Marguc: "Veszprém are a top contender"Article
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FEATURE: The Slovenian winger claims the Hungarian champions are strong enough to finish the job this year, but refuses to disregard Motor before the second leg.

Marguc: Veszprém are a top contender

MVM Veszprém’s Slovenian right wing believes that his team is now even stronger after the troubled start this season and considers them among the top contenders for the VELUX EHF Champions League title this season.

However, Marguc knows it takes more than just being good in order to win as there are some equally great teams going for the same trophy.

Gasper Marguc is enjoying an excellent season with MVM Veszprém. The 25-year-old right wing was the most prolific scorer of his team in the first leg of the Last 16 clash against HC Motor Zaporozhye.

This came as no surprise as Marguc scored the second most goals in the competition for his team so far this season. Only Momir Ilic found the net more often than the Slovenian’s 62.

"It is a great pleasure to be acknowledged and I really am having a great season. Last year was my first season with Veszprém, now I feel at home here and that has a positive impact on my game. Sadly, my partner at right wing, Péter Gulyás was injured for longer periods, but this provided me with more time on court and I feel that I have grown in confidence, too," Marguc told

Motor are no pushover

The Hungarian champion have an advantage of five goals for the second leg in Ukraine, but Marguc, who finished with 5 goals to his name, refused to admit Veszprém are already through to the next round. "We could have played better at Motor, but I am content with the five-goal lead we have."

But he went on: "There are not too many teams who can beat us in the Veszprém Arena but we can’t afford to let our guard down. This is the Champions League with the best teams in Europe and if you don’t concentrate 100% you’ll get punished."

However, Marguc acknowledged Veszprém are the favourites to proceed to the quarter-finals.

"We have to get past Motor and we have to do it in style. Our fans won’t take a below par performance in return for their support and it is our aim to make them happy," the winger explained

How far can Veszprém go?

The Slovenian believes that Veszprém are one of the top contenders for the VELUX EHF Champions League trophy this year: "We had a huge season last year, we only lost three games in the entire season. Sadly one of those defeats was in the final of the Champions League. But as Veszprém edges closer and closer to the long desired trophy every year, I believe that we have a good chance to finally win it."

"It is impossible to tell who is going to win. There are a lot of great teams and I think the top four this year are Barcelona, PSG, Kielce and Veszprém. But there are teams like Flensburg and Vardar whose victory would not be a surprise, either," said Marguc.

If Veszprém manage to eliminate Motor, they will face either Orlen Wisla Plock or HC Vardar (the first leg ended in a 30:30 draw in Poland) in the quarter-final.

The Slovenian already made up his mind: "Plock are a fantastic team and caused us great difficulties even in Veszprém, but I expect Vardar to reach the quarter-final."

"The Macedonians are extremely hard to beat, especially away as the Jane Sandanski Arena is one of the hottest arenas of the continent. Last year we proved that winning there is not impossible at all. Whoever we will face, I am sure there will be memorable games to play," added Marguc.

Troubled start of the season

Marguc did not hide his feelings about former coach Carlos Ortega being fired after the first round of the VELUX EHF Champions League: "It was a huge shock for all of us but as a player you don’t have a say in who manages the team. We kept our nerves and worked hard to reach the level everybody expects from us and I think we can say that Veszprém remained a force to be reckoned with."

"Two young players joined us (Ivan Sliskovic and Aron Palmarsson) and added further quality to the already strong squad. I think we are stronger than last year. However, if we want to prove that we will have to win the competition," said the right wing, smiling.

"We played some great games this season. The best for the team was our home game against PSG (Veszprém won 28:20), when we totally shut down Paris’ attacks, while personally my best match was at Flensburg.

Obviously, we had bad days, too, especially in Plock, but I was gutted about the defeat at Kiel as well," Gasper Marguc remembered.

And he continued: "That last second defeat proved just how balanced this competition is. Kiel had a lot of injured key players and we came straight from the best performance of the season - but we lost. That’s how difficult it is to predict anything in Europe’s elite club competition."


TEXT: Bence Mártha / es, cor