Profiles of the All-star team nomineesArticle
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Read the profiles for each of the 32 nominees.

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Profiles of the All-star team nominees

Voting has started to choose the best of the best: the Women's EHF Champions League All-star team for the season 2013/14.

For the first time in the women's European top flight, the season’s All-star team is going to be chosen by those who know best about just who has made the grade week in and week out: the fans.

From a selection of 32 players, four in each position and also the season’s best defensive player, fans are being asked to choose their own All-star team.

Players from 15 nations and nine clubs in the current Women's EHF Champions League season have been selected.

The vote will be open until Wednesday 30 April 2013. The fans’ choice for the Women's EHF Champions League All-star team will be announced during the MVM EHF FINAL4 in Budapest on 3 and 4 May 2014.

Online voting

Voting is open immediately and will run until Wednesday 30 April 2014. Fans can choose their Women's EHF Champions League 2013/14 team online via the website.

Here are the profiles for the 32 nominees:


Katrine Lunde Haraldsen (NOR) – Györi Audi ETO KC
If she is extra keen on winning the EHF Champions League, it comes to no surprise, as she knows what it feels like. In 2010, after having won the competition with Viborg for the second year in a row, she joined Györ and accomplished the same feat in her third season. At the age of 33 she is adding valuable experience to her qualify in the goal. As for her winning mentality, her seven gold medals from the top three national teams events speak for themselves.

Inna Suslina (RUS) – WHC Vardar SCBT
With seven medals from the top national teams tournaments she is one of the most decorated player of the CL. She has been voted in the All-star team of the EHF EURO 2006 and the World Championship in 2009, but there is still something missing in her cabinet - the CL title. Her experience has been invaluable for Vardar in their first campaign at this level.

Barbara Arenhart (BRA) – Hypo Niederösterreich
Nicknamed “Babi”, she made her way from Brazil to Austria via Norway, as she had played for Byåsen Trondheim before she arrived at Hypo in 2011. She created the goalkeeper duo in the Brazilian national team with Chana Masson (Randers), and after not being nominated for the 2012 Olympics she is back on track and won the 2013 Pan-American Games with her team followed by the greatest success of Brazilian team: the World Championship title last December.

Clara Woltering (GER) – Buducnost
This is the third season at Budućnost and second as the captain for the German goalkeeper. She first saw handball at the age of five, when she went to watch her two older sisters. After seeing Clara playing with the ball, the coach of the team told her parents that the youngest Woltering must play handball. Apart from the EHF Champions League title in 2012 she claimed the Challenge Cup in 2005 and with the national team she won the bronze medal at the World Championship in 2007.


Left wings:

Sonja Frey (AUT) – Thüringer HC
As THC coach Herbert Müller is also coach of the Austrian women’s national team, he knows well, which players have the right ambition. His club signed Frey in 2012, when she was only 19, but had already played nearly 40 matches for the national team. It was exactly this youngster who had paved the way for THC to become German champions in 2013 and with her 55 goals she helped her team to stay in the race for the first MVM EHF FINAL4 until the very last round.

Tamara Mavsar (SLO) – RK Krim Mercator
This season was already the sixth consecutive Champions League appearance for the Ljubljana born and raised Mavsar. She was only 17 when she first tasted Europe’s elite, but she immediatelly made her mark on the team. Before this season Krim continuously strenghtened its squad with reinforcement but for Mavsar’s position, and that fact alone proves her worth. She is short-listed for the competition’s best young player in the second straight season.

Majda Mehmedovic (MNE) – Buducnost
Born into a sports family, with a mother who played handball as a goalkeeper, Majda Mehmedović’s sports destiny was already decided. She started handball in Bar at the age of 12 with her brother Musa and immediately loved it. After being signed by Budućnost, she needed just two years to get into the first team and is now irreplaceable for both club and country. In 2012 she was a candidate for the Women’s EHF Champions League young player of the season.

Siraba Dembele (FRA) – WHC Vardar SCBT
After beginning her handball career in Mérignac, she then played for Issy-Paris and Danish club Randers before moving this season to Vardar. For her first season, she immediately felt at home and she has decided to stay in Macedonia for two more years. Her quickness and her large variety of shoots are her main strengths, but she can also defend very well. A regular fixture in the French national team, she won a bronze medal at the EHF EURO 2006 and two silver medals at the World Championship in 2009 and 2011.


Left backs:

Andrea Penezic (CRO) – RK Krim Mercator
At the last Olympics in London she picked up a niggling injury, which marred her previous season at the perennial Slovenian champions. But this season she remained trauma-free and ranked seventh among the competitions' top scorers, leading Krim with 58 goals. She is a formidable attacking force and a defensive rock, a true all-rounder. She was named the Croatian player of the year for six consecutive years (2008-13).

Jamina Roberts (SWE) – IK Sävehof
Together with Sävehof's top scorer Ida Oden, she was the main reason of the unexpected run of the Swedish champions in this season as she broke her personal best in the European Cup competitions with 58 goals. While playing the left back in her club team, she has been used as left wing from time to time in the national team, where she had her debut in 2010. Her father, James was one of Sweden’s first professional body builders, but Jamina has never felt tempted to follow in his footsteps.

Cristina Neagu (ROU) – Buducnost
After two serious injuries (right shoulder and left knee) and 25 months without handball, the two-time Romanian handball player of the year scored 51 scored goals in 12 EHF Champions League games this season. This should hint that 2010 World Handball Player of the Year is on the right track to be back to her best shape in her first season abroad. She is just ten goals shy of her personal best in the competition – 65 goals in 2009/10.

Eduarda Amorim (BRA) – Györi Audi ETO KC
Brazilian international arrived in Europe in 2006 first joining Kometal Skopje in FYR Macedonia. She was just five goals shy of 300 goals milestone in the European top flight before this season and she easily surpassed this mark, scoring 50 just before the MVM EHF FINAL4. She is part of the Brazilian national team, became three-time Pan-American champion, participated in two Olympic Games (2008, 2012) and won gold at the 2013 World Championship in Serbia.

Line players:

Heide Löke (NOR) – Györi Audi ETO KC
The World Handball Player of 2011 is a famous daughter in a big handball family as both of her siblings are also line players. She is the only player to play in three previous EHF Champions League finals. In 2011 she took the title with Larvik as the top scorer, and in 2012 she only narrowly missed it with Györ, only to achieve it one year later. With Norway she was a member of the All-star teams at the London Olympics, 2011 WCh and EHF EURO 2010 and 2012.

Dragana Cvijic (SRB) – Buducnost
This is a third season in Budućnost for Serbian international. Cvijić started handball at the age of 10, first as goalkeeper, but being very tall for her age, Dragana’s first coach put her at left back. She never believed she would become a line player, but it happened six years ago in Crvena Zvezda and she loved the new position. The 2011/12 campaign was her best season until now. She has alrady improved her season's best by five goals (38) and can still add more at the MVM EHF FINAL4.

Ana Djokic (MNE) – WHC Vardar SCBT
In a successful career she has played for Györ, Podravka, Buducnost and Rostov-Don, gathering not only an accolade of domestic championships and cup titles, but also the Women's EHF Champions League trophy in 2012 and Cup Winners' Cup in 2010. As not only a prolific scorer but also a skillful defender, she contributed to the Olympic silver and EHF EURO gold of Montenegro in 2012 and most recently to Vardar's qualification for the first MVM EHF FINAL4 in Budapest.

Susan Thorsgaard (DEN) – FC Midtjylland
At 188 cm Susan Thorsgaard is taller than most female handball players, and she as well as her teammates in FCM and in the Danish national team have benefited from her height, which makes it easier for her to catch the ball on the line, from where she is an extremely good markswoman. Another great asset is her experience. She has played in FCM´s first team since 2009, and she can also add close to one hundred internationals for Denmark to her CV.


Centre backs:

Anita Görbicz (HUN) – Györi Audi ETO KC
Despite being among the best players in the world over the last decade, the Györ captain and the current top scorer of the season (73 goals) was waiting to secure one of big prizes at either club or national level for many years until she lifted the most coveted trophy in the 2012/13 season. Before that her only honours were individual titles: 2011/12 CL top scorer and World Handball Player of the Year 2005. She was voted for the best centre back at three WCh in a row (2003-07).

Andrea Lekic (SRB) – WHC Vardar SCBT
Before she chose to concentrate on handball, Andrea was successful in several other sports at a young age. First she competed in karate and reached the “blue belt” before moving onto volleyball, basketball, football and tennis. Lekic has won national championship trophies with Knjaz Miloš, Krim and Györ. She was voted as the World Handball Player of the Year in 2013 and in the All-star teams of the EHF EURO 2012 and WCh 2013, where she helped Serbia win silver medals.

Alexandrina Barbosa (ESP) – Thüringer HC
The Spanish international joined Thüringer HC just before this season and made an instant impact on the German champions, as she led them with 63 goals to their first top eight appearance in the European top flight, just missing out on the MVM EHF FINAL4 on the goal difference. It was Barbosa's eleventh season in the competition and her third best in teams of goals. She found the net 84 times three years ago as she led Itxako to the final.

Milena Knezevic (MNE) – Buducnost
She started playing handball with her sister Dragana and comes from a sporting family, with her brother Ivan a professional soccer player. At 2012 EHF EURO in Serbia, where Montenegro finished first, Milena was first in assists (29) and shared second place in scoring with Anita Görbicz (41 goals). She became two-time Montenegrin handball player of the year and was voted second best young player of the Women’s EHF Champions League in 2012.


Right backs:

Nora Mörk (NOR) – Larvik HK
She started her European experience in 2007/08 season with Danish side Aalborg, but over next five seasons she became a household name at Larvik. The versatile player, who can play on the right wing position as well, missed almost the whole previous season due to the knee injury and came back to score seven goals in the final against Györ. However, this season she made a great comeback as she improved her personal best to 71 goals and left the competition just two goals shy of the top scorer Anita Görbicz.

Katarina Bulatovic (MNE) – Györi Audi ETO KC
The Serbia-born left-handed shooter arrived to Györ after a short stint with Oltchim Valcea. She made it to the CL final for the first time in 2007 with Slagelse and repeated the trip in 2012 with Buducnost, when her eight goals helped to decide the second leg against her current team. She was a key player in Montenegro’s biggest achievements, when she was the top scorer at both the London Olympics and EHF EURO in 2012, helping to secure the silver and gold respectively.

Line Jörgensen (DEN) – FC Midtjylland
The captain of the Danish national team started playing handball at the age of 3. Her two cousins, Lars and Kenn Eiberg Jørgensen have both played in the Danish national team, both as right backs, just like her. Last December she added the bronze medal from the World Championship to the EHF Cup trophy (2010/11). With 48 goals this season she already broke her personal best in Europe.

Tatiana Khmyrova (RUS) – WHC Vardar SCBT
The Russian national team player can play in all three back positions - left, centre and right back. Her career began with Dinamo Volgograd, where she played for eight years and won three championships and one cup title in Russia. With the national team she claimed gold at the World Championship in 2009 and the EHF EURO bronze one year earlier. With 38 goals she had also a remarkable influence on Vardar's road to the MVM EHF FINAL4.

Right wings:

Jovanka Radicevic (MNE) – WHC Vardar SCBT
There are just a few players in women's handball who can match Jovanka's passionate way of celebrating goals. In the previous season she won Europe's top two trophies – the EHF EURO with Montenegro and the Women’s EHF Champions League title with Györ. As a player with Budućnost, she has won seven championships and seven cup titles in Montenegro, two Regional League titles and two titles in the Cup Winners’ Cup. She was voted in the All-star team at the EHF EURO in 2012.

Alexandra Do Nascimento (BRA) – Hypo Niederösterreich
She is the first Pan-American World Handball Player of the Year, awarded in January 2013. Do Nascimento was the top scorer of the 2011 WCh, All-star team player at the 2012 Olympics and the most recent World Championship, where Brazil earned their historic title. In the previous season, she was the top scorer of Hypo on their way to the trophy in the Cup Winners‘ Cup with 58 goals and also led the scoring in the CL after the group matches.

Linn-Kristin Koren Riegelhuth (NOR) – Larvik HK
Double Olympic champion, world champion, four-time EHF EURO champion, winner of the EHF Champions League in 2011 and World Handball Player of the Year 2008 – “Linka” was one of the most successful players in the current season and the third best scorer of Larvik. The right wing also won the Cup Winners’ Cup with Larvik. She has played more than 200 international matches for Norway, scoring over 900 goals. She is married to Norwegian international Einar Koren.

Hanna Fogelström (SWE) – IK Sävehof
Having won three titles with Sävehof at the age of only 21, she has far from enough triumphs yet, her philosophy being that she can never get fed up with winning. Despite her young age, 23, she has already completed her sixth European season. She was an important part of her team in the current season as she ranked fourth among Sävehof's top scorers, improving her season's best from 18 in the previous season to 34 and helping the team to reach the top eight of Europe for the first time.

Best defenders:

Anja Althaus (GER) – Thüringer HC
She is the only one in the THC squad, who already raised the EHF Champions League trophy – and she even did it twice with Viborg HK in 2009 and 2010. Born in the famous handball city of Magdeburg, Althaus left her home at the age of 17 to join Trier in 2000. In her business life she switched from advertisement designer to hairdresser – and she still styles her teammates in club and national team. She is also well-known for her huge shoe collection.

Raphaelle Tervel (FRA) – Györi Audi ETO KC
Although the defensive genius announced her retirement after the ongoing season, she will be busy defending all the titles she had won with Győr in the last weeks of her career. The French defensive specialist played in five countries during her 17 years as a professional, but only managed to lift the EHF Champions League trophy last year. It would be a nice retirement gift to wave goodbye to handball with the trophy in her hands once again.

Isabel Blanco (NOR) – Larvik HK
After a glorious career in Danish top club Ikast/FC Midtjylland, she returned home to Norway to join Larvik in the summer of 2011. Experienced Blanco still seems far from the end of her career. In fact, the physically strong line player, who is also a highly skilled painter with several exhibitions behind her, is as crucial to her team as ever. Her injury this season, when she missed most of the main round underlined her importance as Larvik suffered an early exit from the competition.

Suzana Lazovic (MNE) – Buducnost
Her first choice in sport was judo and maybe this fact also contributed to her current position in the team as a defensive specialist. During her rehabilitation after back surgery, she was considering a change of sport to archery, but decided that handball is her life. She began playing handball at the age of 12, with her current coach in Buducnost Dragan Adzic and it was Adzic who convinced Suzana not to quit handball during her period of uncertainty.


TEXT: EHF / br