Flensburg to Combine ‘Club of 200’
It was 11 October 2003, the Liseberg Arena at Gothenburg. Swedish champions Redbergslids, including world celebrities like Magnus Wislander or Magnus Jernemyr, hosted a club which was having its introduction in the EHF Champions League: SG Flensburg-Handewitt.
But this match in 2003 at Gothenburg was their first EHF Champions League appearance. This weekend, Flensburg will play with their 200th match in Europe’s top flight.
Coached by the Swede Kent-Harry Andersson and Christian Berge, that in these times directs the Norwegian national team, Flensburg left a successful beginning with their own EHF Champions League history, winning that match in Sweden 34:33, including four goals in their left wing Lars Christiansen.
“Right now, once you remind mepersonally, ” I remember this game. Yep, it was the beginning of a wonderful global season,” Christiansen states.
Their journey only ended in the finals
And what a season it’d eventually become for Flensburg. Having been runnersup at the Bundesliga five times, they finally landed their first German national name whilst also successfully defending their status as German cup winners.
They certainly were the first debutants to really go that far in the competition.
&ldquoWe thought we really had a chance against these, but unfortunately we revealed the worst performance of the entire season, losing the away leg 34:28,” Christiansen states.
The 30:28 success in your home was not enough to make up the distinction.
Two magical nights – you to recall, you to overlook
In that first 2003/04 season, Flensburg had just two magical nights, you to remember, you to forget. They sensationally made a 30:20 triumph at the first right-wing leg at home against former EHF Champions League champions SC Magdeburg, but they lost the return leg 36:26 – just to advance to the final based on the away-goal rule.
“This was unquestionably one of the very notable matches ever in my Champions League livelihood,” says Christiansen, that still is the player with the maximum quantity of EHF Champions League matches for Flensburg, as well as fellow Dane Thomas Mogensen. Christiansen holds the one time record of 626 matches along with 3,996 goals for Flensburg.
The following year, Christiansen experienced the lowest of lows of the livelihood. Montpellier had dominated the first quarter-final leg against Flensburg 36:22, even though nine goals out of Christiansen.
“But the nightmare converted in to a fantasy. Though we looked chanceless at the second leg, we scored and scored and scored. “I had experienced a feeling like this, once we were suddenly ahead by 14 goals and virtually in the semis with one second to proceed. But then Gregory Anquetil scored by a direct free throw on the last buzzer for 32:19. In second to another, the arena was completely hushed, at a complete state of shock. Unbelievable! ”
Barcelona Quarter Final was Christiansen’s greatest high
It required the club couple of years to recuperate from the defeat, but then came Christiansen’s highest high: the 2006/07 quarter-final against Barcelona.
“This has been one of the very best SG matches ,” says Christiansen in regards to the 31:21 success against the Spanish giants. “They’re the most prosperous club in the Champions League, and we really brought them right down to a floor. We were somewhat shaken at the 2nd leg, but still losing 34:29 was enough to move to the semis. ”
After two thrillers against Valladolid, Flensburg forced it with their second EHF Champions League final – contrary to their archrivals THW Kiel.
“We were so close to triumph, but this is game. In the first leg in the home, we could have won two, three goals, but Kim Andersson levelled the result with the last shooter. In Kiel our defence supervisor Joachim Boldsen received a very ancient red card, and we shed. ”
Back in 2010, after 15 years with Flensburg, Christiansen returned to Denmark and played one more season for his home club Kolding before finishing his pristine livelihood: “I am very sad that the Champions League trophy is the only major name missing my cabinet. ”
Four years after Christiansen abandoned, the ‘Flensational’ weekend emphasized the clubrsquo;s history. Flensburg qualified for the VELUX EHF FINAL4 at Cologne for the first time.
“” I was in the arena since I was ambassador for VELUX. And the tears were running down my head once I saw my coworkers celebrating on to the floor. With so many I had played together for many years, I really could absolutely feel how they felt at this moment,” Christiansen states.
“these were out and down at the semi against Barcelona, being six goals behind with only some minutes to playwith. They then won the match in the penalty shoot-out,” he adds. “In the end, it’s amazing to not just win your first Champions League name, but to do it contrary to the old enemies from Kiel. ”
Flensburg may also be the very final German club to enhance the trophy in Cologne.
If you examine almost a third of one’s team’so goals, then qualifies as an unforgettable performance!
— EHF Champions League (@ehfcl) March 25, 2019
On Sunday, against Meshkov Brest (at 19:00 CET live on ehfTV.com), they want to get 1 step closer to the final destination, the LANXESS Arena. They won the first leg of their previous 16 at Brest last Sunday (30:28) inside their 199th match at the competition. Christiansen is convinced his former club will move to the quarter-finals.
“They’re the favorites, and needless to say, when you have a historical day like this, you are interested in being victorious,” says Christiansen, that may or may not attend the 200th EHF Champions League match of the former team : “We have just a little boy, and maybe it’s going to likely soon be too late for him. ”
SG Flensburg-Handewitt will turn into the seventh team to accomplish the landmark of 200 EHF Champions League matches, even after Barcelona (now 292), Kiel (276), Veszprém (273), Zagreb (271) and Montpellier (218).
TEXT: Björn Pazen / ew