DThe strongest league in the world is only watching again when European handball selects the best of its best on the first weekend in June in Cologne. As the last German club failed Master SG Flensburg-Handewitt in the quarterfinals of the Champions League at the Hungarian top club Telekom Veszprem, the 22:28 from the first leg proved to be too big a mortgage. In spite of a furious start in Hungary it was 25:29 – for the third time in a row the Handball Bundesliga (HBL) got out of the Champions League in front of Cologne.
This Flensburg caught in Hungary a start to measure. No five minutes were played, as led the SG already 5: 0, Veszprem scored only in the ninth minute, the first goal. But the hosts remained cool, equalized in the 20th minute for the first time to 9: 9 and left the Flensburg henceforth no further than to draw up to two goals. "After 20 minutes, we have lost our line and our laxity," SG managing director Dierk Schmäschke said.
Midway through the first half, it became apparent that it would not be enough for the German champions. "The last ten minutes were hammerscheiße," said Flensburg playmaker Rasmus Lauge – which, incidentally, earned his money in the next season in Veszprem.
Five years after the Champions League triumph of the Flensburger, the most recent German title, HBL loses ground again in European comparison. "Of course we would like to be part of the Final Four, but not at all costs," said HBL CEO Frank Bohmann recently to the Stuttgarter Zeitung. Meaning: No club in the HBL has the money, for example, the Veszprem, the Polish representative KS Kielce or France's top club Paris St. Germain have.
That money alone but also no guarantee for success, was last felt PSG with its 20-million-budget. The star ensemble to Germany national captain Uwe Gensheimer lost in the Champions League quarter-final first leg in Kielce with a rich ten goals. That can mean only one thing for the coming season: to increase the squad. No problem, believes Bohmann, because: "If the need even more money, they would probably make it available to them." Flensburg can only dream of his budget of an estimated seven million.
For the team of coach Maik Machulla, it continues now with full concentration in the championship on, next Sunday is the top game at record champions THW Kiel. If the Flensburg win, then they are six points clear in the table of the third overall title after 2004 and 2018 hardly to take. "It's going to be one of the biggest games out there," said off-season SG captain Tobias Karlsson on the Sky microphone. Maybe it will be a bit bigger next year.
(TagToTranslate) Frank Bohmann (t) Dierk Schmäschke (t) SG Flensburg – Handewitt (t) T-Mobile (t) Champions League (t) Handball (t) Handball Champions League