Group matches feature 6 champions and 11 nationsArticle
«Go back

FACTS AND FIGURES: With two days to go until the start of the group matches, here is all you need to know about the Women's EHF Champions League 2018/19
»2018-19 Women's News

Group matches feature 6 champions and 11 nations

The two qualification tournaments in September have completed the field of participants for the Women’s EHF Champions League 2018/19.

While Györi Audi ETO KC won their fourth title last season to match the record of Hypo Niederösterreich, the Hungarian champions are the hunted team again going into the new season.

Here are all the important stats and numbers:

0 teams in the group phase of 2018/19 have been part of all Women’s EHF FINAL4 tournaments. The only team to have played at all FINAL4 events so far, Vardar, is not part of the CL this season.

1 debutant is among the 16 group phase participants: Danish runners-up Odense. The name of Danish champions Kobenhavn Handball also sounds new, but they are the successors of FCK.

1 team has managed to defend its title from the previous season at the FINAL4: Györ, which won in 2017 and 2018.

1 draw only is needed until the FINAL4: the draw for the semi-finals. The six teams advancing from Groups A/B will form one group in the main round, as will the six teams from C/D. The final standings in both main round groups determine the quarter-final pairings.

2 teams clinched their berth for the group matches as winners of the qualification tournaments: Podravka (CRO) and Bietigheim (GER).

3 teams of the EHF FINAL4 2018 in Budapest are part of the group matches in 2018/19: Györ, Rostov and Bucuresti. Only Vardar are missing.

4 players in the group matches have each won the CL four times: Eduarda Amorin, Anita Görbicz (Györ/4 times with Györ), Katrine Lunde-Haraldsen (Kristiansand/2 with Viborg, 2 with Györ) and Katarina Bulatovic (Buducnost/2 with Buducnost, 1 with Slagelse, 1 with Györ).

4 times has Ambros Martin won the CL with Györ - a record among all 16 coaches in the group matches. The Spaniard wants to won his fifth title - with his new club Rostov.

4 former or current CL top scorers are playing in the group matches: Anita Görbicz (Györ/2014: 87 goals, 2012: 133), Zsuzsanna Tomori (Györ/2013: 95), Cristina Neagu (CSM Bucuresti/2015: 102 for Buducnost, 2018: 110 for CSM) and Isabelle Gulldén (Brest/2016: 108 for CSM).

5 nations have two teams each in the group matches: Hungary, Denmark, France, Germany and Norway.

6 former or current CL winners, including all eight winners since 2011, with a total of 11 titles are part of the group matches: Podravka (1996), Krim (2001, 2003), Larvik (2011), Buducnost (2012, 2015), Györ (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018) and Bucuresti (2016).

6 former or current World Handball Players of the Year are part of the group matches: Cristina Neagu (Bucuresti/2016, 2015, 2010), Eduarda Amorim (Györ/2014), Andrea Lekic (Vardar/2013), Allison Pineau (Brest/2009), and Anita Görbicz (Györ/2005).

11 nations are represented by all CL winners so far: Denmark (six titles), Hungary (five), Austria (four), Slovenia (two), Montenegro (two), Norway, FYR Macedonia, Spain, Croatia, Russia and Romania (one each).

11 national champions - and therefore 11 different nations - are part of the group matches.

11 from the last 12 seasons (the exception is 2014/15) current title holders Györ have reached at least the quarter-finals.

12 clubs from last season’s group matches are back this season: Bucuresti, Györ, Buducnost, Thüringer HC, Bietigheim, Kristiansand, Larvik, Rostov, Metz, Brest, FTC and Krim. New are Odense, Kobenhavn (both DEN), Sävehof (SWE), Podravka (CRO).

23 seasons, including 2018/19, Buducnost have been part of the CL.

116 matches will be needed to find the CL winners of 2018/19: eight qualification matches (already played), 48 group matches, 48 main round matches, eight quarter-finals, and finally four FINAL4 matches in Budapest on 11/12 May 2019.

5,441 goals were scored in the 2017/18 season, compared to 5,748 in the 2016/17 season.

TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew