SUMMARY: Barça return to the podium; Richardson named MVP

SUMMARY: Barça return to the podium; Richardson named MVP

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EHF / Courtney Gahan

Barça secured the Machineseeker EHF Champions League 2023/24 title after a thrilling final where the smallest of margins decided the victors, as it came down to a free throw after the buzzer, which saw Mikkel Hansen's shot hit the crossbar. Barça won the game by one goal, 31:30, narrowly avoiding overtime. 

Earlier on Sunday, THW Kiel beat Magdeburg to claim third place at the TruckScout24 EHF FINA4 2024. 

FF4CGN24 Final Aalborg Håndbold Vs Barça AR58454 AH
It came down to one last action. It’s hard to say. We were always on top. We were ahead by three in the last quarter but we didn’t manage to put the nail in the coffin. I think we deserve it, but it’s hard to point the finger at one thing at which we were really better than them. Perhaps the fact that we had an easier semi-final compared to them helped us at the end.
Timothey N'Guessan
Left back, Barça
FF4CGN24 Final Aalborg Håndbold Vs Barça UH16388 UH
We will come back here, and we will win gold. We saw how good we are, with a lot of young players, and that gives even more hope for the future. Right now, we are more disappointed than ever, but if you had told us at the start of the season we would lose the whole Champions League by one goal, we would have signed the bill. It was an amazing game, between two amazing teams, and it’s just too bad that we are on the wrong side of the podium.
Thomas Arnoldsen
Centre back, Aalborg Håndbold
FF4CGN24 Final Aalborg Håndbold Vs Barça UH16642 UH
Handball has brought me amazing experiences, great teammates. The road has been worth it. It would not make anything different if I had the possibility and, come the end of my career, I will feel privileged, without a doubt. But it is time to go back home.

And looking at things right now, there is a chance that I will have the opportunity to win the EHF Champions League playing in Denmark. Because the seeds have been sowed in Aalborg, there is that possibility — if I do not manage to do it before, of course.

I will never stop chasing that dream. The dream I had in my back garden when I was playing with my sisters and dreaming of being the best player in the world.

Sometimes dreams come true.
Mikkel Hansen
Left back, Aalborg Håndbold
FF4CGN24 Final Aalborg Håndbold Vs Barça UH16077 UH
We expected a tight contest between Barça and Aalborg and, for now, this is exactly what the spectators in the LANXESS arena get. While Barça might have had the upper hand for the first 20 minutes, Aalborg have always been in touch. And as soon as the Spanish team let their guard down, Mikkel Hansen and his teammates used the opportunity to score. Right now, it is really hard to predict who is going to take the trophy, and this is why this game is so exciting!
Kevin Domas
EHF journalist
Viber Image 2022 11 18 12 18 17 274
FF4CGN24 SF2 Barça Vs THW Kiel AR60411 AH
I saw the first half of the first semi-final and part of the second. They showed a really good 6-0 defence. Really strong. We played against Magdeburg. We know how difficult it is to beat them. Aalborg have players who are able to shoot from the outside, to play one-against-one. [Mads] Hoxer is really good at the moment. We did not play this season against Aalborg. They are having a much better season than in 2021. I think it’s going to be a big battle.
Carlos Ortega
Head coach, Barça
FF4CGN24 SF2 Barça Vs THW Kiel UH28939 UH
Barça vs Aalborg might not have been the game that everyone expected to close the season but, based on the whole season, it feels somehow logical that these teams will be fighting for the trophy. Between the star-studded teams, what will make the difference? My prediction is that the team that wins the Danish goalkeeper battle will probably take it all.

Emil Nielsen has been stunning all season long, and there is no reason things should change tonight, all of a sudden. But Niklas Landin proved yesterday he was decisive in the key moments of the semi-final, and it's very rare that he gives two lacklustre performances in a row. The goalkeeper who makes the most saves will probably be the one who offers the trophy to his teammates.
Kevin Domas
EHF journalist
Viber Image 2022 11 18 12 18 17 274
FF4CGN24 Third Place SC Magdeburg Vs THW Kiel UH14081 UH
It was important for us to show something else than we did yesterday. It was hard to find sleep last night after such a loss, after failing to show what is THW Kiel. Today was much better. The start of the game gave us a lot of confidence offensively, especially after what we delivered yesterday. For the fans, for the team, for the club, it was really important to end the season on a high note.
Patrik Wiencek
Line player, THW Kiel
FF4CGN24 Third Place SC Magdeburg Vs THW Kiel AR36983 AH
It was hard to focus as we were all really disappointed after the loss in the semi-final yesterday. We came here to win the final and it’s tough to find the motivation to play this game. It took us one half and then we started to play good. But we missed too many crucial shots — myself first of all, and it’s hard to come back when you miss these shots after being behind by nine.
Omar Ingi Magnusson
Right back, SC Magdeburg
FF4CGN24 SF2 Barça Vs THW Kiel UH10464 UH
Those Sunday games are always really tough, especially after such a huge loss. I think that we just owe to the fans and to the club to show something else tomorrow. No matter how hard it is to find the motivation, we have to play 100 per cent against Magdeburg. We have to find motivation, to try to do everything to win this game and end the weekend on a better note.
Nikola Bilyk
Left back, THW Kiel

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