Rutenka: We have nothing to loseArticle
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Barcelona’s five-time EHF Men's Champions League winner is hoping fans can be eighth man.

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Rutenka: We have nothing to lose

Only two players in the world of handball have won five EHF Men's Champions League titles with three different clubs: Jose Hombrados (Santander, San Antonio and three times with Ciudad Real) and Siarhei Rutenka. The Belorussian took the trophies with RK Celje, Ciudad Real (x3) and in 2011 FC Barcelona Intersport.

Despite a clear 23:29 defeat in the first quarter final match at AG Kobenhavn, Rutenka has not given up his hopes of reaching the VELUX EHF FINAL4 for a third straight time. But he also mentions in this interview with "We have nothing to lose." You lost by six goals in Kobenhavn. What were the key factors in this defeat?
Siarhei Rutenka: In my personal opinion we did not play well in attack. We did not have our usual offensive style and we did not score the number of goals we normally do. I guess that was the key. Did the audience of 22,000 spectators have an influence on your team?
Siarhei Rutenka: I thought that it would put more pressure on us, but the fans were far away from the court and this is unusual for me. Fans far from the court cannot put too much pressure on the teams. On Saturday Barca expect 7,000 fans in Palau Blaugrana. How important is the support from the stands for an experienced team like yours?
Siarhei Rutenka: When Palau Blaugrana is full, it will be our eighth player. We have great support from our fans in every match and on Saturday it will be the same. We do not have anything to lose. We know it will not be easy for us, but everything is possible. We can make it together – team and Palau Blaugrana. Last season Barcelona faced THW Kiel in the quarter finals and put on two brilliant performances – what is the difference this season against AGK?
Siarhei Rutenka: We not are machines, we are humans. We had a bad day in Kobenhavn, and we still have to this strong team ahead of us again. It is a very different task compared to last year. You beat Montpellier by 16 goals at home in the Last 16 – do you have this result in mind, when you face AGK on Saturday?
Siarhei Rutenka: It is not the same. Montpellier and Kobenhavn are completely different teams and the whole situation is different. Kobenhavn deserve a lot of respect but we will give all to qualify for the VELUX EHF FINAL4. Did you expect Kobenhavn to be so strong?
Siarhei Rutenka: Yes, we knew that Kobenhavn is one of the best teams in Europe. We knew that the quarter finals would be difficult. What we did not expect was a six-goal deficit after the first leg, although we did expect quality from the Danish team. You have won the EHF Champions League five times with three clubs. Which was the title you remember most?
Siarhei Rutenka: Each one was different, so I have different emotions for each title. But I will try to win more VELUX EHF Champions League titles, of course. Barca have the chance for the hat-trick, to reach Cologne for the third straight time. What would playing at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 mean to you personally and for the club?
Siarhei Rutenka: It is so important for me and the club. In my personal point of view, first to proceed and then to win the VELUX EHF FINAL4 is a great dream, because this would mean my fifth consecutive participation in an EHF Men's Champions League final.

TEXT: Björn Pazen