Nagy: You never know what will happenArticle
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FC Barcelona captain talks about chances of defending the title in the Last 16 re-match against Montpellier.

Nagy: You never know what will happen

At the age of just 19 he made a huge step from Pick Szeged in Hungary to the famous FC Barcelona. Twelve years later Laszlo Nagy (31) is the first ever Non-Catalan team captain of the seven-time EHF Champions League winner.

Last year Nagy took the VELUX EHF FINAL4 trophy for the second time after 2005 – and as defending champions the Catalans are the favourites once again this year. But FC Barcelona Intersport have a big hurdle to climb in the Last 16, as they face Montpellier Agglomeration. After the 28:30 defeat in the first leg in France, tall shooter Nagy is very much aware of their opponents, but sees good chances to proceed to the Quarter Finals, as he says in this interview with Your team reduced the ddeficit from eight goals early in the match to just two goals in the end in Montpellier – is this a result which gives you all chances in the re-match?
Laszlo Nagy: Obviously this result givse us a chance to proceed to the quarter-finals, but you never know what is going to happen when two great teams like Barcelona and Montpellier face. What did your coach Xavi Pascual say at half time in the first leg – as you started the second half like an express train and seemed to concentrated much more?
Laszlo Nagy: Inside in the locker room we talked about different aspects that we needed to improve in the second half and then we played better than in the first half. You start in Palau Blaugrana two goals down. Is this a dangerous position or are you confident?
Laszlo Nagy: Against Montpellier - a candidate for reaching the VELUX EHF FINAL4 - you can never be absolutely confident. Being just two goals down is a good position for us but I remember last season’s games vs. THW Kiel in the quarter-finals. We won at Palau Baluagrana by two goals and everybody said that this is not a good advantage and finally we won in Kiel playing some really good handball. What will the tactics be on Sunday: Going full speed from the first second, or taking less risk as you still have 60 minutes ahead?
Laszlo Nagy: Let’s wait and see what will happen in Palau. The only thing I am sure of is that we will have a great atmosphere and our fans will help us a lot during the game. Palau Blaugrana is usually a fortress – how come you lost against Zagreb at home?
Laszlo Nagy: Palau is a fortress, but when you play against one of the great teams of European handball, as Zagreb is, you can lose a game. This is handball and when two great teams face on the court, small details decide whether you win or lose. In all competitions this season Barcelona Intersport have only lost three matches – is your team stronger than last season?
Laszlo Nagy: We try to be better day by day. We are playing to try and win every competition, both domestic and VELUX EHF Champions League, and we need to be stronger in each game. Last year we won the Spanish Championship and the VELUX EHF Champions League – so the goals for this season were set high. We are still working hard to achieve more titles, or at least the same number. How good does it feel that your coach Xavi Pascual is back after heart surgery?
Laszlo Nagy: It was a great feeling, for the handball, for all the people in Barcelona, of course for us and Xavi himself. Meeting Xavi again in the regular training sessions was one of the greatest things which happened this season. You had been to Cologne twice with FC Barcelona Intersport, including winning the title in 2011. Are you already focused on the VELUX EHF FINAL4, or is it too early to think about it?
Laszlo Nagy: Our only focus right now is the game against Montpellier. What teams do you expect in the quarter-finals of the VELUX EHF Champions League?
Laszlo Nagy: The teams that deserve it. I only concentrate on FC Barcelona Intersport. And if you do make it to the quarter-finals, which would be your favourite opponent?
Laszlo Nagy: I cannot choose the opponent, in case we will reach the quarter-finals, the draw will decide.

TEXT: Björn Pazen