Handball: Hot personnel spice up the premier class showdown

Handball: Hot personnel spice up the premier class showdown

In the quarter-finals of the Champions League, the handball players from SC Magdeburg will face KS Kielce with Andreas Wolff in goal. He may soon be joining the Bundesliga leader.

The whispers about the currently hottest personality in the handball cosmos outshine the fight for the Final 4 tickets in the premier class.

Before the new final between defending champions SC Magdeburg and the Polish top club KS Kielce in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, there has only been one topic for days: Will national goalkeeper Andreas Wolff return to the Bundesliga in the summer?

The 33-year-old world-class goalkeeper, who has been earning his money in Kielce since 2019, is rumored to have already agreed with the Magdeburg team about a move at the end of the season. SCM coach Bennet Wiegert neither wanted to confirm nor deny this before the first leg on Wednesday (6.45 p.m./Dyn and DAZN) in Poland. “It’s great that SC Magdeburg is associated with such great players,” he commented on the speculation.

Portner case influences future planning at SCM

The fact is: Magdeburg’s regular goalkeeper Nikola Portner is currently suspended due to a positive doping test. Although Portner denies knowingly taking the drug, he still faces a multi-year ban. If this were to happen, the cup winners would have an acute need for action in the goalkeeper position.

Wolff, for his part, has never ruled out a return to Germany despite a contract in Kielce that runs until 2028. Wiegert is therefore not surprised “that this is now being fueled with the Nikola Portner case.” He himself pushes the topic aside. “We have so much ahead of us, so many games,” warned the successful coach.

Wolff finally wants to win the Champions League

However, Wiegert cannot completely ignore Wolff’s personality. Because as luck would have it, the paths of the Bundesliga leader and the best keeper of the 2023 World Cup and European Championship 2024 are now crossing in the premier class. And they both have big plans. The SCM wants to defend its title and Wolff finally wants to win the pot with Kielce in the third attempt. “I think it’s not unrealistic with our team,” said the German national goalkeeper some time ago about his ambitions with the Polish series champions.

In last year’s final, the SCM won 30:29 in extra time. It was the second final trauma in a row for Wolff, who had already missed the triumph he longed for in 2022 due to a defeat in the seven-meter throw against FC Barcelona. Now we’re in the quarter-finals against perhaps the best team in the world at the moment.

Magdeburg can win four titles

Magdeburg has already won the Club World Cup and the DHB Cup this season, and as league leaders they are on course for the title in the championship – despite the numerous recent headlines surrounding the club. “What’s happening in our environment right now, in the media… It’s crazy,” Wiegert recently told the “Bild” newspaper. He is happy that the team is “shaking it all off” and not allowing themselves to be disturbed. The destination in the Champions League is Cologne, where it will take place on 8/9. The final tournament will take place in June.

This is also the dream of THW Kiel, who are fighting for their last chance to win the premier class this season. The German record champions will face French representatives Montpellier HB in the quarter-finals. A difficult task, as THW coach Filip Jicha warned before the first leg on Wednesday (8.45 p.m./Dyn and DAZN): “We will face an emotionally and physically brutal challenge in Montpellier.”

Source: Stern

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