Barça handball now know their rival in the semi-finals of the VELUX EHF Champions League. It is Flensburg from Germany. Barça will play, in the Lanxess Arena in Cologne, the game that can send them to the Grand Final. The semi-finals will be on 31st of May, at 3.15p.m. and 6p.m.. The 3rd and 4th pace game will be at 3.15p.m. and at 6p.m. the Final on the 1st of June.
Xavi Pascual evaluated the semi-final match against SG Flensburg-Handewitt. According to the Barça coach, the fact that the game is being played in Cologne against Flensburg throws up extra difficulties “We already know how tough it is to play in Germany against a German team. You just have to look at the results. Every time we play in Germany we suffer”.
“Whoever the opponents, just being there is the most important, and our intention is to win the Champions. We didn't care who our rival was” Pasqual said.
Being favourite to win the Champions was one of the questions the coach had to answer: “It doesn't bother me that we are classed as favourites. Whoever we are to play they would say we are favourites. Nothing will change my opinion. There are 4 teams in with a chance. Last year nobody gave Hamburg a chance and they won the Champions. The F4 is on a weekend, two games in 24 hours to win the Title”.
“SG Flensburg-Handewiit are a really good team. In attack they move really well off the ball. The two full backs have different styles. In the centre they are really mobile, in summary, a very strong first line" Pascual said.
“Knudsen is a great pivot. Out wide, Eggert is a fabulous player, one of the best in the World. Mattias Andersson is one of the best keepers in the Bundesliga. They defend really well, and Vranjes is a really intelligent coach”, the Barça coach stated, whenh talking about their rivals in Cologne.
SG Flensburg-Handewitt will play in their first ever Final Four after beating Vardar on away goals.
Despite this being their first time with this format, Flensburg, from the North of Germany are third in the very strong Bundesliga, only one point behind Kiel and Rhein Neckar Löwen.
Barça have played SG Flensburg three times in European competition, winning twice and losing once. The German side is made up of players from Denmark, Sweden and Germany.