EHF Champions League

Six former winners, nine nations represented and 6,408 goals scored

EHF / Björn Pazen

The group phase of the EHF Champions League Men is now a mere memory and the twelve remaining teams continue their race towards the LANXESS arena in Cologne, where on 18/19 June the EHF FINAL4 will decide this season’s winner.

While four teams progressed directly to the quarter-finals, eight will duel for the remaining four spots in the next round. Before the knockout phase begins, here are the most important facts and figures from a thrilling season so far.

0 - Not a single team managed to win the trophy twice in a row in Cologne since the implementation of the EHF FINAL4 in 2010.

0 play-offs will be composed of teams from the same country and that will also be the case in the quarter-finals.

0 teams won all matches and 0 teams lost all matches in the group phase.

1 draw event remains this season, for the semi-finals.  

1 time only - in 2018 - neither a German nor a Spanish team was part of the EHF FINAL4 - this season, Barça and Kiel have already qualified for the quarter-finals, Flensburg are part of the play-offs and will face Barça if they proceed to the quarter-finals

1 previous EHF Champions League final is already a pairing in the play-offs: Vardar vs Veszprém, the 2019 final was won by the Macedonian club.

2 group winners and runners-ups each have qualified from the group phase to the quarter-finals: Aalborg, Kielce, Barça and Kiel

3 times in twelve years, the defending champions made it to Cologne: Barcelona in 2012, Kiel in 2013 and Vardar in 2018, 2021 winners Barca are still in the race for Cologne

3 men won the EHF Champions League as a player and a coach: Talant Dujshebaev, Roberto Parrondo and Filip JIcha. Dujshebaev won the competition in 1994 as a player of Santander (ESP) and 2006, 2008 and 2009 as a coach of Ciudad Real, before steering Kielce to their first trophy in 2016. Parrondo was a player in the successful Ciudad Real squad in 2008 and 2010, then steered Vardar to the trophy in 2019. Filip Jicha won the trophy as a player in 2010 and 2012 and as a coach in 2020 – all with THW Kiel. Jicha is the only one to win as a player and coach in Cologne.

3 nations are represented by two participants each in the 2021/22 season - and all those teams are still in competition: France, Germany and Hungary.

20211209 Flensburg Veszprem IAJ27186

3 former EHF Champions League top scorers are still part of the competition: Alex Dujshebaev (Kielce/2018/19), Mikkel Hansen (Paris/2011/12 and 2015/16) and Nikola Karabatic (PSG/2006/07 – 89 for Kiel). Filip Jicha (2008/09 and 2009/10) is Kiel’s coach, Momir Ilic (2013/14, 2014/15) is Veszprém’s coach.

3 teams of the EHF FINAL4 2021 in Cologne are still part of the competition: Barça, Aalborg and PSG. Nantes play in the Last 16 of the EHF European League.

3 coaches of the 12 teams still in competition have won the EHF Champions League as coaches: Talant Dujshebaev (Kielce - with Ciudad Real and Kielce), Patrice Canayer (Montpellier – with Montpellier) and Raul Gonzalez (PSG - with Vardar).

4 of 107 group matches decided on court ended with a gap of ten and more goals - the groups were as equal as never before.

4 coaches of the twelve teams still part of the competition - have won the EHF Champions League as players: Momir Ilic (coach at Veszprem) and Filip Jicha (coach of THW Kiel) won the trophy together in 2010 and 2012 with Kiel, Börge Lund (Elverum) won the trophy with Kiel in 2007 and Davis Davis (new coach of Vardar) won the trophy as a player of Ciudad Real (2006, 2008, 2009)

4 former or current IHF World Handball Players of the Year are part of the 12 squads still in competition: Nikola Karabatic (PSG/2007, 2014, 2016), Mikkel Hansen (PSG/2011, 2015, 2018), Domagoj Duvnjak (Kiel/2013) and Niklas Landin (Kiel/2019). Besides, two coaches had previously been IHF Players of the Year: Talant Dujshebaev (Kielce) and Filip Jicha (Kiel).

4 players are still in the race for their individual fourth EHF Champions League title: Aitor Arino, Gonzalo Perez de Vargas (both Barça), Aron Palmarsson (Aalborg) and Nikola Karabatic (PSG).

6 former or current champions with a total of 18 trophies are still part of the competition: Barça (9), Kiel (3), Montpellier (2), Vardar (2), Flensburg and Kielce (1 each).

6 countries are represented by the previous 26 EHF Champions League champions: Spain (15 titles), Germany (7), France (2) North Macedonia (2), Poland and Slovenia (1 each).

7 victories in their last 7 group matches was a new record for Aalborg.

7 times we saw 70 or more goals in the 107 group matches played.

8 losses in a row did not prevent Elverum from qualifying for the play-offs

9 times (1995-2000, 2011, 2015, 2021) Barça have won the EHF Champions League. In addition, they won the Champions Cup (forerunner competition of the Champions League) once. Kiel (2007, 2010, 2012, 2020) have won four trophies, Vardar (2017, 2019) and Montpellier (2003, 2018) two.

9 different Spanish coaches steered their teams to an overall of 18 EHF Champions League trophies so far: Valero Rivera (5), Dujshebaev (4), Xavi Pascual (3), Javier Cuesta, Julian Ruiz, Francisco Equisoain, Francesc Espar, Raul Gonzalez and Roberto Parrondo (each 1). Dujshebaev, Parrondo and Gonzalez (Vardar 2017) were the only ones to win the trophy with Non-Spanish teams.

9 different nations are represented by the 12 teams still in the competition: Denmark, Spain, France, Germany, Hungary, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland and Portugal.

9 of the 12 teams still in competition have already been part of the EHF FINAL4 in Cologne: Barça, Aalborg, Paris, Flensburg, Kiel, Montpellier, Vezsprém, Kielce and Vardar.

11 of 12 winners of the EHF FINAL4 are still part of the competition - only Hamburg (2013) are missing.

12 of the 107 group matches, decided on court, ended in a draw.

13 goals in the 2021 final Barcelona vs Aalborg (36:23) was the biggest winning margin in all 24 matches at the EHF FINAL4 in Cologne to date.

15 times Spanish teams have won the EHF Champions League - Barcelona (9), Ciudad Real (3), Santander, Irun and Portland (each 1).

15 goals was the biggest winning margin in a group match, when Veszprém beat Dinamo Bucuresti 47:32.

19 goals, scored by Zagreb in the 19:20 defeat against Vardar, were the fewest scored by a single team in a group match.

20 victories in 20 matches was Barça’s perfect season in 2020/21 - this season, Barca have already lost three times and tied twice.

20 times, Aron Palmarsson was on court at the EHF FINAL4 in Cologne for Kiel, Veszprém and Barça to be record holder in terms of matches - and he can hope to make it with his fourth club, Aalborg, now.

22 points by Aalborg was the highest number in the group phase, ahead of Kiel (21) and 20 (Kielce and Barça).

30 away victories were among the 107 group matches decided on court.

39 goals were the lowest score in a group match when Vardar beat Zagreb 20:19, the second-lowest number (45) was funnily enough in the reverse fixture, when Zagreb beat Vardar 23:22 - so the fans saw only 84 goals in those duels.

53 times in 107 matches decided on court, 60 or more goals were scored.

+56 was the final goal difference of PSG to be ahead of Barça (51) and Aalborg (43).

65 times in 107 group matches, the home teams were victorious, 36 times in group B, 29 times in group A.

68 goals were scored by Kiril Lazarov in his 14 EHF FINAL4 matches as the all-time top scorer of the event in Cologne.

79 goals were twice the high score of the group phase, in both cases, Veszprém were involved and victorious: in the 47:32 against Bucharest and in the 40:39 in Paris.

81 goals were scored by Felix Claar (Aalborg) to top the list. The Swedish EHF EURO 2022 champion is ahead of Dika Mem (Barça) and Raul Campos Nantes (Bucharest), both on 78.

141 goals were scored in the two duels between PSG and Bucharest - 41:30 (71) and 31:39 (70)

263 victories in 346 EHF Champions League matches (besides 22 draws and 61 defeats) were taken by Barça so far to top the all-time competition table.

453 goals, scored by Aalborg top the attacking ranking, only one goal ahead of Paris (452) and four ahead of Veszprém (449).

6,408 goals were scored in those 107 group matches decided on court, an average of 59.88, 3,185 in group A, 3,223 in group B.

20210915 Zagreb Aalborg Musa

Top 5 rankings of the group phase

22: Aalborg
21: Kiel
20: Kielce
20: Barça
19: Szeged

High score:
79 goals: Veszprém vs Bucharest 47:32
79 goals: PSG vs Veszprém 39:40
72 goals: PSG vs Motor 40:32
72 goals: Kielce vs Porto 39:32
71 goals: PSG vs Bucharest 41:30
71 goals: Kielce vs PSG 38:33

Low score:
39 goals: Vardar vs Zagreb 20:19
45 goals: Zagreb vs Vardar 23:22
46 goals: Flensburg vs Barça 21:25
48 goals: Bucharest vs Flensburg 20:28

Biggest winning margins:
15 goals: Veszprém vs Bucharest 47:32
14 goals: PSG vs Porto 33:19
11 goals: PSG vs Bucharest 41:30
10 goals: Zagreb vs Aalborg 24:34

Best attack:
453 goals: Aalborg
452 goals: PSG
449 goals: Vezsprém
449 goals: Kielce
427 goals: Kiel

Best goal difference:
+56 goals: PSG
+51 goals: Barca
+43 goals: Aalborg
+34 goals: Kielce
+32 goals: Kiel

Top scorers:
81 goals: Felix Claar (Aalborg)
78 goals: Dika Mem (Barça)
78 goals: Raul Nantes Campos (Bucharest)
75 goals: Ivan Cupic (Zagreb)
75 goals: Aleix Gomez (Barça)
75 goals: Mikkel Hansen (PSG)

Top scorers still in competition:

81 goals: Felix Claar (Aalborg)
78 goals: Dika Mem (Barça)
75 goals: Aleix Gomez (Barça)
75 goals: Mikkel Hansen (PSG)
73 goals: Tobias Gröndahl (Elverum)

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