No reason to talk about me - yet, says StefanssonArticle
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INTERVIEW: Olafur Stefansson sees his comeback by KIF Kolding Kobenhavn as no real comeback.

No reason to talk about me - yet, says Stefansson

“It was not a comeback! I was not really back!”

Olafur Stefansson does his best to play down his appearance by KIF Kolding Kobenhavn last Saturday in the first leg of the Danish champions' Last 16 tie against HC PPD Zagreb in the VELUX EHF Champions League.

The 41-year-old Icelandic right back did play some minutes in each half and actually managed to score a goal towards the end, as his new team lost 22:17 in the Arena Zagreb. That was his first appearance at top level in more than 18 months.

“There is really not much of a story in that. I have agreed to help the club in the two matches against Zagreb and further on in the Champions League, if we get any further.

“I we manage to qualify for the quarter-final, we can start talking about a comeback, but until then, I actually tell each and every journalist who wants to do a story on my comeback that there really is no story” says Olafur Stefansson who agreed to talk to after all.

He is definitely no stranger to the EHF Champions League. As far back is the 2001-02 season, he took his first Champions League title with German SC Magdeburg, and he copied the triumph with Spanish BM Ciudad Real in 2006 and 2008.

No longer than three years ago, in the 2011-12 season, he was in the VELUX EHF FINAL4 for the first and so far only time in his career. With AG Kobenhavn he reached a third place in the LANXESS arena of Cologne.

Ready to take the first plane to Reykjavik

He has stated several times, that there is no talk of long term comeback, but only for KIF Kolding Kobenhavn's remaining Champions League matches this season.

Head coach in KIF, fellow Icelandic Aron Kristjansson claims that Stefansson is still a player at world class level, and the Danish champions may need that on Sunday afternoon in Brøndby by Copenhagen, if they are going to catch up with Zagreb's five-goal lead from the first leg.

Considering his enormous experience from handball at top level, it comes as no surprise that he is very realistic about the first match, in which KIF were nine goals down several times in both halves.

“I think we should be grateful that we still have a chance to go on in the Champions League. Last year, KIF Kolding Kobenhavn were in a bit of the same situation in the Last 16, as they lost the first leg away against Metalurg 23:17, and were never even near qualifying for the quarter-finals in the return match,” he says, referring to Metalurg's 30:26 win in Kolding in the second leg.

“We should be thankful that we still have a chance to make it better than last year. We could easily have lost by twice as many goals or even more.

“If we had lost by 12 or 13 goals, I would have been ready to take the first plane back to Reykjavik! As it is, we still have the chance to reach the quarter-final, if we are there from the start and make use of all our experience,” finds Olafur Stefansson.

Portrayed in a new documentary

A new documentary showing Stefansson's post-handball life in his homeland after his spell in Dubai is being shown in these days in Reykjavik.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / br