How does PSG Handball arrive at the Final 4?
The Frenchmen have never won this championship, but reach the Final Four as the greatest favorites.
With five players –N. Karabatic, L. Karabatic, Remili, Hansen and Gensheimer– on the EHF Velux Champions League all-star team, the Frenchmen reach this Final Four as the greatest favorites. They have built an all-star team and this is their greatest event. They have never been crowned as European champions and, after last season’s disappointment, when they lost in semifinals against KS Vive Tauron Kielce, they seek lifting the trophy this year.
They don’t lack talent. The Parisians have one of the most complete rosters in world handball and they also have the highest budget in Europe, €17.4 million. Karabatic brothers, Omeyer and the Danish left back Mikkel Hansen are the most renowned players of the team. Not to mention the German winger Uwe Gensheimer, the competition’s top scorer with 106 goals. With all this power, they have conquered France –they became Lidl Star League champions– and hope to the same in Europe.
To reach Cologne they first had to get beyond the so-called “group of death” in the group stage. They were defeated there by FC Barcelona Lassa and THW Kiel. However, they finished in a second place that took them to next round. In the last 16 awaited their compatriots HBC Nantes, who they beat easily at home. It was this overwhelming win, by eight goals, which made them get into quarterfinals despite drawing in the second leg.
In quarterfinals, the team lead by Nikola Karabatic faced MOL Pick Szeged, who complicated things to them. In a fact, a tight 27-30 in the first leg was enough after drawing in the second match, so the Frenchmen got their ticket to the long-awaited F4. Now they will have to win Veszprém to reach the final and achieve their first ever Champions League title.