Bosnia, France, Poland and FYR Macedonia.

Decisive defence: Since the first leg final in 2006 – Portland San Antonio vs. Ciudad Real (19:25) – no teams scored less goals in an EHF Champions League final than Barcelona and Ciudad Real in 2011 (51).

The 2010 final ended with 70 goals (Kiel vs. Barcelona 36:34). The overall view of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne show that defence decided all the matches. In average all four participants of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 scored more than 30,4 goals per match before arriving in Cologne. The average number of goals in the VELUX EHF FINAL4 was exactly 28 per team and match.

Top scorer’s award: For the first time ever a German player has become top scorer of a EHF Champions League season: Uwe Gensheimer (Rhein-Neckar Löwen) was awarded with the "golden ball" after the Final of Cologne for his 118 goals.

In the history of the EHF Champions League only two players scored more goals in one season: Nenad Perunicic (SC Magdeburg/2002: 122 goals) and Filip Jicha (THW Kiel/2010: 119 goals).

But Gensheimer played 19 matches to reach this record, as the Löwen had to go through the full length of the VELUX EHF Champions League, starting with the Wild Card Tournament.

So in average the German left wing scored 6,21 goals per match. In this average ranking Marko Vujin (MKB Veszprem) is in lead with 98 goals in only twelve games (8,16 goals per match in average).

Less matches in the upcoming season: In the VELUX EHF Champions League season in total 166 matches were played from qualification to final. This number will be reduced next season, as the format of the qualification tournaments will change.

Those four tournaments will be played in a Final Four modus, with only semi-finals and final matches, so the number of matches per tournament will be four instead of six. In total the upcoming VELUX EHF Champions League season will see 158 matches.

TEXT: Björn Pazen