One event missing for KnudsenArticle
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INTERVIEW: Cologne is firmly in focus for the Flensburg line player, who will leave the club in the summer after nine years of service

One event missing for Knudsen

After nine years with SG Flensburg-Handewitt, Michael Knudsen is set to return to Denmark at the end of this season and naturally he wants to go out with a bang.

A first appearance at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne is possible after winning the quarter-final first leg against Vardar-Skopje, as is winning the German Bundesliga. spoke with the 35-year-old Dane about what he expects in his final months with the north German club. On Monday you faced Vardar in the VELUX EHF Champions League quarter-finals first leg. What you can say about the opponent?

Michael Knudsen: We a satisfied to win this game. We knew before that would be a hard one. The Macedonians had beaten Hamburg, which says much about the quality of the opponent. Now we will analyse the first game an prepare for Skopje. We can become better and can win in Skopje as well. In Skopje you will meet a powerful atmosphere with 7,000 spectators?

Michael Knudsen: The atmosphere in the Balkan countries is always something special, but I like this kind of support, it can be extra motivation for us. I think that Vardar is better than HC Metalurg, but Kiel shows us that is possible to win in Skopje. If you can survive the second leg and make it through to Cologne, it would be the first appearance for your club. Is that your main goal this season?

Michael Knudsen: This event is still missing in my career. Although I was in the finals against THW Kiel in 2007, it was not the VELUX EHF FINAL 4. So far I know this event only from television. It must be a great feeling to be among to the four best club teams in the world and to play in front of such a large crowd. In the summer, you will return to Denmark, where you signed with Danish first division club BSV Bjerringbro-Silkeborg for three years. What were your motives?

Michael Knudsen: This decision wasn’t really easy for me. I owe an infinite amount to SG, but at my age I must think about the future. 

In addition, it pleases my family and me to be closer to relatives. I have three children, two already go to school. We had to make a decision about where the centre of our lives would be. In addition, the trips to the games are much shorter in the Danish league. With 244 international appearances for Denmark, you lie second behind Lars Christiansen (338) with the most caps. How do you look back at that part of your career?

Michael Knudsen: My last appearance for Denmark was in Aalborg against Norway. After 20 years in the senior team and youth selections and so many unique experiences that I’ve accumulated over the years, it was a difficult decision. However, it should be the right time for a farewell. I move back to Denmark with my family and there will be a new coach on the Danish bench.

TEXT: Jan Kirschner / cor