My life and passion is handballArticle
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Filip Jícha, The EHF Champions League Ultimate Selection´s left back, remembers his first EHF Champions League finals insists that he has the same hunger for success as ever has.

»EHF CL Channel »2012-13 Men's News

My life and passion is handball

THW Kiel are once again among the favourites at the upcoming VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne and will be relying on the likes of Filip Jícha to help defend their title.

Jícha was recently named on the Ultimate Selection as the best left back in the 20-year history of the EHF Champions League.

The Czech national team captain has already played in four finals, and despite success in 2010 and 2012, the first two finals against Ciudad Real are painful memories for Jícha.

“I was under a lot of pressure at that time. I have to say, that losing these finals ruined my sporting world, but now I´m more focused on my own effort and on enjoying the atmosphere. It´s a matter of experience and maturing,” says Jícha.

He has received many awards during his career, including the 2010 World Handball Player of the Year, but few come close to this.

“I´m honoured be in the company of handball legends. As a young player I dreamed about playing just one match in the Champions League.

“The dream has come true and now I'm a two-time Champions League winner and the EHF's experts have chosen me as the best on left back in the competition’s history. That's unbelievable!

“From another view, these awards don't mean anything for my handball future. My future is not about awards but about hard work in trainings and concentrated quality performances in matches.

“Keep focusing to be better is more important than individual awards. This is the only way how to be useful for my team,” says the 31-year-old.

Family support is crucial for Jícha, and he thanks wife Hana and children, Valerie and Vincent, for their help.

“It’s a source of energy and inner strength. They also know how important handball is for me. Yes, handball is my life, my passion and I’m so happy that I can share my passion of handball with fans, it’s a kind of gift,” says Jícha.

Sharing emotions and passion to handball with fans is also one of the biggest lures of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne.

“The whole of Cologne lives with our sport, you can feel it, and you can touch it. I love this concept of Champions league culminating in this way and so important for Kiel, I feel the desire to enjoy the atmosphere and hunger for success within the team,” says Jícha.

When asked about whether the hunger to defend their trophy is still there, he was very clear.

“We will travel to Cologne with respect to the other three participants, but we plan to make the final.

“The final match will be about sixty minutes of handball in a tremendous atmosphere and anything is possible. I feel that for our team deserves to be in Cologne this season and we want to finish this fantastic year with the biggest possible success,” concludes Jícha.

TEXT: Jan Vtípil / cor