Four European sides contest Super Globe
SC Magdeburg will try to defend their IHF Super Globe title this week in Dammam, Saudi Arabia. Last year, SCM sensationally prevailed against EHF Champions League record winners Barça in the final and will face a stern test to repeat the feat as the competition’s format is different, offering stronger opposition.
For the first time in the history of the championship, twelve teams will compete for the coveted trophy and the winner's check from Tuesday to Sunday - including four European powerhouses.
The tournament will be played in four groups of three, each led by teams, which had been finalists in the two major EHF club competitions. Defending champions Magdeburg will play in Group A against Oceania representatives Sydney University - the Australian students are taking part for the tenth time in a row - and against the internationally unknown Saudis of Khaleej.
In group B, European League winners Benfica are favorites against hosts Mudhar (Saudi Arabia) and African champions Al-Ahly from Egypt. EHF Champions League finalists Kielce from Poland play in group C against the Brazilian side Taubate (South American champions) and the Asian Champions League winners Al-Kuwait. Barça duel in group D with Club Ministros of Mexico (winners of North America qualifiers) and Esperance de Tunis (winners of the Arab Club Championship).
In order not to increase the number of matches, in contrast to previous tournaments, only the four group winners advance to the semi-finals. The group matches will be played from Tuesday to Thursday in Damman, followed by the semis and the start of the placement round on Saturday.
The semi-finals pairings will see the winners of groups A/B and C/D competing for the final, so if Magdeburg progresses, they could face Benfica in the repeat of last season’s European League final. And the second semi-final could also be a repeat of the EHF Champions League final in Cologne if Barcelona and Kielce advance. The club world champion will be determined on Sunday.
The IHF Super Globe will be held in Saudi Arabia for the third time. Barça are the overall record winners with five titles (2013, 2014, 2017, 2018, 2019).
Group A: SC Magdeburg (GER), Sydney Uni (AUS), Khaleej (KSA)
Group B: Al Ahly (EGY), Mudhar (KSA), SL Benfica (POR)
Group C: Handebol Taubaté (BRA), Al-Kuwait (KUW), Łomża Industria Kielce (POL)
Group D: Barça (ESP), Club Ministros (MEX), Esperance de Tunis (TUN)