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EHF European League

EHF Finals Men 2023 semi-final quotes

Quotes from the post-match press conference and mixed zone after Füchse Berlin defeated Montpellier HB 35:29 in the opening semi-final at the EHF Finals Men 2023 in Flensburg on Saturday 27 May, and Fraikin BM. Granollers beat Frisch Auf Göppingen in the second semi-final 31:29.

Füchse Berlin (GER)

Jaron Siewert (GER) — coach

On the match:

“I agree with Patrice that after the first half the result was better than we played. It was the best result we could get out of the half. We did not put pressure on the defence. In the second half we started very good, had good saves and pulled ahead by five, six goals. I am happy that we won this difficult match. Montpellier is one the best teams in this competition. This semi-final could have been the final.”

On their support: 

“Thanks to our fans, it was like a home match for us. It is amazing how many people came here and pushed us to the limit, but our business is not finished: We have to win tomorrow to make the weekend a great one.”

Mathias Gidsel (DEN) — right back

On the support: 

“We were happy that so many people came from Berlin to Flensburg. We are always pleased and happy for this support, as almost 9,000 come to our home games.”

On the match: 

“We had a completely different energy in the second half. We were running fast breaks — this was decisive. Montpellier played an amazing season and have shown today how strong they are. I am proud of my team and our fans and happy for them that they can see us in the final.”

On the preparation for the final: 

“We need to calm down a bit, get back to our hotel as fast as possible to the get the legs up and start preparing, then it is up to the coaches to prepare us well.”

Dejan Milosavljev (SRB) — goalkeeper

On his performance: 

“My performance was only one per cent of this victory — 99 percent was from the team. My defence really helped me to save. In the second half, we made a perfect job in defence and attack. This was the reason for the victory.”

On what the coaches said in the half-time break: 

“The coach told us that everything is good, that we shall just continue fighting and put pressure on Montpellier. Our goalkeeper coach Dejan Peric gave me some important tips, which helped me a lot.”

On the final:  

“This is my second final in the European League, and I hope we do it better on Sunday than two years ago against Magdeburg. We came here to win this trophy. No matter who our opponent is, we will try to win it. Both teams are strong, so we need to have a top match. A final is a a final — everybody wants to win it.”

Hans Lindberg (DEN) — right wing

On the match:

“Montpellier played very well, and we had some problems at the start. But we really fought until the end, and from the last 10 minutes of the first half on, we could turn the match around. The crucial time was right after the break, when our goalkeeper was perfect and we scored from almost every attack. This was phenomenal.”

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Fraikin BM. Granollers (ESP)

Antonio Rama Garcia (ESP) — coach

On making it to the final: 

“I am very, very happy for this result, for the club and the history of the club. It was a very tough match and hard for us. Göppingen have powerful players who are difficult to defend. In the second half, we defended better than before. Our goalkeeper Rangel [da Rosa] helped us and we could run a lot and run more and score better. My players are so young, but today, they played like experienced players.”

On his final timeout in the last minute, which stopped his line player Esteban Salinas’ goal from counting and prevented the securing of the win:

“I wanted to disappear in that moment. In Spain, we never played with this timeout buzzer. We do not have it, so it is a new thing for me. I checked in warm-up: It buzzered one second after I pushed it, so when we passed ball to the corner, I was sure to use my timeout, but then ball came to Salinas and he netted right in that moment. I wanted to die in that moment and I still feel very bad.”

On the chances of beating a third German team, Berlin, in Campushalle in Flensburg, after Flensburg and Göppingen: 

“We feel good in this arena. Our players are very good, but we know that for sure Berlin are a very good team, maybe the best team here. Who knows what will happen tomorrow.”

On the fan support: 

“Our fans motivate us. My young players need this support. Our opponents are all bigger, taller and stronger, so we need extra power from the stands to play against them.”

Faruk Yusuf (NGR) — right back

On the match:

“It is so amazing. I am so happy to be here. It is the first final for me. I am truly happy for the team, for the good fight, for everything.”

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Montpellier HB (FRA)

Patrice Canayer (FRA) — coach

On the match:

“Füchse Berlin fully deserved the victory and the spot in the final, when you see the whole match. It was a difficult match for us. In the first half we played on a good level, equal to Berlin — unfortunately the score did not reflect our play. In the second half our level went down physically and mentally, and it is the second half which counts. We will try to recover well to play this important match for third place.”

Stas Skube (SLO) — centre back

On the match:

“The start of the second half was the key. We received many suspensions. Füchse played 10 minutes with one player more — this was difficult, as then they scored some fast breaks. When you are down by five, six goals against Füchse it is difficult to come back. Füchse deserved to win today.”

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Frisch Auf Göppingen (GER)

Markus Baur (GER) — coach

On the match:

“Granollers have good feelings in this arena. Everything is possible for them. For us, it was a big disappointment. We started good — led 6:3 and 8:4, had the chances to pull ahead, but finally their goalkeeper made 10 saves more than our goalkeepers. In the beginning of the second half we had several more chances to go ahead, but we caused easy mistakes, punished by direct goals. Besides that, we have two injured players, who are out now for tomorrow. In total, it is a big disappointment.”

Kresimir Kozina (CRO) — line player

On the match:

“I believed until the last second that we could win. There was no single breaking point in the match — we simply missed too many chances. Granollers kept on fighting, and they have the heart of a champion.”

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