All-German final to make history at the 2023 IHF Men's Super Globe
11 Nov. 2023
It took 16 editions of the IHF Men’s Super Globe, but the first 100% German final is on the cards, as Füchse Berlin and SC Magdeburg will fight it out for the big trophy, in the first-ever final between teams from the same country in the competition.
There was a lot of talk about how the German Bundesliga is the best league in the world at the moment and this edition of the IHF Men’s Super Globe confirmed it, at least for the moment, as the two sides delivered three-game winning streaks to make to the battle for the trophy.
Indeed, German sides have dominated European handball over the past year, as Magdeburg are the reigning EHF Champions League Men winners, while Füchse Berlin have won the EHF European League Men in the previous season. Moreover, the two German powerhouses are currently sitting on the top two places in the Bundesliga, building excellent winning streaks.
“It will be a totally different match than in the Bundesliga, there is no home advantage, this is a competition with four matches in six days, so this is another situation in which we are put in. However, I think it will be pretty exciting,” says Magdeburg’s coach, Bennet Wiegert, who has the chance to secure his fifth international trophy, after the 2021 and 2022 IHF Men’s Super Globe and both the EHF European League Men and the EHF Champions League Men.
Over the past three years, Füchse Berlin and SC Magdeburg have met nine times in various competitions, with the latter side clinching seven wins, including a 28:25 win in the EHF European League Men final in the 2020/21 season, while Berlin took the most recent match, 31:26, in the Bundesliga in September.
Since then, Magdeburg embarked on a 13-game unbeaten run in all competitions, entering the final of the 2023 IHF Men’s Super Globe with a 12-game winning streak. Wiegert’s side has also won 14 of the 15 matches played in the competition in four editions, for the best winning percentage in the history.
“It is something really amazing, to be fair, it is spectacular, it is something that we did not expect a few years ago. We have been playing good, in this edition too, and I think we deserve to be here. The feeling is fantastic, but we now have to prepare for the final, there is not such a long time to do it,” adds Wiegert, after his team secured a 28:24 win against Industria Kielce in the second semi-final of the 2023 IHF Men’s Super Globe.
Indeed, Magdeburg would have less than 24 hours to get ready and in shape for the match, especially with not all their players fully fit, as crucial left back Michael Damgaard has yet to feature for one second, due to an injury, remaining in a supporting role on the bench for the first three matches in Dammam.
But Füchse might feel their legs even more tired, as their depleted squad – only 15 players on the scoresheet for each match so far – had also to go through a mind-boggling match against Barcelona, which they eventually secured with a 35:34 win after extra-time.
“The team never stopped fighting. I am very proud of what we achieved here, it is time to regenerate and do what we can, everything possible, to win the trophy,” says Füchse’s coach, Jaron Siewert.
Siewert has a young team at his disposal, but also a player who can write another page of history. After being the top scorer at the 2023 IHF Men’s World Championship and the MVP of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, Mathias Gidsel is just one step away of another record.
If Gidsel scores at least 10 goals in the final against Magdeburg, the Danish right back will be the player with the largest number of goals scored in history in a single edition of the IHF Men’s Super Globe, beating the current record set by Hassan Kaddah in the last edition, with 45 goals.
Gidsel has already scored in double digits in every game so far in Dammam, but might face his toughest challenge so far, with Magdeburg conceding only 56 goals so far in three matches, an average of 18.6 goals per game. But Füchse do have the best attack so far, 120 goals scored, with the outcome of the clash being hard to predict.
Two months ago, Füchse won the Bundesliga match against Magdeburg, 31:26, as Gidsel scored only twice. This might mean that Wiegert has a plan on how to stop Füchse’s goal machine.
“We have played so many times against each other, so we know each other very well. But, like I have said, this is a totally different match, in a different setting, with a trophy waiting at the end of the match. It will be an exciting one,” concludes Wiegert.