Wiede: This MVP award belongs to the whole team
The Füchse Berlin fans went crazy when his name was announced, shouting “Fabi, Fabi.” Right before his team climbed the podium, after winning the EHF European League final in Flensburg 36:31 against Fraikin BM Granollers, Fabian Wiede received the individual trophy as MVP of the EHF Finals.
Wiede was the third German in the history of the award and the competition after Uwe Gensheimer (2013 with Rhein-Neckar Löwen) and Lars Kaufmann (2017 with Frisch Auf Göppingen). Like Wiede, both belonged to the winning teams.
The 29-year-old right back, who had scored six goals in the final and received the winners’ trophy as Füchse captain, had not expected to receive additional silverware — and immediately donated it to the whole team:
“I was really surprised that I was awarded MVP, and right now I do not know where I shall put this trophy at home. In my opinion, this is not my trophy — it belongs to the team. Without my teammates I could do nothing. Handball is a team sport. I can only score if someone else creates this gap, so I am happy with this trophy, but it is more important that we won the title with the team.”
Winning this trophy was one of our major goals since the start of the season — and finally we were commanding throughout the whole international season. This trophy does not compensate that we are out of the race for the German championship, but it feels really good to hold this trophy in our hands.
Like his currently injured teammate Paul Drux, Wiede was part of all European cup-winning teams for Füchse Berlin, raising the EHF Cup trophy in 2015 at home after beating Hamburg in the final and 2018 in Magdeburg after winning the final against Saint-Raphael: “Today’s trophy is not different to the other ones, but I am incredibly proud that after five years this trophy is back in Berlin. We have a strong team — maybe the strongest squad Füchse ever had.
“Winning this trophy was one of our major goals since the start of the season — and finally we were commanding throughout the whole international season. This trophy does not compensate that we are out of the race for the German championship, but it feels really good to hold this trophy in our hands.”
Wiede was EHF EURO champion in 2016 and Olympic Games bronze medallist in the same year with Germany, but then had several setbacks with injuries in the last years. And now he is treble champion of the second tier EHF competition: “We have won the trophy at home, in Magdeburg and now in Flensburg — three arenas with atmosphere.”
Wiede was impressed by the final opponents and their fans. “Nobody could predict that Granollers make it that far. They have an incredible will to win, they never give up and of course their fans, like our fans here in Flensburg, were impressive. It was true fun to play in this atmosphere today. I am so proud how we played this whole weekend, mainly in both second halves of the semi-final and final. We always kept on fighting until the end.”
The overall top scorer was not in Flensburg, but his video message from his home arena in Schaffhausen was shown in the arena. “I am really proud to win this award right in my first season with Schaffhausen”, said Icelandic wing Odinn Thor Rikhardsson, who scored 110 goals in 13 matches and was ahead of Ihor Turchenko (Motor/97) and finalist Antonio Garcia Robledo from Granollers, who scored 94 times since the start of the group phase.
Rikharssson scored 15 of those goals in the first leg of the quarter-final against winners Füchse Berlin, playing a key role in Berlin’s only defeat in the 16 matches of the EHF European League season.