Top players back in action in the EHF Champions League

04 Feb. 2021

Top players back in action in the EHF Champions League

After the best players in the world represented their countries at the 27th IHF Men’s World Championship in January, they are back in action for their clubs in February, as the EHF Champions League is edging to the final games of the group phase.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still a complication, several teams have seen their games postponed, but last season’s VELUX EHF FINAL 4 was set in Cologne in late December, with THW Kiel taking the big crown, after winning the final against Barça.

The “Zebras” are back on Thursday, when they host Ukrainian side HC Motor Zaporozhye, who are riding a six-game winning run, their best ever in the European premium competition. Kiel’s star-studded line-up includes two world champions, the Danish brothers Magnus and Niklas Landin, but also Swedish vice-champion Oskar Sunnefeldt and the second-best goal scorer at Egypt 2021, Sander Sagosen. 

However, Kiel are backed into a corner, despite winning the trophy last season. They are currently fifth in the standings, with five points, and have not won a game in the EHF Champions League this season since October.

The only unbeaten team in the competition, Barça, who won their first eight games, travel to Veszprém in what could be dubbed as the clash of the titans. Both sides played in the VELUX EHF FINAL 4 in December, with the Spanish powerhouse finishing second and Veszprém fourth. 

Barça boast one world champion in their ranks, Danish goalkeeper Kevin Møller, but also three bronze medallists with Spain, team captain Raul Entrerrios, goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas and wings Aleix Gomez and Aitor Arino and the All-star line player at Egypt 2021, Ludovic Fabregas.

German outfit SG Flensburg Handewitt and Danish champions Aalborg Handbold also boast three world champions each in their rosters, with games against HC Meshkov Brest and HBC Nantes next in the European top competition.

The MVP of the 27th IHF Men’s World Championship, Mikkel Hansen, will be back in action on Saturday, 6 February, as his team, PSG Handball, face a tough challenge in their trip against Hungarian powerhouse MOL-Pick Szeged.

The EHF Champions League changed its format this season, with 16 teams at the start in two groups of eight teams. The best two sides in each group progress to the quarter-finals, while teams ranked third to sixth will enter a play-off stage. The last two teams in each group are eliminated. 

In total, 28 players playing in the EHF Champions League won medals at Egypt 2021 – with Aalborg Handbold leading the pack with six medals, three gold, three silver – followed by Flensburg and Barça with five medals each.

Visit the official EHF Champions League website for more information.