“We have been dreaming about this for years,” says FazekasArticle
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Veszprém goalkeeper still believes that they can still reach Cologne

“We have been dreaming about this for years,” says Fazekas

MKB Veszprém had a six goal advantage halfway through the second half against defending champions THW Kiel in the first leg of the quarter-final, a perfect situation for a club who has yet to reach the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

However, the German team showed their experience at this level and quickly turned things around in the last 15 minutes to take a 32:31 victory.

Despite losing the first match, Veszprém’s strong away performance has kept them in with a shout at going through.

Hungarian goalkeeper Nandor Fazekas was instrumental in the first leg with his brilliant performance and he speaks to ehfCL.com about that game.

ehfCL.com: Veszprém were six goals up in the Sparkassen Arena but in the last part of the match Kiel were stronger and took the victory. What happened?

Nandor Fazekas: We played well for 45 minutes, preyed on their mistakes and had some nice and fast solutions both in the attack and defence. However, in the second half our key player, László Nagy, twice received two minutes suspensions and during this period Kiel got a chance and took hold of the game and with a quick run of goals.

ehfCL.com: Were you satisfied with your performance?

Nandor Fazekas: The most important moment is the first shot and certainly the save when I am in the goal and if it is successful. Against Kiel, I had some excellent periods but I think it isn’t possible to keep such a high quality for 60 minutes at this level. I had also made mistakes, but my teammate Mirko Alilovic helped me out and I hope we will be able to perform better on Saturday.

ehfCL.com: You played for Gummersbach in the German Bundesliga for a few seasons and you know many of the Kiel players. Does it make your situation a bit easier?

Nandor Fazekas: I know some players and their favourite movements and shooting areas but I am not in a privileged position, because they also know my mistakes and weaknesses.

I am on good terms with some of the players, I keep in touch with Gudjon Sigurdsson and Daniel Narcisse, ‘Air France’ has visited me and my family a few times.

ehfCL.com: What do you think of the Veszprém fans?

Nandor Fazekas: Without doubt the fans and friends in the Veszprém Aréna are the greatest. They create a special atmosphere for us and they are the eighth player in the team.

I have a very special ‘little group’ on the stand: my three boys, Gergő (10 years old), Máté (7) and Áron (2) and their mother.

They are my family and the most important people in my life. The older brothers also play handball and scrutinise my performances. I heard from my wife that they are always shouting for me from the stand, “save the ball father, save the ball”. They support my career and my dreams and it means a lot to me, more than anything else.

ehfCL.com: What is your dream now?

Nandor Fazekas: To be in Cologne. Everybody in Veszprém, the players, the trainers and heads of the club, the fans and the city have been dreaming about it for years.

Nobody can imagine how many times I wake up with the feeling that we are in Cologne. We work hard for it every day and I hope our dream will come true this year. We have a new team, new trainer and tactics.

We have lost only two matches in this Champion League season. Unfortunately, we lost against Kiel twice but now we have a new chance to get among the best four teams.

The defending champions THW have a better chance of winning, they can perform well in every game, but we are working for ‘the big dream’ and I hope our team performance will be the best and will be able to reach the top of the mountain.

Further information

MKB Veszprém KC take on THW Kiel in the VELUX EHF Champions League Quarter-final second leg on Saturday, 27 April at 16:00 CET, follow the game live on ehfTV.

TEXT: Krisztina Deák / cor