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1 month ago - 9/13/2018

Coaches choose Sterbik, Gonzalez and Veszprém Arena

Before the new VELUX EHF Champions League season throws off, ehfCL.com asked the coaches of all group phase participants to name their ‘dream team’, including not only players, but the top coach and the arena with the best atmosphere.

In three of the seven positions, last year’s coaches’ favourites defended their titles: Goalkeeper Arpad Sterbik (now Veszprém), left wing Uwe Gensheimer and left back Mikkel Hansen (both Paris).  Sterbik (15) and Gensheimer (14) received the highest number of votes in total.

Like PSG, Barcelona (Dika Mem and Ludovic Fabregas) count two players in this selection, while Veszprém, Kielce and Nantes each have one. Three of seven top players are now with new clubs: Sterbik, who moved from Vardar to Veszprém; Luka Cindric, who dethroned Nikola Karabatic on the centre back position, transferred from Vardar to Kielce; and Fabregas joined Barcelona after winning the Champions League with Montpellier.

The ranking proves the dominance of both French clubs and players in the Champions League as, for example, three Frenchmen were named in the line player ranking.

New PSG coach Raul Gonzalez (18 votes) was awarded best coach by his colleagues, thereby defending his title, but was only one vote ahead of Patrice Canayer (17), who steered Montpellier to the trophy this May. As in all previous votes, Veszprém Arena remains the number one venue.

The 28 coaches chose their top players for each position (but were not allowed to select players in their own squads), their three favourite coaches and the best arena. In the nine categories below, all players, coaches and arenas that received more than one vote are listed.

To compare, the winners of the 2017/18 coaches’ ranking, the official VELUX EHF Champions League 2017/18 All-star Team and the number of players nominated per position are also listed.

Goalkeeper (seven nominees):
15 votes: Arpad Sterbik (Veszprém)
3 votes: Vincent Gerard (Montpellier) and Gonzalo Perez de Vargas (Barcelona)
2 votes: Niklas Landin (Kiel)
2017/18 coaches’ favourite: Arpad Sterbik
2017/18 All-star Team: Arpad Sterbik

Left wing (eight nominees):
14 votes: Uwe Gensheimer (PSG)
4 votes: Michael Guigou (Montpellier)
3 votes: Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson (Rhein-Neckar Löwen)
2 votes: Manuel Strlek (Veszprém)
2017/18 coaches’ favourite: Uwe Gensheimer
2017/18 All-star Team: Uwe Gensheimer

Left back (10 nominees):
10 votes: Mikkel Hansen (PSG)
5 votes: Vuko Borozan (Vardar) and Sander Sagosen (PSG)
2 votes: Jonas Truchanovicius (Montpellier)
2017/18 coaches’ favourite: Mikkel Hansen
2017/18 All-star Team: Sander Sagosen

Centre back (five nominees):
9 votes: Luka Cindric (Kielce)
7 votes: Nikola Karabatic (PSG)
6 votes: Andy Schmid (Rhein-Neckar Löwen)
2 votes: Raul Entrerrios (Barcelona)
2017/18 coaches’ favourite: Nikola Karabatic
2017/18 All-star Team: Nikola Karabatic

Right back (nine nominees):
8 votes: Dika Mem (Barcelona)
5 votes: Nedim Remili (PSG)
4 votes: Eduardo Gurbindo (Nantes)
3 votes: Lazlo Nagy (Veszprém)
2 votes: Holger Glandorf (Flensburg)
2017/18 coaches’ favourite: Laszlo Nagy
2017/18 All-star Team: Dika Mem

Right wing (11 nominees):
6 votes: David Balaguer (Nantes)
4 votes: Blaz Janc (Kielce) and Valentin Porte (Montpellier)
3 votes: Lasse Svan (Flensburg)
2 votes: Zlatko Horvat (Zagreb), Victor Tomas (Barcelona), Luc Abalo (PSG) and Gasper Marguc (Veszprém)
2017/18 coaches’ favourite: Luc Abalo
2017/18 All-star Team: David Balaguer

Line player (11 nominees):
9 votes: Ludovic Fabregas (Barcelona)
5 votes: Nicolas Tournat (Nantes)
4 votes: Julen Aguinagalde (Kielce)
2 votes: Cedric Sorhaindo (Barcelona) and Bjarte Myrhol (Skjern)
2017/18 coaches’ favourite: Julen Aguinagalde
2017/18 All-star Team: Bjarte Myrhol

Coaches (12 nominees):
18 votes: Raul Gonzalez (PSG)
17 votes: Patrice Canayer (Montpellier)
10 votes: Thierry Anti (Nantes)
7 votes: Juan Carlos Pastor (Szeged)
5 votes: Ljubomir Vranjes (Veszprém)
3 votes: Xavi Pascual (Barcelona) and Noka Serdarusic (previously PSG)
2 votes: Ole Nörgaard (Skjern) and Nikolaj Jacobsen (Rhein-Neckar Löwen)
2017/18 coaches’ favourite: Raul Gonzalez
2017/18 All-star Team: Patrice Canayer

Arena (nine nominees):
13 votes: Arena Veszprém
6 votes: Jane Sandanski Arena, Skopje
5 votes: Sparkassen Arena, Kiel
3 votes: Trocadero Nantes and Arena Legionow, Kielce
2 votes: LANXESS arena, Cologne
2017/18 coaches’ favourite: Veszprém Arena

Author: Björn Pazen / cg