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Green wants to say goodbye with two more trophies

EHF / Björn Pazen

Jannick Green is on his farewell tour after eight years at SC Magdeburg – and hopes to crown his last season there with two more trophies. In the German Bundesliga, Magdeburg can become domestic champions for the first time since 2002 if they win their home match against HBW Balingen-Weilstetten on 2 June.

Before that, Magdeburg hope to defend their EHF European League trophy at the EHF Finals Men 2022 in Lisbon this weekend.

Their opponents in the semi-final are RK Nexe on Saturday (live on EHFTV at 16:00 CEST); the other contenders are hosts SL Benfica and Orlen Wisla Plock.

“It is our clear goal to win the trophy again,” says the 34-year-old Danish goalkeeper, who joins Paris Saint-Germain Handball in the summer of 2022.

“Others have to judge whether we are the favourites or not. We have beaten Nexe twice in the group phase, but the semi-final in Lisbon is a totally different match.”

After winning the EHF Finals in Mannheim in May 2021 and the IHF Super Globe in Saudi Arabia five months later, Magdeburg are eager to take their next international trophy.

They are the only unbeaten team competing in Lisbon this weekend, with 12 wins and two draws from their 14 matches.

“We cruised quite easily through the group phase, but then had really hard nuts to crack in the knockout stage against Sporting and Nantes,” Green says.

“Sporting really played well and we were close to fail, and against Nantes we played two strong matches – especially the first one, which came only two days after our defeat against Kiel in the German cup final.”

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In 2014, Green arrived at Magdeburg after three seasons with Danish side Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, including his first EHF Champions League appearances.

In 2017 and 2018, Green qualified with Magdeburg for the EHF Cup Finals in Göppingen and on home court, respectively, but missed the final both times. Until last season’s EHF European League success, the 2016 German cup was his only trophy with Magdeburg.

At the end of a dominant 2021/22 season both in Europe and Germany, Green has two chances left to add to his tally at Magdeburg: “Unfortunately, we lost the cup final against Kiel, otherwise we could have finished the season with four trophies.”

Green is looking forward to playing in Altice Arena full of passionate fans.

“Handball without spectators was a different sport. With fans, there is emotion, passion, and atmosphere, and your motivation is automatically much higher,” the goalkeeper says.

If the home fans stand as one behind hosts Benfica, they could proceed past Plock to the final, Green believes.

“Plock are the favourites in that semi, but I have seen and heard Portuguese fans many times and I know which atmosphere they can create,” Green says.

20220526 ELM Green Magdeburg Quote (1)
It is our clear goal to win the trophy again. Others have to judge whether we are the favourites or not. We have beaten Nexe twice in the group phase, but the semi-final in Lisbon is a totally different match.
Jannick Green
SC Magdeburg goalkeeper

As for his own semi-final with Magdeburg against Nexe, Green is aware that “preparation is everything. Having their experienced centre back Janko Kevic back and with Halil Jaganjac in top form, I expect them much stronger compared to our group matches. But still, we are in the favourites’ role.”

Magdeburg’s biggest advantage through the season has been the width of their squad. Coach Bennet Wiegert can rotate a lot without losing quality, and Magdeburg can score from all positions.

“This is our big strength,” says Green, who shas been sharing playing between the posts with fellow Danish goalkeeper Mike Jensen.

But his departure to PSG is coming near.

“It was a privilege for me to play for Magdeburg for eight years, longer than for any other club I played for. I love the city and the club, but now it is time for something new,” Green says.

“So, I hope that we can win both titles, then I am fully satisfied. This would be an outstanding way of saying goodbye.”

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