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EHF Champions League

Sorhaindo: “What I have got at Barça is like family”

EHF / Kevin Domas

After 11 seasons in Barcelona, French line player Cédric Sorhaindo will leave the Spanish club in the summer, heading to Dinamo Bucuresti.

But before moving, he still has a couple of games to play with Barça, most notably the second leg of the EHF Champions League quarter-final against HC Meshkov Brest on Thursday at 20:45 CEST.

It will be Sorhaindo’s last appearance at the Palau Blaugrana in the Champions League with the Barça jersey on.

“I will play this last game at the Palau as if it was my first,” the 36-year-old line player said. “I want to play this game as if I was a child, being excited about hearing the anthem for the first time and making the most of it. But that also means preparing the best I can.”

Sorhaindo, who previously played for Paris Saint-Germain HB for five seasons, arrived in Barcelona in 2010. He lifted the Champions League trophy twice with the club, in 2011 and 2015, while playing two more finals.

“I feel privileged to have been through this with such a mythical jersey on my shoulders. I arrived here at 26, and I see myself in what the club stands for,” Sorhaindo said.

“Barça are such a big part of my life: Coach Xavi Pascual is like my dad, Dika Mem is like my son. What I have got here is family.”

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Before leaving to Romania, Sorhaindo wants to pass on his experience to younger teammates.

The French national team captain has always been into uniting generations within a team, and he has been also doing it in Barcelona.

However, an era will come to end in June, as Aron Palmarsson and coach Pascual will be leaving the club as well.

“But we don’t talk about that right now. These last three years, it seems like a team was built, one that made progress in defeats and victories. The atmosphere among us is still excellent,” Sorhaindo said.

The perfect finish to that era?

“Reaching the EHF FINAL4, of course, and maybe even winning the Champions League. I have been there, and I know it is a massive reward for the work a team has done in a season,” Sorhaindo said.

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But before dreaming of a trip to Cologne, Barça still have to keep their advantage over Brest following the 33:29 win in Belarus last week.

Four goals might seem a reliable safety net, but Sorhaindo has been through so much in handball that he does not want to take anything for granted.

“Of course, we were satisfied to have won in Belarus, as only Flensburg managed a similar performance there this season,” the line player said.

“We made a first step into the right direction, but nothing is done yet. Meshkov remain a dangerous team, and we must keep focused in order to progress.”

I feel privileged to have been through this with such a mythical jersey on my shoulders. I arrived here at 26, and I see myself in what the club stands for. Barça are such a big part of my life: Coach Xavi Pascual is like my dad, Dika Mem is like my son.
Cédric Sorhaindo
Barça line player

Still, Barça are brimming with confidence, having won all 17 matches of the current season – though the streak was interrupted by the defeat against THW Kiel in the final of the deleayed EHF FINAL4 2020 last December.

“Everyone is into it, 110%,” Sorhaindo said. “That is our philosophy, to always give our best, even at trainings. This is what I like so much about Barça, and what I will try to keep going for the few days I have left here to play.”

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