“Great to be part of the VELUX EHF FINAL4” - LövgrenArticle
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INTERVIEW: Although Stefan Lövgren has never actually played at the VELUX EHF FINAL4, he is still an important part of the event

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“Great to be part of the VELUX EHF FINAL4” - Lövgren

Stefan Lövgren - one of the legends of handball times gone by - will be present in Cologne.

The 45-year-old former playmaker for THW Kiel and the Swedish national team has great experience as ambassador for the VELUX EHF FINAL4.

Actually, he has been closely attached to the event from the very beginning, in such a role.

“Part of my job was to make the event known to clubs, players, fans, sponsors and media, when the FINAL4 format was introduced in 2010,” he explains.

This year he will take on a similar role as one of the four EHF Champions League legends at the event, with Marcin Lijewski, Lars Christiansen and Iker Romero making up the team.

Looking back at when he first took on the role of the official ambassador he commented: “It was a great job and also quite easy to promote this new concept, which meant that the semi-finals and final would be carried out over one weekend instead of keeping to old cup system all the way through,” says Lövgren who played 268 internationals for Sweden, scoring 1138 goals.

“When I look at the way the FINAL4 has developed from the beginning, the event has developed from year to year, and this is obviously also what people expect.

“This is an obvious challenge for the FINAL4, but also a challenge, which the event has managed to meet in my opinion.

“Apart from some great matches, the activities around the event have developed and increased considerably.

“The whole set-up and the many events for the fans carry a big part of the credit for the success of the event, like for instance the meet-and-greet opportunity for fans and players,” he says.

No regrets

He never got the chance to play in the FINAL4 himself.

He did, however, play in four EHF Champions League finals with Kiel, winning in 2007, and losing in 2000, 2008 and 2009.

However, the final in 2009 was the final year before the FINAL4 concept was introduced.

Even though he never got the chance to be a part of the event on court, there are no regrets.

“I am not sad that I never got the chance to play at the FINAL4.

“Of course, I would like to have played at the event, but then again, I have had so many experiences which others may not have.

“For instance, I played at the first EHF EURO ever.

“Those, who were before me, never got the chance to play a EURO,” states the man who won four EUROs and one World Championship apart from his Champions League triumph in 2007.

Whilst he was never a player on court at a FINAL4, he has been an important part of the event outside the court.
“It has been great, and I am really looking forward to visiting Cologne again, and to meet old friends from way back when,” says Lövgren who is pretty sure that we will see a new name on the trophy in the Lanxess Arena.

“This year, I think Veszprém appear to be slightly better than the rest, and in my opinion, they will have to take the role as favourites head on,” sounded his prediction.

TEXT: Peter Bruun / bc