'We can get really far in this competition,' says KällmannArticle
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Atlético Madrid's Swedish international speaks to ehfCL.com ahead of their upcoming tie against Füchse Berlin in one of the highlights of the Last 16

'We can get really far in this competition,' says Källmann

The pairings for the Last 16 of the VELUX EHF Champions League has left us with some interesting matches. Undoubtedly one of the most interesting of the ties is that of Atlético Madrid and Füchse Berlin.

The Spanish and the German clubs have already met twice in last season’s competition, with two victories for Atlético 32:27 and 37:33.

But this time could see a very different outcome.

One of the players at Atlético Madrid who is very used to playing at this stage of the competition is Swedish international and club veteran Jonas Källman. Källman speaks to ehfCL.com ahead of the games.

ehfCL.com: Jonas, how do you evaluate the Group Phase for Atlético?

Jonas Källman: This is all a bit new for us because we had always qualified (formerly as Ciudad Real) first or second in this round so it is a bit strange.

In any case we think the decisive moments for us were the two home matches against Kiel and Veszprém, where we lost any chance of topping the group. After those two defeats we had to concentrate on doing what we had to do to qualify and wait for a better moment.

ehfCL.com: What's your opinion about your next opponents? What can you tell us about Füchse Berlin?

Jonas Källman: It is a team that I like. They have, like us, changed many players. They play very fast. This is something we must be well aware of.

It is very important for us to avoid them running the fast break as they perform it really well. Füchse also have great goalkeepers. I think Heinevetter can, on a good day, stop any team but this is something we must concentrate on at the time of shooting.

ehfCL.com: You already played against them last season and beat them twice. Does it mean anything?

Jonas Källman: Not really. This is a whole different story. I am convinced both matches will be very close and decided by a narrow margin. What will be decisive to me is goalkeeping, playing united, and a bit of luck.

ehfCL.com: How important is it to play the second match away?

Jonas Källman: Personally I prefer to play second matches at home but as previously said; the teams will be so equal that I do not think the court will have much influence in this case.

We need to be centred and try to maximize all of our opportunities at home because this is handball and even if you travel with a lead of five goals or more to Berlin you could never rely on that. This is handball.

ehfCL.com: Domestic league success is almost impossible for Atlético this year; does it mean you have to put all of your hopes on this tournament?

Jonas Källman: You are right, winning the league is quite hard for us at this stage so we have to really focus on the Spanish Cup and the Champions League, as we are quite convinced we can get really far in this competition.

ehfCL.com: Injuries are an athlete's worst enemies. How do you feel about what is happening to your club in this regard?

Jonas Källman: You can say we are really unlucky this year in many situations, especially with goalkeepers. First it was Arpad (Sterbik) leaving us on short notice, then José (Hombrados) and now Sabanovic, and this is a very complicated position in the team to be covered.

We feel very sad for Adnan but the feeling inside the team is we have to grit our teeth and overcome this difficult situation. We fully trust in Magnus and in Antonio, who is young but an excellent goalkeeper, to help us achieve our goals. 

TEXT: Francisco Miranda / cor