Jernemyr: Playing, not talkingArticle
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FC Barcelona Intersport's Swedish defence specialist expects two open matches against Kobenhavn.

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Jernemyr: Playing, not talking

Two metres tall, and more than 100kgs of pure power – ideal requirements for a defence colossus: Magnus Jernemyr is the rock of the FC Barcelona Intersport wall. The 35-year-old Swedish international is one of the best defensive players in the world. Since 2008 Jernemyr has worn the shirt of the VELUX EHF Champions League record title winner – and he lifted the trophy in 2011 in Cologne after losing in the VELUX EHF FINAL4 one year before.

The "Scandinavian hulk" expects tough clashes in the current quarter-finals of the VELUX EHF Champions League, when the defending champions will face AG Kobenhavn. But Jernemyr, who had started his career at Redsbergslids in Gothenborg before changing to Danish side GOG, is confident of reaching the finals in Cologne again. On the Easter weekend you qualified for the Olympics with the Swedish national team, then you played domestic matches for FC Barcelona Intersport, now the VELUX EHF Champions League quarter-finals are ahead. Is it hard to switch from team to team and competition to competition?
Magnus Jernemyr: No, it is not so difficult, only switching from club to national team is sometimes a problem. But I gained self confidence by qualifying for the Olympics, after Sweden played a weak EHF EURO in Serbia. I hope for a boost of confidence for the rest of the season by qualifying for the Olympics. What was your first reaction after the draw, when you knew that FC Barcelona Intersport will have to face AGK in the quarter-finals?
Magnus Jernemyr: We do not care about the opponents, as we are used to big names. Two years ago we had to compete with MKB Veszprem in the quarter finals, last season it was THW Kiel. If you want to win a trophy, you have to beat all opponents. And if you beat tough opponents in the quarter-finals, you will not meet them again in semis or the finals. We have a good team, we are confident, so we say OK to this draw. Is playing the home match in a football stadium a big advantage for AG Kobenhavn?
Magnus Jernemyr: I know that they expect a large number of spectators, but again I mention the past: In 2011 we have beaten Kiel in Kiel, attended by 10,250 frenetic spectators, so I believe there is no big difference to be expected on Friday. We do not care about the number of spectators, as it is still a handball match with two teams, seven players each and two goals. Are defending champions FC Barcelona Intersport the favourites in those quarter-finals?
Magnus Jernemyr: AG Kobenhavn have shown some great performances in a tough group, so I expect two open matches. It is to our advantage that we have played many more crucial matches like those and have more international experience as a team. Looking at the players, AGK have a big number of international experienced players too, like Kasper Hvidt or Joachim Boldsen, two former Barca players. But in my opinion FC Barcelona Intersport as defending champions are favourites more than AGK. Is it something special for you to face Swedish players in international matches, like you will face Niklas Egberg for example in the games against AGK?
Magnus Jernemyr: No, since I had a big number of matches against Swedish players, there is nothing special. What does AG Kobenhavn mean for Scandinavian handball?
Magnus Jernemyr: They have a top selection of Scandinavian handball players and so they are already number one in Scandinavia. AGK players and officials are very confident of eliminating Barcelona in the quarter-finals, saying "Unfortunately the defending champions will not reach Cologne again". What is your opinion?
Magnus Jernemyr: Those are typical Danish reactions. They talk a lot we do not talk so much, but we do our talking on the court.

TEXT: Björn Pazen