Leynaud is FINAL4 MVP; Neagu takes top scorer titleArticle
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FEATURE: CSM Bucuresti left back Cristina Neagu tallies 110 goals to top score the Women’s EHF Champions League 2017/18, while Vardar goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud is named FINAL4 MVP
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Leynaud is FINAL4 MVP; Neagu takes top scorer title

Alongside the Women’s EHF Champions League 2017/18 trophy decided at the season’s culminating event in Budapest, there are two major individual awards to be won: the top scorer of the season, and the Most Valuable Player of the FINAL4.

This year, Romanian left back Cristina Neagu won her second top scorer title with a tally of 110 goals in 2017/18. The CSM player first took the award in 2014/15 when she scored 102 goals, sharing with Vardar back Andrea Penezic.

“It is always nice to win such trophies. It means I am doing something good. There is a lot of sweat and a lot of work put in to have these kind of results,” said Neagu, who was also named as the Champions League All-star left back for the fourth consecutive year in 2017/18. “Unfortunately, we could not win the trophy, therefore I am a little bit disappointed.”

Vardar goalkeeper Amandine Leynaud may also be disappointed to leave without the title, but she has the consolation of having her incredible individual performance recognised with the MVP award. Leynaud saved at 50 per cent in the semi-final against Rostov-Don and 41 per cent in the trophy match.

The award comes after an incredible two years for Leynaud. She was crowned world champion at the end of 2017 with France and won an historic silver medal at the 2016 Olympic Games, after playing a key role at both events. It was her save in the last seconds of the 2017 World Championship Final that won the gold medal for France.

Leynaud will join Györ for the 2018/19 season, while Neagu will stay in her home city with CSM Bucuresti.

TEXT: Courtney Gahan / br