Captain Víctor Tomás joyous after winning the Champions League / GERMÁN PARGA-FCB

The legend of the handball got even greater in 2014/15 by conquering the Champions League at the Final Four in Cologne. It was their ninth title in all after previously winning it in 1991, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2005 and 2011.

The last of those wins, in 2011, was against Ciudad Real in the same city of Cologne, where they had lost in the semi-finals in the two most recent editions.

The final was also Barça’s 300th appearance in Europe’s premier club competition.

No easy road

Barça started the long road to the final in Sweden, in the group stage, and finished with eight wins a draw in Copenhagen and a loss in Plock (Poland).

Their first knockout opponent was Aalborg od Denmark who were defeated by a glorious defensive display. In the quarters, it was Zagreb and former FCB man Vujovic who fell victim to the Catalans, 23-25 at home and then 43-21 at the Palau Blaugrana.

Through to the Final Four, next up was Kielce of Poland in the semis, who were seen off by a more impressive display than the final result of 33-28 might suggest. And so to the final against Veszprem with Antonio Carlos Ortega and Nagy, who were seen off 28-23 to claim the coveted European crown.