Next coup for Nantes: Kiril Lazarov arrives from BarcelonaArticle
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NEWS REPORT: Macedonian two-time World Championship and EHF EURO top scorer signs two-year contract with French VELUX EHF Champions League participant.

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Next coup for Nantes: Kiril Lazarov arrives from Barcelona

They already signed two world champions ahead of the current season, and now French VELUX EHF Champions League participant HBC Nantes announced their next major transfer coup: Kiril Lazarov (36) has signed for two seasons starting this summer.

After four seasons at FC Barcelona, which included winning the VELUX EHF Champions League trophy in 2015, and seven years in Spain in total, the Macedonian will continue his handball journey in France. In Nantes, he will join his former Barcelona team mates Eduardo Gurbindo and David Balaguer.

"Club is growing season by season"

"I am very pleased that we have reached an agreement. I am looking forward to joining a club that has a lot of ambition and is growing season by season," Lazarov was quoted on Nantes' club website, adding: "I am delighted to have the opportunity to play in one of the best leagues in Europe and in the Champions League. Joining Nantes is an exciting new challenge for my career."

The EHF Player of the Month in December 2016 holds nearly all goal records in international handball: In the 2005/06 and 2007/08 seasons, the right back was top scorer of the EHF Champions League. In 2009, Lazarov made history by scoring the most goals at a single World Championship _ netting 92 times in Croatia.

Three years later, he broke the record for EHF EURO events as he scored 61 goals in Serbia. Last month, he again took the top scorer trophy for his 50 goals at the 2017 World Championship in France.

In his 192 matches for the Macedonian national team so far, the captain scored 1456 goals. And in 17 years of playing EHF Champions League, Lazarov has netted 1148 times, including 55 in the current season.

HBC President Gaël Pelletier is extremely proud of the Lazarov transfer.

"After world class players like three world champions Klein, Gurbindo and Nyokas, now one of the world's greatest players will join HBC," Pelletier says. "His signature symbolizes not only the strategy of HBC Nantes to continue the progress, but also our growing profile in the European handball scene."

Strong squad and international ambitions

The strong squad and the international ambitions were crucial for the Macedonian, who played for Veszprém, Zagreb, Ciudad Real and Atlético Madrid before.

"HBC Nantes are doing well against very big teams in all competitions. This shows that the club know what they are doing and that they have a very good strategy to achieve their objectives. This is very important for everything to work well," says Lazarov, adding that "my family will feel good in this city. The club environment should help my family adapt to this new life."

Barcelona have already found a successor of Lazarov - in France: Slovenian right back Jure Dolenec signed a five year contract with the Catalan club right before he became bronze medallist at the 2017 World Championship in France.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / bc, ew