Behind every star of the EHF Champions League is a person.

A human being with their own story to tell.

Told exclusively in their own words through EHFCL Weekly, heroes of the EHF Champions League tell their own unique stories in our This is me series.

Whether it's fate or family, the best players in the world reveal how they rose to handball stardom. How they fell in love with the sport. How they overcame adversity. How they became the person who they are and how handball has shaped their lives on and off the court.

This is them. And these are their stories.


When you've won all there is to win who else do you turn to win it all over again? In Barça's case, who better than a man who's won all there is to win? The Spanish giants turned to legendary Carlos Ortega this summer after Xavier Pascual waved goodbye to 12 trophy-filled years at Palau Blaugrana. Here, in his own words in our first This is Me of the season, Carlos explains his road back to Barça and reveals how he intends to try and improve a team that won all 20 EHF Champions League matches last season...

Read Carlos' story.



Be honest. How many professional athletes do you know who took a break from their sport to become a model? Well, we know one and her name is Yvette Broch. CSM's Dutch star has no ordinary story when it comes to her life. As she explains in her own words in our This is Me series, Yvette lifts the lid on what it was like to press pause on the career in the sport she loves for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that was broadcast to millions of TV viewers. It's a truly unique story and it is all yours to read right here, right now. Enjoy. 

Read Yvette's story.



Andrea Lekic knows what it takes. The Serbian lifted the EHF Champions League trophy in 2013 and has been an ever-present force of the finest floors of European handball for well over a decade. The centre back's journey to the top started at Krim and now that she's back in Slovenia again what better time for her to reflect on her career than in her own words in our latest This is Me story. From those early days in Belgrade to winning the IHF World Player of the Year award, Andrea tells us just how special it has been to play the sport she loves so much.

Read Andrea's story.


Having a mother and father who both played professional handball, it was always going to be difficult for Diego Simonet to do anything else other than follow in his parents' footsteps. However, a South American making it big in Europe? Not always easy. But Diego has handball in his DNA and when everything falls into place good things happen. Here, as he explains in his own words, the Argentinian reveals how much handball means to him while paying tribute to those close to him who have helped realise his dream of winning the EHF Champions League.

Read Diego's story.


Been there, done that: Amandine Leynaud has reached everything a handball player could wish for in a career. Now at 35, the French great has arrived in the autumn of her career. In this episode of the This is me… series, Leynaud takes us through her 17-year-long journey across Europe’s handball courts.

Read Amandine's story.


What do you know about Timur Dibirov? You can probably tell us he's won the EHF Champions League twice. And you know he's won national titles with Vardar like a 1,000 times. But what do you know about him? The real Timur Dibirov? Well, in the latest in our This is Me series, the legendary left winger explains his background and his roots in Dagestan. His story is one with a deep connection to the importance of traditions and family values and it's one you cannot afford to miss.

Read Timur's story.


Calling all romantics, we've got a This is Me just for you. A love story that involves Vladlena Bobrovikova, Italy, an Italian swimming champion, lots and lots of ice cream and, of course, handball. So be prepared to read perhaps our cutest story to date...

Read Vladlena's story.


When he was a teenager Cedric Sorhaindo hated the way he looked as a child that he ripped up all the photographs of him. "I was trying to forget about my younger self," he explains. "This is how I tell you how traumatic my childhood was." In the latest in our revealing series of stories featuring some of the biggest names in handball, the French star opens up to tell his own tale in a brutally honest piece that you will read, and read and read again. If you thought you knew the real Cedric Sorhaindo, think again.

Read Cedric's story.


Sharpshooter, preferably from distance. Blink when she shoots and you'll likely miss just another goal. The Dutch world champion scored five times on her EHF Champions League debut in 2015 - but that is well over 260 goals ago now... Always up for new challenges, Lois has played in six different countries. Now in Denmark with Odense, Lois tells us in her own words how she has gained mental strength and grown as a person thanks to the ups and downs of her handball journey. Go on, give it a read.

Read Lois' story.


Hampus Wanne had only just started his professional career when his penalty goal took SG Flensburg-Handewitt to the EHF Champions League final in 2014. The lob fooled Danijel Saric and Wanne became an instant hero in northern Germany. But how did this ice cold left wing end up in Flensburg? Here Hampus tells us his unique story of how he went from an unknown in Sweden to one of the best players in the world.

Read Hampus' story.


Hard work always pays off - as the old saying goes. For Roland Mikler it's the same. However, it's supplemented by one of the most important secrets that goalkeepers carry in handball: trust. In the latest in our This is Me series, one of handball's biggest characters explains that without trust, we would not see the "animal" on the court.

Read Roland's story.


With hard work and endurance, dreams come true. Zita Szucsanszki knew what to do in order to achieve her goals, to be professional and, more importantly, to be a mum. However, it would have been much harder or even impossible to reach these peaks alone. In the latest in our This is Me series, Zizi explains what maternity and handball require from the best of the sport.

Read Zita's story.


There are not many stories as compelling as Emmanuel Mayonnade's. And that's not even taking into consideration he was the youngest ever coach to win the IHF World Championships. No, his story - starting in a village in south-west France - is one fueled by family. It's tinged with tragedy, too. But you don't become one of handball's most respected coaches by sitting back and giving up when the going gets tough. It's an emotional and inspiring story, where Manu tells us just how important family is.

Read Emmanuel's story.


No one netted more times in women's international club handball last season: meet Ana Gros, the Slovenian back with the deadly shot who became DELO EHF Champions League top scorer in 2020/21. Helped Brest Bretagne Handball all the way to the Champions League final in 2021, and hopes to repeat the feat with CSKA in 2022. Read the story of Ana Gros' career – in her own words.

Read Ana's story.


Nataliya Derepasko never ever thought about being a coach. After all, she won the lot in her days on the court. Two EHF Champions League and 11 Slovenian titles with Krim. When those days were over the coaching game remained off the radar. But when you're in love with a club, there's not much you can do. Right? Here in our latest This is Me exclusive, Nataliya reveals why she headed to Krim again.

Read Natalya's story.


When you think of the Mount Rushmore of handball idols, Talant Dujshebaev would have to be on it. The man has been living and breathing elite handball his whole life. One of the best players to ever grace our courts and one of the best coaches to ever sit on the sidelines. He also built a handball family with two sons who are two huge names - Alex and Daniel Dujshebaev. It's an incredible story and one not to be missed. Could this season be another big chapter for Lomza Vive Kielce and Dujshebaev dynasty?

Read Talant's story.


This is Rui Silva's love letter to handball. Having first picked up a ball aged four it has been the love of his life. Here, the Portuguese star explains the deep sorrow after losing two huge influences on his life and shares his gratitude to handball and its importance on the path to his dreams. If there's one article you read this week - make it this one. You won't be disappointed.

Read Rui's story.


The young handball players of today could learn plenty from Clara Woltering. The former German international goalkeeper knows a thing or two about winning medals. And about lifting the EHF Champions League trophy. And about keeping 40,000 chickens happy. Yes, these days she's juggling working on the family farm with coaching keepers for Dortmund and the national team - it's not easy... but as she explains in our latest This is Me feature, hard work always pays off. Enjoy.

Read Clara's story.


To play handball as a girl in Brazil takes some strength. To become a professional player is even tougher. As an exceptional talent in South America, Bruna De Paula knew she had to spread her wings, leave home and her mom, her inspiration, to follow her dreams of making it to the big time in Europe. Now she's here, she's making it count and with her infectious smile and rocket of a right arm. In our latest This is Me story, Bruna retraces her footsteps from Brazil to the EHF Champions League Women.

Read Bruna's story.


Maybe we should call him ‘Le Petit Prince.’ At 1.72m, Luc Steins is one of the smallest playmakers in the top of European handball. But also one of the biggest, just how you look at it: MVP of the French league last season, All-star centre back of the EHF EURO 2022. Like a conductor, he directs the play at Paris Saint-Germain Handball and the Dutch national team. In this episode of our This is Me… series, 27-year-old Luc Steins takes us with him on his handball journey from Voerendaal, a small village in the south of Netherlands, all the way to Paris.

Read Luc's story.


Everybody loves the top scorers, right? They get all the plaudits and all the attention. However, defensive specialists are harder to get by. Some of them are the unsung heroes of handball because their work is difficult to pinpoint. The best defensive player of the 2020/21 season of the EHF Champions League, Henrik Mollgaard, says nobody likes the players who ruin the game and take all the fun out of it. But here he is, in his own words: a mountain of a man with a soft spot for cooking and a loving father, whose daughters make him a bit jealous when they play handball. You're going to like this.

Read Henrik's story.


Domagoj Duvnjak. You know him. Kiel's superstar and a Croatian handball legend. He's come a long way since patiently watching his father coach in the halls of Djakovo as a seven-year-old. This is where his story - that he tells here - starts. Having turned his hobby into his profession, Domagoj left his homeland for Germany and he's been writing history ever since.

Read Domagoj's story.


Winning the EHF Champions League Men once is difficult enough. Ask any stalwart from the past three decades and they will tell you the same. But winning it seven times? However one man can lay claim to that. Just ask Andrei Xepkin. Upon winning the title in 2007 with Kiel, he wrote his name in the record books, doing so two years after his retirement. Stop what you're doing and read the words of a handball icon.

Read Andrei's story.


Kentin Mahé. That's Kentin with a K. Following in the footsteps of a famous father can be a difficult for some. But not for Kentin. Not for Kentin with a K. So when your dad wins a World Championship, what do you do? You also win one. Like father, like son? Well, Kentin - with a K - has his own story. Of how he went onto "be like dad", how he rose to become one of Europe's most talented players and how that now, at the age of 30, there are some boxes still left to tick. This is Kentin's story in his own words.

Read Kentin's story.


A great handball career is approaching its end. Lasse Svan – Danish international, GOG star, SG Flensburg-Handewitt evergreen – will call it a career in June. In this episode of our This is Me… series, the 38-year-old looks back, but also forward as he shares his opinions and emotions with the readers of

Read Lasse's story.


Patrick Wiencek. You know him. Or maybe you don't. A self-confessed quiet guy off the court he's anything but on it. Never afraid to speak his mind, Patrick has become of German handball's best-loved line players. While he may have played his last game in the national colours of Germany the 33-year-old is still going strong for Kiel - as shown on Thursday against PSG. So spend 15 minutes of your day by reading his story.

Read Patrick's story.


Usually we introduce our This is Me piece with some flowery text about how good the player is; touch on how certain experiences shaped their careers and throw in a few references of how many times they've won the EHF Champions League. This week, it's pointless because Katrine Lunde needs no introduction. Why? Because it's Katrine Lunde! It's a long one, but it's well, well worth it so read on and enjoy her story.

Read Katrine's story.


The new piece in the This is Me series is one that will surely be enjoyable. It is difficult to find a player that takes the court with a bigger smile on her face. And when that player has won everything that one could imagine and was named the All-Star centre back of the EHF Champions League Women for the fourth time in a row, it gets better and better. No introduction needed, just the name: Stine Oftedal.

Read Stine's story.


The newest instalment of the This is Me series sees us return to the bench to hear from a coach — but a coach who himself raised multiple trophies as a player: Serbian sharpshooter now Veszprém coach Momir Ilic.

Read Momir's story.


The This is Me series continues with a French line player who has always had Catalan blood running through his veins. No wonder Ludovic Fabregas feels at home at Barça. Here is his passionate story.

Read Ludovic's story.

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