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23.04.2010, 11:40◄ last page     


Race for the EHF FINAL4: Interview with Ciudad Real coach Talant Dujshebaev.
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"We want to win every title"

25 matches and 25 victories in the Spanish league, 12 matches and 12 victories in the Champions League – despite the fact that some top players left the reigning CL champion Ciudad Real the team of Talant Dujshebaev is in handball heaven in every competition. Before the quarterfinals against HSV Hamburg Dujshebaev, two times world handball player of the year, aims to defend all possible titles.

eurohandball.com: Did you expect your team to play such a dominant role in this season?

Talant Dujshebaev: No, I am surprised. Especially in the Spanish league we are in a fantastic situation, but haven’t won a title yet. And we define ourselves by winning titles.

eurohandball.com: How was it possible to replace key players like Rutenka, Stefansson or Urios, who left your team after the last season?

Talant Dujshebaev: Unfortunately those world class players left us. But in Ciudad Real an individual player isn’t so important, the team is everything – and the team’s playing quite good currently. Even the coach isn’t so important.

eurohandball.com: What’s the secret of your success – is it your defence?

Talant Dujshebaev: No, it’s the whole team. We have great confidence and an extremely strong team spirit. Of course, the defence is important, as we have been focusing on it for years – but it’s more than that.

eurohandball.com: Some key players like Dinart or Sterbik have extended their contracts – will the team remain the same for a longer period?

Talant Dujshebaev: I hope so, because I like to work long-sighted. In my opinion not the age of a player but his performance is decisive. And if Dinart stays on that level over the next 20 years, he will remain in my team.

eurohandball.com: What’s your opinion about your quarterfinals opponent, HSV Hamburg?

Talant Dujshebaev: I was very disappointed over the draw result. When two teams meet four times during one season, the Champions League system is not OK. And it is also very bitter for the EHF FINAL4, when one of the world’s best teams is eliminated one step before reaching it.

eurohandball.com: Ciudad Real won five of the last matches against Hamburg – does this make your team favourite?

Talant Dujshebaev: The past doesn’t count anymore. Hamburg was one of my favourites for winning the Champions League title before the start of the season. And that has not changed. I believe, that beside my team Ciudad Real, HSV is the best team in the world. The quarterfinals will be totally equal and on a high class level – our chances are only 50:50.

eurohandball.com: This season, your team has won all previous 12 Champions League matches. Do you see Ciudad Real as the favourite for the EHF FINAL4?

Talant Dujshebaev: We start talking about the EHF FINAL4 as soon as we’re qualified. Then again, we want to win all possible titles and of course we want to be the best team of the world.

eurohandball.com: You have been working in Ciudad Real for a long time. Are you going to retire there?

Talant Dujshebaev: The life of a coach always depends on the success you have. If everything runs smoothly and good, you don’t have a problem. As soon as you lack success the head of the coach is the first one to roll. So I don’t plan my life for more than longer than one year in advance.

eurohandball.com: Last season Ciudad Real was hit very hard by the international finance crisis. How’s the situation today?

Talant Dujshebaev: The whole country of Spain, especially in sports, is still under the influence of this crisis, but currently the situation’s getting better. We’re on a good way, but we don’t know, if it will be the same as before the crisis.

eurohandball.com: Your 17 year old son Alex is playing for Ciudad Real in the CL – can he become the a world class handball player as his father?

Talant Dujshebaev: His fate in his own hands. He’s got talent and as a father I help him as much as I can. He must decide on his own where he wants to go. But Alex is a very good example for our improving youth work at Ciudad Real.

Visit ehfFINAL4.com


TEXT: Björn Pazen

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