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04.08.2016, 15:30◄ last page     

LAST WEEK IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: The engines are roaring, there is no time to waste. The preparation for the next season is well underway - at least for those not chasing Olympic Games glory this summer

Get ready, it’s pre-season time!

The EHF Champions League teams’ preparations have begun in earnest.

We are taking a look at what the Europe’s finest players were up to last week. While many are already on the brink of their competitive form, due to the Olympic Games in Rio, the ones that did not make their national teams’ squad lists are kicking it up a notch in training.

Ljubo’s routine

From cross fit in the wilderness to swimming in an icy lake in Sweden, Flensburg coach Ljubomir Vranjes is known for his unorthodox approach to training, Ljubo’s methods have proven to toughen up his selection of youngsters, and that is exactly what his no pain, no gain philosophy is all about.

However, for the first time, you can now train like Ljubo’s Jungs. The Swede has put a part of his basic strength-building plan on his instagram profile, but beware, it takes a good amount of fitness just to follow it.


#preseason 💪🏻💪🏻#sgflensburghandewitt #power #fit #fitness #handball #nopainnogain #basicgym

Ein von ljubomirvranjes (@ljubomirvranjes) gepostetes Foto am

The Olympic selfie

The players who have made it to Rio are already deep into analysing their first opponent, but just to make sure they are not missing any fun, a few selfies here and there never hurt anyone.

Maybe next time we can pick the top five Olympic selfies from the VELUX EHF Champions League stars.


Arrivés au village #Rio2016 @les_experts_officiel_ffhb

Ein von Nikola Karabatic (@nikolakarabatic44) gepostetes Foto am

And even if the Olympic Games are all about the hard work and dedication, they are also a place for the legends to meet. Two Balkan greats, albeit from different sports, have met wandering around the Olympic village in Rio.

Slovenian coach Veselin Vujovic met what is best described as his basketball counterpart, Serbian tactician and basketball great Aleksandar Djordjevic. The two players who have revolutionised their sports were obviously happy to meet, and while losing count of all of their medals from the major events, we are still very eager to know what did they talk about. Maybe next week will bring us the answer?

As the biggest Celje stars are with Vujovic in Rio, the remainder of the team is working hard in training. Maybe even a bit too hard, judging by the picture bellow.

Celje coach Branko Tamse broke his hand, but that did not stop him from conducting pre-season training.

Who would you pick?

Now, what about the stars who will be missing out on the Rio Olympics? With quite a number of big-name players not traveling to Rio, we are not quite sure which side would we pick if they get lined against each other.

What do you think of our combined teams? Who would make your list?



In Rio

Not in Rio


Thierry Omeyer

Jelena Grubisic

Left wing

Uwe Gensheimer

Timur Dibirov

Left back

Cristina Neagu

Momir Ilic

Centre back

Nikola Karabatic

Andrea Lekic

Right back

Nora Mork

Kiril Lazarov

Right wing

Luc Abalo

Victor Tomas

Line player

Heidi Loke

Dragana Cvijic

Spanish duo pledge future to Vardar

The charismatic Spanish tandem on the bench on Macedonian powerhouse has been rewarded for their excellent work, and is set to remain in Skopje for three more years, until 2019.

Raul Gonzalez and David David have both extended their contracts with Vardar, with a clear goal to make it to the VELUX EHF FINAL4 and win the elusive trophy by the end of the three-year plan.

Vardar are currently preparing in Slovenia, where they will play two friendly matches against Gorenje.

The occasion was perfect to catch up with the former players Alem Toskic and Matjaz Brumen, who have marked their return to Slovenian handball after three seasons in Skopje.

TEXT: Nemanja Savic / ts

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