Wanne: "No thoughts about quarter-finals or Cologne yet"Article
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INTERVIEW OF THE WEEK: Flensburg's left wing talks about facing fellow Swedes in the VELUX EHF Champions League Last 16, the hope of getting to Cologne again, and the stress of watching a particular goal

»EHF CL Channel »2017-18 Men's News

Wanne: "No thoughts about quarter-finals or Cologne yet"

The VELUX EHF Champions League title for SG Flensburg-Handewitt in 2014 was a fairy-tale story. And Hampus Wanne played the leading part.

The Swedish left wing was 20 years old, arrived at Cologne as a pupil, but made history in the end. In the semi-final against FC Barcelona, Wanne entered the court with Barcelona leading 29:24, scored three goals, helped Flensburg to make it to extra time.

With the score still level, a penalty shoot-out followed, and young Hampus lobbed the ball over Barca keeper Danijel Saric to steer his side to the final.

And 24 hours later, Wanne was a Champions League winner. His daredevil penalty was chosen goal of the year in Germany some months later.

Four years and an EHF EURO 2018 silver medal with Sweden later, Wanne again dreams of making it to Cologne - but does not think that far. His mind is only at the Last 16 second leg against Kristianstad on Wednesday at 19:00 hrs (live on ehfTV.com).

Flensburg are favourite to advance after winning the first leg 26:22 in Sweden, but Wanne tells ehfCL.com he is reluctant to speculate about Flensburg’s road to Cologne.

ehfCL.com: You should be quite relaxed prior to the rematch against Kristianstad, having the first leg result in mind…

Hampus Wanne: Definitely we gained confidence. We knew how strong Kristianstad are on home court but we won there. Having in mind that we are usually stronger in our Flens-Arena, we could think it will be easy. But we have to be focused. A four-goal advantage is not that much and Scandinavian teams like IFK never give up, they will fight. So it is better to think that it all starts again at 0:0 and be aware of everything.

ehfCL.om: How were your emotions playing in Sweden again?

Hampus Wanne: It was something special and it was fun. I had played at Kristianstad as away team in the Swedish league already and I knew the atmosphere. It was cool to be back.

ehfCL.com: Funnily enough, three Swedish players - Mattias Andersson, Jim Gottfridsson and you - were key to Flensburg’s victory.

Hampus Wanne: Of course, all Swedes in our team were especially motivated to play in Sweden. We all wanted to win, but I think the Swedes wanted to win even more.

ehfCL.com Talking about Sweden, how was it for you to return from Croatia to Flensburg, decorated with the surprising EHF EURO silver medal?

Hampus Wanne: It was difficult to turn the switch when you have been away from home for a month with a completely different team. But I did it in a professional way. Though we were disappointed after losing the final against Spain, of course it was a success. Unfortunately there is not the time to experience joy in a cosy way as the next matches followed immediately. Of course, the EHF EURO was fun, but now I have different goals with a different team. There was not much time to celebrate. Flensburg are playing strong at the moment so I hope to celebrate some more things this season.

ehfCL.com: Looking back on your highlight on club level: which memories of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2014 are still in your head? Was it a dream coming true?

Hampus Wanne: Any young handball player on the globe dreams of being part of this event, any player wants to experience what I and we experienced. Those two days meant an incredibly huge step in my career. I will never forget those two matches against Barcelona and Kiel.

ehfCL.com: And how often have you watched your crucial, cold-as-ice penalty lob in the semi-final?

Hampus Wanne: To be honest, not that often. I think everybody else has watched the goal more often than I have. I felt pure stress when I saw it the first time. And now it is four years ago.

ehfCL.com: Your current situation could mean: three more matches until another VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne?

Hampus Wanne: No, never can we look ahead that far. Now we have Kristianstad, four day later we face Leipzig in the Bundesliga. This is what I and our whole team focus on at the moment. No thoughts about quarter-finals or Cologne.

ehfCL.com: But if you advance, you would have a great quarter-final duel against either Barcelona or Montpellier ahead.

Hampus Wanne: Sounds nice, but again: no thoughts about it at that moment.

ehfCL.com: When you look from match to match only, on which competition you focus most - Bundesliga or Champions League?

Hampus Wanne: Very easy, the next match is what counts. If it is Bundesliga, it is Bundesliga, if it is Champions League, it is Champions League. We are SG Flensburg-Handewitt and we want to fight for trophies in all competitions, so we focus on both competitions.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew