History repeats as Barça and Kiel meet once more
Every 10 years Barça and THW Kiel lock horns in EHF Champions League finals, it seems.
After the Spanish club won the trophy in 2000 in the old format, Kiel were the very first winners of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and the “famous arm” in Cologne in 2010.
On Tuesday, the record winners and their runners-up duel again, in the farewell match for the old trophy and in Kiel’s 300th anniversary match in the EHF Champions League.
Barça (ESP) vs THW Kiel (GER)
Tuesday 29 December, 20:30 CET, live on EHFTV.com
- the two finalists have won a combined eleven EHF Champions League trophies: Barça have won the title eight times and Kiel three times
- while Barça cruised through their semi-final by beating Paris 37:32, Kiel needed extra time to leave Veszprém behind 36:35 on Monday night
- the VELUX EHF FINAL 2020 final is the 28th duel between Barça and THW Kiel in history - but only the second in Cologne after the 2010 final, won 36:34 by the Zebras
- the only player of 2010 who will appear again is Aron Palmarsson. He won his first of two Champions League trophies with Kiel but now plays for Barça and holds the record of the most VELUX EHF FINAL4 participations, with nine appearances
- THW coach Filip Jicha was Kiel’s top scorer in the 2010 final with 11 goals. He now aims for his first international trophy as a coach
- the winners will be the first side to win the trophy for the third time at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in Cologne, as Barça were winners in 2011 and 2015 and Kiel won in 2010 and 2012
- Barça coach Xavi Pascual can become the fourth coach in EHF Champions League history to win three trophies after Valero Rivera (5), Talant Dujshebaev (4) and Alfred Gislason (3)
- Aitor Arino, Raul Entrerrios, Gonzalo Perez des Vargas and Cedric Sorhaindo could win their third trophy in Cologne with Barça, while Palmarsson could win his first with the Spanish side after 2010 and 2012 with Kiel
- the only Champions League winners in Kiel’s squad, Domagoj Duvnjak (2013 with Hamburg) and Steffen Weinhold (2014 with Flensburg) both beat Barça on the way to their trophies in Cologne: Duvnjak in the final after extra time, Weinhold in the semi-final after a penalty shoot-out
- in the all-time EHF Champions League ranking, Barça are on top with 242 victories, 20 draws and 57 defeats in 319 matches. Having their 300th Champions League match in the final, Kiel are third ranked with 197 victories, 21 draws and 81 defeats in 299 matches
Playing a final is always exciting. On Tuesday, we have some work to do. We will be there and try to stop Barça, and definitely the players they are capable of doing this
It’s amazing to have the possibility to play here in Cologne and to perform like this, it’s what we all dreamed of. Especially me, it’s what I dreamed of when I was a small boy, watching the Champions League finals. The final is going to be tough