Seven new names blow fresh wind in VELUX EHF Champions League 2017/18 All-star Team
The VELUX EHF Champions League 2017/18 All-star Team has been confirmed as the European Handball Federation announced the 10 names which impressed the most in this season’s European premium club competition.
The announcement of the star selection came on Friday, 25 May, just two days before the season’s champions will be crowned at the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2018 in the LANXESS arena in Cologne, Germany.
Thousands of fans and handball media representatives from across the continent participated in the poll, with their combined votes accounting for 50 per cent each of the final result.
After a little revolution in the previous season when none of the 2015/16 season’s awardees made it back to the new selection, three players defended their positions from 2016/17 this time around – left wing Uwe Gensheimer, centre back Nikola Karabatic and his brother Luka Karabatic as the best defender.
Apart from these three players, who appeared in the All-start Team for the third time, Paris Saint-Germain Handball can also boast the best left back award courtesy of Sander Sagosen, who made it to the ‘dream team’ for the first time.
In the six-year-long history of the All-star Team only three other players have been bestowed this accolade three times – Mikkel Hansen, Timuzsin Schuch and Kiril Lazarov, who still remains the only star who made it to the selection for three straight years (2014-2016).
Besides Sagosen there are six more newcomers in the All-star Team. The VELUX EHF FINAL4 2017 MVP Arpad Sterbik from HC Vardar claimed the best goalkeeper award, while HBC Nantes have two players in the list – David Balaguer on the right wing position and Romain Lagarde who excelled in the young players category.
The choice of best line player fell on Bjarte Myrhol, who helped Skjern Håndbold reach the quarter-finals surprisingly, and Dika Mem from FC Barcelona succeeded in the right back position. Myrhol and Mem are the only All-stars from teams not participating in the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2018. Montpellier’s legendary coach Patrice Canayer, who has been at the helm of the team since 1994, generated the largest support in the best coach vote.
The original list of 50 nominees consisted of exclusively stellar names as there were five nominees in the selection for each position – the starting seven plus the best defender, the best coach and the best young player (born in 1995 or later). Players and coaches from 16 clubs and from 15 nations were selected in the current season.
The VELUX EHF Champions League 2017/18 All-star Team:
Goalkeeper: Arpad Sterbik (ESP) – HC Vardar/MKD
Left wing: Uwe Gensheimer (GER) – Paris Saint-Germain Handball/FRA
Left back: Sander Sagosen (NOR) – Paris Saint-Germain Handball/FRA
Centre back: Nikola Karabatic (FRA) – Paris Saint-Germain Handball/FRA
Line player: Bjarte Myrhol (NOR) – Skjern Håndbold/DEN
Right back: Dika Mem (FRA) – FC Barcelona Lassa/ESP
Right wing: David Balaguer (ESP) – HBC Nantes/FRA
Defender: Luka Karabatic (FRA) – Paris Saint-Germain Handball/FRA
Young player: Romain Lagarde (FRA) – HBC Nantes/FRA
Coach: Patrice Canayer (FRA) – Montpellier Handball/FRA
From this selection, seven players and the coach will be in action when the VELUX EHF FINAL4 thows off on Saturday with HBC Nantes taking on Paris Saint-Germain Handball in the all-French first semi-final at 15:15 hrs (live on ehfTV.com), followed by defending champions HC Vardar against Montpellier Handball in the second semi-final at 18:00 hrs (live on ehfTV.com).