This season EHF Champions League celebrates its 30th edition. The past 29 years have seen many handball players becoming legends of the sport. 

This season we celebrate them, the legends of the game.

Told exclusively in their own words through EHFCL Weekly, legendary players share 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 they are and how handball has shaped their lives on and off the court.

This is them. And these are their stories.


From Old Testament to Mexican Indians, from Bolschoi Ballet to clown courses, from Valur to SC Magdeburg and then to Ciudad Real. From developing an app of which he hopes it will become a part of a school education system to being an assistant coach at HC Erlangen. How does this all connect to Olafur Stefansson? Here, in his own words, he tells the story of his life.

Read Olafur's story.



Her career could have been over early due to a knee injury. She came back through excruciating pain to win the EHF Champions League title three more times and was the top goal scorer in one season. In total, Cristina Varzaru won four titles and was among the leading right wings. Here is her story, in her own words.

Read Cristina's story.


He might have retired three years ago, but Thierry Omeyer’s legacy remains forever. The French goalkeeper has been one of the best known faces of the EHF Champions League for about two decades, winning the trophy four times – with Montpellier HB and THW Kiel – and earning a string of other titles and awards. No one better than Omeyer himself to talk us through his illustrious career in the latest episode of our This is me… series.

Read Thierry's story.


An Olympic champion, a three-time European champion, and the winner of the EHF Champions League Women with Larvik HK in 2011. Gro Hammerseng-Edin was a transcendental talent on the court, being one of the most representative players in the history of Norway, the most decorated team in history. A centre back with an amazing handball IQ, Hammerseng-Edin has never shied away from talking about her beliefs and vision in public. This is why she became one of the top voices in women’s handball, advocating equality and an integrated vision. Now, Hammerseng-Edin speaks about her life in her own words.

Read Gro's story.


David Barrufet was named the top goalkeeper in the world twice and has won six trophies in the EHF Champions League, with a side that dominated the competition with an iron fist for more than a decade. Barça was so good because Barrufet was also excellent and he understood exactly what the DNA of the Cules is. Here is David Barrufet, in his own words, making his story widely known, with the past, the present and a hint of the future ready to be accomplished.

Read David's story.


She is widely considered one the best players ever to have donned the Romania national team shirt, scoring 2,043 goals. Mariana Tîrcă was one of the most creative players in the history of handball, but also scored goal after goal when given the chance. Winner of the EHF Champions League Women in 1996 with HC Podravka Vegeta, Tîrcă tells her story, remembering the beautiful times. But she has also on eye on the future.

Read Mariana's story.


Being conscious throughout one’s career is not easy but pays off. László Nagy, two-time EHF Champions League winner and two-time runner-up, has done it. He has been a leading player for almost two decades in Barcelona and Veszprém. After his retirement in 2019, he has not finished his way of shaping handball. The Hungarian legend talks you through his career in this episode of our This is me series.

Read Laszlo's story.


She is an EHF Champions League Women winner in 2002, a two-time EHF Champions League runner-up, a three-time EHF FINAL4 participant and a bronze medallist as a head coach of Vardar, also voted the best athlete of North Macedonia in 1997, 1999 and 2002, and one of the best right back players of her time; not forgetting she was part of North Macedonia's biggest sports moments in history.

Read Indira's story.


He is one of the most iconic handball players ever. The German left back grew up on a handball court with both parents being players. However, Kretsche did not have a dream start in handball. At the beginning of his handball path, he was three years behind the regular development of boys his age. But he trained hard, and he trained a lot. And his name is now written in German handball history books. Here, in his own words, the tattoo lover Kretzschmar tells us the story of his life...

Read Stefan's story.


She won the titles she definitely wanted to win: the world title with France and the EHF Champions League with Viborg HK. Still, goalkeeper Valérie Nicolas had no easy path to glory, as a knee injury in 2004 seemed to end her career prematurely. But she came back and won again. Still involved in handball nowadays, this is Valérie's story told in her own words.

Read Valérie's story.


Some say she retired too early, but Katalin Pálinger was usually one move ahead of everybody. This is one of the reasons she was among the best goalkeepers during her career and especially in the early 2000s.

Her collection includes medals in many different colours, including the rare combination of Olympic, world and EHF Champions League silvers. Pálinger was, is and always will be a winner.

Read Katalin's story.


A three-time EHF Champions League winner and a world champion with Spain, Victor Tomás had to call it quits after 18 seasons with Barça two years ago, at age 34, due to a heart problem. His No. 8 jersey has been retired by Barça after their recent Match of the Week against THW Kiel. In this episode of our This is me… series, Victor Tomás shares his very personal career story.

Read Victor's story.


An EHF Champions League Women and EHF Champions Trophy winner in 1996, a Champions League runner-up, two-time Champions League top scorer, seven times voted best Croatian handball player, a holder of the Order of Danica Hrvatska - Franjo Bucar medal for exceptional achievements in sport, and one of the best left back players of her time with 673 matches played and 4,000 goals scored for Podravka.

Read Snjezana's story.


‘El Terminator’. One of the best players in the world, with two EHF Champions League titles, two-time Champions League runner-up, holder of 35 different national and individual trophies, winner of two bronze medals with FR Yugoslavia, former Serbia national team coach, and today the general director of Crvena Zvezda. Nenad Perunicic left his mark in the world of handball with his recognisable strong shots as a left back and passion that was leading him through life. Now, Perunicic talks about his life in his own words.

Read Nenad's story.


Legendary goalkeeper, determined and genuine, who changed the standards between the posts. Holder of more than 30 trophies, including the 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2017 EHF Champions League titles, six national team medals, IHF World Player of the Year 2005, EHF Challenge Cup 2001 winner and a winner of countless domestic titles in Hungary, Spain and North Macedonia. It can only be Arpad Sterbik. In the new This is me series, Sterbik talks about the moments and memories of his illustrious career that led him to where he is today.

Read Arpad's story.


Even years after retiring from her on-court duties, Anja Althaus remains one of the most well-known women in handball. The three-time EHF Champions League winner, one of the Faces of the #ehfcl, is also known for her exuberant hairstyles (even Dirk Nowitzki asked her to do his hair!) and for being a genuinely energetic and funny person with stories that could easily fill a book. In this episode of the This is me series, she shares many of those stories with us.

Read Anja's story.


Handball Mozart. Handball Jordan. Magician. Greatest ever to play handball. These are just some of the nicknames Ivano Balic got throughout his astonishing career. Olympic and world champion, winner of eight medals with Croatia, winner of 13 trophies, IHF World Player of the Year, four times MVP at major handball events, three times All-star Team member at the EHF EURO, Olympic Games and the Spanish league, and a charismatic player who left his footprint in handball for decades to come. In this new episode of our This is me series, Ivano Balic talks about his path, love for handball and important moments of his career.

Read Ivano's story. 


She is an EHF Champions League Women winner in 2016, the MVP of an EHF FINAL4, a holder of more than 18 trophies with three clubs, voted the best Croatian handball player in 2016, and an honorary citizen of Bucharest. It is safe to say Jelena Grubisic has left her mark, not only on the court between the posts but also in the handball world. The fresh retiree enjoys her new roles: an ambassador of the EHF Respect Your Talent programme and, most important, being a mother. Here is Jelena Grubisic in her own words for the latest episode of our This is me series.

Read Jelena's story.


For over 20 years, Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson made an impact in the world of handball. His record is extraordinary: 365 international matches for Iceland; record scorer for the “Vikings” with an incredible 1,879 goals; 665 matches including 2,950 goals at club level; national champion in all five countries he played in; Olympic silver medallist, EHF EURO bronze medallist, the all-time top scorer of EHF EURO events and player at 22 major tournaments (world and European championships and Olympic Games); and Champions League winner. Now, the 43-year-old former left wing is a coach, hoping to give back to the sport which he says gave him so much. Here is “Goggi’s” story.

Read Gudjon's story.


Former THW Kiel left wing Dominik Klein is an EHF Champions League legend – and the last match of his career was the EHF FINAL4 final 2018 with HBC Nantes. Before then, Klein had reached six previous Champions League finals, winning three Champions League trophies, in addition to becoming world champion in 2007 and the most successful German player of his generation. Here is the story of his life, full of gratitude for what handball, and his handball family, gave to him, and how he is paying back now.

Read Dominik's story. 


Six-time EHF Champions League winner, three-time Champions League top scorer, EHF Cup winner, holder of more than 20 national trophies, Montenegrin Sportsperson of the year 2012, Olympic silver medalist, World Championship bronze medalist and considered one of the best players in the world - all that before retirement at 32. This is a special story of the charismatic Bojana Popović. 

Read Bojana's story.


A former Spain international, Raul Gonzalez was part of the team which took Spain to their first Olympic medal at Atlanta 1996 and their first EHF EURO medal at Spain 1996. After retirement, he spent a decade serving as an assistant coach, only to emerge as one of the top masterminds in handball, securing the Champions League trophy in 2017 with Vardar.

Read Raul's story.


A standout representative of a strong generation of German players, Grit Jurack took the handball world by storm. Jurack's roots were in Leipzig, but international fame became her part after moving to Denmark, where she played eight seasons as right back for Viborg. She won the EHF Champions League three times – once only weeks after the birth of her son – and scored more than 1,500 goals for the German national team. This is her story in her own words.

Read Grit's story. 


Three EHF Champions League trophies. Three world titles. Two Olympic gold medals. Two European championships. Didier Dinart is one of the biggest legends of the game. And in today’s episode of our This is me… series, Dinart takes us on his career journey, from how it all began to his biggest successes, in his own words.

Read Didier's story.


Three-time EHF Champions League winner, Cup Winners' Cup winner, more than 20 national trophies, Olympic silver medallist, World Championship bronze medallist and named the world’s best left wing – her name is Maja Savić. Today, one of the best Montenegrin players is an assistant coach at WHC Buducnost BEMAX and the Montenegro national team, a proud wife and a mother of handball player Vanesa Agovic, with the same passion, stubbornness and desire to pass on her knowledge. Savić talks about her path in the latest episode of out This is me series.

Read Maja's story.


His list of achievements is extraordinary. Four-time EHF EURO champion, world champion, two-time Olympic finalist, EHF Champions League winner and four-time Champions League finalist. He scored 1,161 goals in 269 international matches for Sweden; is one of two players to have scored more than 1,000 goals in the Swedish and German leagues; and the first handball player to score more than 50 goals at Olympic Games, World and European Championships.

Read Stefan's story.


She was the first female handball player to win the EHF Champions League six times, and also raised the competition’s predecessor twice: Ausra Fridrikas was world champion with the Soviet Union, won two bronze medals for Austria, was IHF World Player of the Year in 1999 and imprinted a generation, first at Hypo then at Slagelse. This episode of our This is me series is the story of her handball life – a story of blood, sweat, tears and hard training.

Read Ausra's story.


Kari Aalvik Grimsbø has seen it all in handball and has won it all. A three-time EHF Champions League Women winner, a five-time EHF EURO winner, a two-time gold medallist at the Olympic Games and a two-time world champion, Grimsbø has, basically, won handball. In this latest episode of this This is Me series, the Norway goalkeeper talks about her first steps in handball, how she became a player that won the All-star goalkeeper nod in the European premium competition three times, and what motivated her throughout her career.

Read Kari's story.


Nothing in Tobias Karlsson's youth indicated he would become one of the best defenders the sport of handball has ever seen. Coming from a family where handball played no role, 'Tobbe' only dedicated his life to the sport relatively late. But he went on to build a fantastic career in Sweden, Norway, and most notably Germany, topped by the EHF Champions League triumph in 2014 as team captain of SG Flensburg-Handewitt. Here is Karlsson's story, told in his own words.

Read Tobias' story.


A three-time EHF Champions League Women winner and a Women’s EHF EURO 2000 All-star Team member, Luminita Hutupan-Dinu is one of the best goalkeepers in the history of handball. Her story is one of an underdog who defied all odds to become a true star. The secret? Stubbornness and hard work. In the last ‘legends’ edition of our This is me series, Hutupan-Dinu shares her story.

Read Luminita's story.

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