Two newcomers, two former winners, nine nationsArticle
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FACTS AND FIGURES: Prior to the draw on Thursday, here are all the useful and interesting numbers of the Men's EHF Cup Group Phase.
»2016-17 Men's News

Two newcomers, two former winners, nine nations

Like last year 16 teams from nine different countries, including former winners of three EHF European Cup competitions, have made it through to the Men’s EHF Cup Group Phase.

On Thursday, 11:00 hrs CET (livestream on the ehfTV YouTube channel and the EHF Facebook page, live ticker on, tweets on @EHF) a group phase will be drawn for the fifth time in the history of the competition, which merged from the EHF Cup and Cup Winner’s Cup competitions in 2012.

Prior to the draw puts together the most important facts and figures of the 16 participants.

0 teams have been part of all group phases since the introduction of the new format. Füchse, Magdeburg, Göppingen and Granollers all take part for the third time.

1 player of the EHF Cup Group Phase has won all major European Cup trophies: Konstantin Igropulo of Russia. The right back took the Cup Winners’ Cup with Chekhovskie Medvedi in 2006, the VELUX EHF Champions League with Barcelona in 2012, and the EHF Cup with Berlin in 2015.

1 team has gone all the way from the first qualification round to the group phase: FC Porto (POR). Three more teams arrived from the second qualification stage: Berlin (GER), Kolding-København (DEN) and Benfica (POR).

1 former winner of the EHF Champions League is among the 16 group phase participants: SC Magdeburg (winner in 2002). In every season of the merged EHF Cup, one former EHF Champions League winner has been part of the group phase: again SC Magdeburg (2012/13 and 2015/16, CL winner in 2002), Montpellier Agglomeration HB (2013/14, CL winner in 2003), and HSV Hamburg (2014/15, winner in 2013).

1 group phase participant won the Cup Winners’ Cup but before the EHF Cup was founded: Granollers (1975/76).

2 group phase participants are European Cup debutants: Riko Ribnica (SLO) and FC Midtjylland (DEN, men’s team).

2 teams have made it to the group phase after failing to qualify for the VELUX EHF Champions League this summer: Cocks (Finland) and Maccabi Tel Aviv (ISR). Also, both missed the finals as they finished third in their qualification tournaments. The finalists, Velenje (SLO) and Bregenz (AUT), failed in the third qualification round.

2 winners of the ‘new’ EHF Cup (since 2012/13), defending champions Frisch Auf Göppingen and 2015 winners Füchse Berlin (both GER),  are in this season’s competition. The two remaining winners, Rhein-Neckar Löwen (2013) and MOL-Pick Szeged (2014) are competing in the VELUX EHF Champions League Group Phase.

2 group phase participants were part of the VELUX EHF Champions League last season: Kolding-København (DEN) and FC Porto (POR).

2 countries have won the ‘new’ EHF Cup so far: Germany (3 titles/Rhein-Neckar Löwen 2013, Berlin 2015, Göppingen 2016) and Hungary (Szeged 2014).

2 cities have been the hosts of all four EHF Cup Finals so far: Nantes (2013, 2016) and Berlin (2014, 2015).

3 group phase participants have won the EHF Cup in the old format: Granollers (1995, 1996), Magdeburg (1999, 2001, 2007) and Göppingen (2011, 2012).

2 nations are represented for the first time in the group phase of the merged EHF Cup: Finland (by Cocks) and Israel (by Tel Aviv).

2 times SC Magdeburg has lost in the quarter-finals to another German team, which then went on to win the competition: Rhein-Neckar Löwen (2013) and Göppingen (2016).

3 teams have already experienced the EHF Cup Finals: Göppingen (2013, 2016), Berlin (2014, 2015) and Granollers (2016).

3 Danish teams have qualified for the group phase, just like last year. However, none of the three teams is the same: Aalborg, Bjerringbro-Silkeborg and Holstebro played last season; Kolding, Midtjylland and GOG this time.

4 teams represent the same nation for the first time: Göppingen, Berlin, Magdeburg and Melsungen form a German quartet. According to the competition rules, they will be drawn into four different groups.

4 nations only in this season’s group phase were also represented in last season’s group phase: Germany, Denmark, Spain and France.

4 countries have won the EHF Cup since its initial implementation by the EHF in the 1993/94 season: Germany (17 titles), Spain (4), Croatia and Hungary (1 each).

5 teams from last season are back again in the group phase: Granollers, Anaitasuna (both ESP), Göppingen, Magdeburg (both GER) and Saint-Raphael (FRA).

5 nations are present in the group phase which were not taking part last season: Hungary, Slovenia, Portugal, Finland and Israel.

5 nations who were present in the group phase last season, are missing this time: Romania, Belarus, Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden.

6 teams rallied from losing the first leg in the third qualification round to book their group phase tickets: Saint Raphael, Benfica, Granollers, Tel Aviv, GOG and Ribnica.

7 nations have so far been represented by clubs in the four previous EHF Cup Finals: Germany (6 teams/3 winners), France (4/0), Denmark (2/0), Hungary (1/1), Romania (1/0), Slovenia (1/0) and Spain (1/0).

9 of this season’s 16 teams have been part of the four previous EHF Cup Group Phases: Göppingen, Magdeburg, Kolding, Berlin, Granollers, Porto, Melsungen, Saint-Raphael and Anaitasuna. The other 7 teams are group stage debutants.

9 different countries are represented by those 16 clubs: Germany (4 teams), Denmark (3), Portugal (2), Spain (2), France, Hungary, Slovenia, Finland and Israel (1 each).

21 goals have been scored by both Michael Allendorf (Melsungen) and Chen Pomeranz (Tel Aviv), who share the lead in the top scorers list.

23 goals was the biggest winning margin in the third qualification round as Melsungen scored an aggregate 66:43 against Zamet (CRO).

48 group matches will decide the six or eight teams to proceed to the quarter-finals.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew