LANXESS no stranger to FazekasArticle
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EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: The Hungarian goalkeeper remember the venue of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 very well from his years in Gummersbach.

LANXESS no stranger to Fazekas

When the news arrived 26 days before the VELUX EHF FINAL4 that Nándor Fazekas partially fractured one of his carpal bones it seemed sure the veteran goalie would miss the heyday of the EHF Champions League season. Thanks to the determination of Fazekas and the wonders of oxygen capsules it is now pretty sure that the 37-year-old goalkeeper will return to the arena he once called home.

Those were the days!

"When I played for Gummersbach we played our home games in the LANXESS arena for an entire season, and some games the very next year, too. It is a breathtaking place, one you cannot describe. You have to see it for yourself!" Fazekas told

"In 2007 Germany hosted the World Championship and the final was played in the LANXESS arena but it was not the most visited event of the venue that year. A couple of weeks later we took on Kiel and the arena was completely sold out. I can still remember how it sent shivers up and down my spine when I looked around in the jam-packed arena.

Fazekas is one of the five Veszprém players who experienced what it is like to play in front of 20,000 supporters as László Nagy, Cristian Ugalde (both FC Barcelona), Chema Rodriguez (Ciudad Real/Atletico) and Momir Ilic (Kiel) also had the privilege to get some pieces of the Cologne action.

Time passes way too slowly

Fazekas claims a day lasts a year for the Veszprém squad as the Hungarian champions cannot wait to take centre stage at the LANXESS arena.

"I do not have to tell my teammates anything about the arena. We will arrive two days prior to the FINAL4 to make ourselves at home in Cologne and have a couple of trainings in the LANXESS.”

Ordinary supporters may think it is all the same wherever you play, the court is 20x40, the goal is 3,6x2,1 and that is it. „Nothing could be further from the truth. There is different sense of dimensions and space in each and every arena. You have to observe and learn ranges, distance from the crowd and airspace, which is vital for fastbreak assists.”

No need for motivational speech

Fazekas thinks Veszprém are ready for the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and the Hungarians travel to Cologne to write history. "We are so wound up that we would start the game vs. Kiel this instant if it was up for us.”

"The Cologne event is a fiesta we have been waiting for so long to be part of and finally our time has come. We feel that we are where we belong and thanks to our excellent medical team I am going to be there with the guys," added Fazekas.

TEXT: Bence Martha / br