22 years old, 22 goals and a first title — of many to come?
Most often, the best young player in any EHF Champions League All-star Team, men’s or women’s, is chosen with the idea of the player they will become as their career progresses. Never before has the All-star Team best young player ended up being the most decisive factor in the season’s title or the star of the final weekend.
But Henny Reistad was the undeniable standout of the DELO EHF FINAL4 2021. Just a few days after she received her first All-star Team nod, she clinched her first title in the top flight.
It was amazing. The whole team fought the whole match and we just showed that we really wanted this trophy and I’m so glad that we made it in the end. It is perfect.
With 22 goals over the weekend — 12 in the final and 10 in the semi-final – Reistad was the top scorer of the DELO EHF FINAL4 2021. Both put Reistad’s name near the top of the all-time list for most goals scored in one game at the DELO EHF FINAL4 — the 12-goal mark in the final places her second after Isabelle Gulldén, who scored 15 in the 2016 final, while the 10 goals in the semi-final places her also joint-fourth together with her Vipers teammates Nora Mørk (2015 final) and Linn Jorum Sulland (2019 placement match).
Reistad entered the final weekend in Budapest with 66 goals in the season. She ends the 2020/21 campaign with a total of 88. It was not only her big effort in scoring that earned Reistad the MVP award — as playmaker, Reistad had a key role in creating the incredible attacking game Vipers showed at the DELO EHF FINAL4.
Yet, it was not even this element that made her performance so notable — it was the responsibility and rising to the occasion in such a jaw-dropping way that showed what a superstar the best young player of 2020/21 turned best player of the pinnacle weekend is.
Gros earns first top scorer crown
It is hard to believe it was only the first top scorer title for Brest right back Ana Gros, who is so well-known as one of the most lethal shooters in handball. Gros earned the top scorer honours in style, with an enormous season that saw her reach a total of 135 goals.
It is certainly not a given that the top scorer of the season hits the 100-goal mark. In 2019/20, when the season ended early due to Covid-19, Jovanka Radicevic was likely on her way there, as she had 97 goals at that point. The season before, Vipers’ Linn Jorum Sulland — who played the last game in her career in Sunday’s final — tallied 89 goals to clinch the individual crown.
The last player before Gros to pass 130 goals was back in 2011/12, when Anita Görbicz scored 133 on the way to the first of her two top scorer titles.
Gros started the DELO EHF FINAL4 with 118 goals so far in the season, adding another 17 over the weekend. The Slovenian right back has played an important role for Brest in their rise in recent years and will surely be missed next season as she moves to CSKA — but at 30 years of age, Gros still has plenty of time to take another top scorer crown or two as her career in the DELO EHF Champions League continues.