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07.08.2009, 12:40◄ last page     

The Serbian player arrives in the North German city with significant experience and great ambitions.

Momir Ilic: “Kiel knows how to win”

Without a doubt: Momir Ilic is one of the most coveted handballers of Europe. Earlier this year he received offers from THW Kiel, Rhein-Neckar Löwen and SG Flensburg-Handewitt – despite had a valid contract with VfL Gummersbach until 2010.

Two metre tall SerbianTaking the decision was easy, says the Serbia: “THW are a world class team and it is a dream for any player to come here.” Momir Ilic signed four years for the German champions.

In spite of the tiring preparations, the Serbian player beams with satisfaction. He knows that his talent, diligence and his endurance helped him this far. He was three times among the top scorers of the Bundesliga with Gummersbach from the left back position, which according to some is the “royal position” in handball. So it is no surprise that he was chosen to fill the whole left by Nikola Karabatic (Montpellier).

The enormous expectations do not bother Momir Ilic – at least this is the impression he projects. “I’m 27 with Bundesliga experience. Pressure should not influence me.“

The new hope of the “Zebras” origins from Arandelovac. “Samot” was his first ever club 70 kilometres south from the Serbian metropolis, Belgrade. After two more domestic clubs, the two-metre tall player signed for a Slovenian top club, Gorenje Velenje. Already that time he was hailed as the “best Serbian scorer”.

And despite his significant hunger for goals, Momir Ilic has never been champion before. “Yes, that’s my desire,” he admits quite naively. He has not yet come to terms with the silver medal he took in Velenje:

The biggest trophy of Ilic, EHF Cup victory in 2009“The club used to be only fifth or sixth before, so they were satisfied with the second place. However, I was angry that we finished only two points behind the champions Celje.”

This should change in Kiel, he hopes: “My new team was champion 15 times before, so they know how to win the titles.”

This is also true for the Champions League. Ilic played four seasons in the CL with Velenje and Gummersbach, but he never reached further than the quarterfinals.

“I would like to reach the Final Four in any case,” the 27-year old says. However, he would like to take responsibility already in the group phase. “I’m a player who wants to win every game,” he confirms. “We have to reach the first place in our group if possible. We can make it as we have a world class team.”

Momir Ilic believes that FC Barcelona could be the toughest opponent there: “They signed three or four very good players.”

TEXT: Jan Kirschner

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