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27.04.2010, 13:00◄ last page     


Race for the EHF FINAL4: Interview with Ciudad Real's player Jonas Källmann.
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"A hard game awaits Hamburg!"

Disappointment and surprise were on the Spanish champions Ciudad Real player’s faces after their first season loss in the EHF Champions League in the Quarterfinal against HSV Hamburg. But the focus of the reigning Champions League winners has returned. They are confident to still qualify for the EHF FINAL4, as their left wing, Swedish international Jonas Källman, ensures.

eurohandball.com: The first leg game in Hamburg ended with a 22:26 loss. How are your chances to still qualify for the EHF FINAL4?

Jonas Källmann: Good, as there are only the first 60 minutes played, another 60 minutes will follow in Ciudad Real. We are aware that we will have to win with more than four goals difference. But we also know that there is room for improvement in both our attack and our defence. We didn’t manage to run many fast breaks in the first leg. The balls we win in defence in the second leg game must be brought quicker and more focussed towards Hamburg’s goal.

eurohandball.com: What are your expectations for the premiere EHF FINAL4 tournament?

Jonas Källmann: Frankly, I find it a little sad that the good old two-game final is no more. Not because we have won the EHF Champions League that way three times in recent years, but mainly because of our fans. Many of them find it relatively expensive and far to travel to Cologne. Still, I expected a fantastic show in this huge modern arena. Playing handball in front of 20,000 spectators is of course unique. I hope that future EHF FINAL4 events also will take place in Spain, so that the Spanish handball fans can admire the four best teams in Europe.

eurohandball.com: You have been with playing Ciudad Real since 2002. As this is a long period, what are the reasons for your loyalty?

Jonas Källmann: There is a very good atmosphere within the team, in the club and in Ciudad Real. We play in a small town with 50,000 inhabitants where everyone knows everyone. And whenever you fancy a great city life, it only takes 50 minutes to the centre of Madrid.

eurohandball.com: You have won many cups with Ciudad Real. What happens after the club wins a big title?

Jonas Källmann: After the season we always celebrate at the town hall where 10,000 - 15,000 people stand on the market place and rejoice with us. The Ciudad Real people are very enthusiastic about handball.

eurohandball.com: This season your club has won all of your 26 Liga Asobal games and until the quarterfinal against Hamburg also every match in the EHF Champions League. Last Sunday you made a new experience, you lost. Is that a mysterious feeling for you?

Jonas Källmann: Of course we don’t like to lose, but we have to look forward to the second lag game. We have only lost the first game, but not the Quarterfinal round. We can still reach the EHF FINAL 4. To reach that goal we will do everything, and our 6,500 fans will support us. I can promise, this is going to be a very hard game for Hamburg.

Visit ehfFINAL4.com


TEXT: Jan Kirschner

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