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05.05.2017, 21:40◄ last page     

FEATURE: The best players of Europe’s elite teams shared their thoughts with journalists in the media call.

Players claim everything will be different this year

The best players of Europe’s elite teams shared their thoughts with journalists in the media call. The official launch event of the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 was the media call, when journalists had their chances to ask the protagonists of the upcoming weekend about their feelings before Györ take on Buducnost and CSM face Vardar in the semi-finals on Saturday.

For the fourth consecutive time the media call before the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 started with the announcement of the 2016/17 All-star team, and journalists swarming in the jam-packed hotel lobby had a chance to first ask their questions from the All-star team left back Cristina Neagu as Buducnost were the first to show up in the media call.

"Of course it’s nice to win individual awards but there’s nothing more important than winning a trophy with the team,” claimed the Romanian superstar, who is getting ready for her last games as a Buducnost player as she is heading back home to join CSM Bucuresti.

Györ and Buducnost to play a different game

The Montenegrin side’s right back, Katarina Bulatovic obviously knows how hard her team will have to fight in the semi-final against Györ as she lifted the trophy with the Hungarian team in the first ever FINAL4. "Györ’s defence is second to none but if we are to reach the final we will have to give our best. We know this is our last chance to win the trophy,” Bulatovic reminded journalists that key players are leaving Buducnost.

Anita Görbicz, Nycke Groot and Eduarda Amorim agreed that this year’s semi-final against Buducnost will be very different from last season. "It was all about defences back then,” said the Dutch centre back while her Brazilian teammate expected an even tougher match than their 21:20 extra-time victory over Buducnost.

Kinga Achruk talked about sidelined players in a difficult season but also gave a clue about how to win the trophy. "This is one of the best and strongest team I have ever played for but only if we play as a team, not individually.”

Anita Görbicz, who is usually deployed as a left wing this season said the most important thing was to play, however, "I hope I can play as a playmaker because that’s the position I can best help my team.”

All-star players face in the second semi

Vardar are no strangers to Budapest, the Macedonian side has featured in all FINAL4 tournaments but for two players coming to Hungary is always special. "I love Budapest, I love the city and I really hope that because of me and Andrea Lekic Hungarian fans will support us at least a little,” said Jovanka Radicevic, who won the trophy with Györ alongside Andrea Lekic.

Just like last year, the Macedonian team will face CSM Bucuresti in the semi-final, however, this time they will have Mayssa Pessoa in their ranks. "It’s tough because everyone is counting on you,” said the defending champion. "I really hope that after three lost semi-finals Vardar will make it to the final this year.”

"She is an excellent goalkeeper, so we will surely have a hard time against her,” said Carmen Martin of CSM about Pessoa. Last year’s heroine Bella Gulldén claimed having played under a number of coaches this season even helped the Bucharest outfit.

"With new tactics from coaches we can approach games in a lot of different ways and I think the chemistry is better now,” said Gulldén, who scored 14 goals in last year’s final. "I don’t have to score that many goals for CSM to win,” she added.

TEXT: Bence Mártha / br

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