12 points for MånsArticle
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Fresh from the one of the biggest stages in music, the Eurovision Song Contest, Måns Zelmerlöw enters the biggest event in club handball.

»EHF CL Channel »2015-16 Men's News

12 points for Måns

It was early afternoon on Saturday when Måns Zelmerlöw arrived at the VELUX EHF FINAL4, exactly two weeks after he hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm and just about one year after he entered the spotlight with a bang, when he won Song Contest 2015 in Vienna with his song ‘Heroes’.

Zelmerlöw is undoubtedly one of the biggest musicians to take to the stage at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in recent years – and being born in Lund, a town with huge handball tradition and host of the “Lundaspelen”, the world’s biggest handball tournament for youth teams, he is no stranger to
the sport.

“Handball is a big thing in Lund and I have been a Lugi fan. I actually never played handball, but most of my friends did. I was more of a football and tennis guy, but I have played a couple of times and really like it. I love watching handball as well,” he says.

It is the second time that Zelmerlöw has been to Cologne. He stopped in the city last autumn when he went on tour through Europe following his Eurovision success.

However, there were arguably fewer people at the Gloria Theatre than there will be on Sunday when LANXESS arena will be packed to the rafters with 19,750 people.

“Cologne is a beautiful city; I wish I got to see it more, but this tour was insane; we just stopped for a couple of hours in each city. I’m really looking forward to coming back and I know I have a lot of fans in Cologne as well.”

The 29-year-old Swede will sing two songs today: one of them ‘Heroes’ in the Opening Show before the VELUX EHF Champions League Final and the other one just before the winners’ ceremony for the new champions. “The crowd can expect a lot of energy and tempo tonight. Hopefully it is just going to be a really good start to the final.”

The last handball final that Zelmerlöw witnessed was at the 2012 London Olympics between France and his native Sweden. “We unfortunately lost, but it was still a huge thing to be there and watch it live. Handball is one of the best spectator sports, especially at the Olympics. That’s where a lot of people gather around. Everyone has an interest in handball.”

Even though Zelmerlöw has never actively played handball in particular, sports plays a huge role in his life. It has only been recently that he opened a padel centre – padel is a cross between squash and tennis – in Stockholm. “Sports is a huge part of my life and I always wanted to become an athlete, I always wanted to become a tennis pro, but never made it, though I’m quite happy where I am today,” he says with a smile.

“I think that’s what keeps me going and what makes me want to achieve more. Sports gives me the energy I need.”

Zelmerlöw has just released another single called “Fire in the Rain”, and preparations and rehearsals for upcoming concerts have already started.

“We do a couple of stops in and also outside of Sweden, and then hopefully I’m looking forward to another European tour – either next fall or next spring,” he says.

TEXT: EHF / ts