|24.08.2016, 17:10||◄ last page|
FEATURE: ehfCL.com ranks the 20 most important VELUX EHF Champions League transfers of the summer
Big names make big moves across Europe - Part 1
Who is moving where? This is the annual question prior to the start of every season. Which club strengthened their squad? Which players will take to the court in new jerseys?
In two parts, ehfCL.com ranks the 20 most important transfers of the summer with the help of EHF journalists.
Part one focusses on the numbers 20 to 11, followed by the top ten on Thursday 25 August.
20. Dejan Manaskov – Rhein-Neckar Löwen
From Skopje to Germany, back to Skopje, and back again to Germany. It is a familiar destination for the son of Macedonian handball legend Pepi Manaskov.
After his time at Metalurg, where the left wing became a national team player, he went to Wetzlar before returning to Skopje to join Vardar. Now Dejan Manaskov is set to share court time with another arrival at German champions Rhein-Neckar Löwen, Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson.
19. Timothy N’guessan - FC Barcelona Lassa
Recently crowned Olympic silver medallist, French talent Timothy N’Guessan arrives from Chambery to the record winners of the EHF Champions League for his first appearance in Europe’s premier club competition since the 2012/13 season.
The 23-year-old back court player signed a contract until 2019 at the Catalan club.
18. Marko Kopljar - Telekom Veszprem
Croatian right back Kopljar, who transferred from Barcelona to the 2016 finalist, is 2.12 metres tall and is certain to make a big impact on Veszprem’s defence.
He began his career at Zagreb, before moving to Paris Saint-Germain and in 2015 to Barcelona. Kopljar is set to play alongside several fellow countrymen and will fill in for Christian Zeitz in attack.
17. Christian Zeitz - THW Kiel
Back to where it all had started for Christian Zeitz. After two years at Veszprem, the right back returns to Kiel, where he became a treble Champions League winner (2007, 2010, 2012).
The 2007 world champion (35) has recovered from a shoulder injury and now is the only player in the THW squad, who had a part to play in all of the club’s CL titles after Dominik Klein’s move to Nantes.
16. Sergey Gorbok - MOL-Pick Szeged
The Russian shooter continues his journey throughout Europe. Gorbok’s transfer to Hungarian side Szeged is his seventh different country after spells in Belarus (Minsk), Ukraine (Zaporozhye), Slovenia (Celje), Germany (Rhein-Neckar Löwen), Russia (Medvedi) and most recently FYR Macedonia (Vardar Skopje), where he had been since 2014.
15. Valero Rivera Folch - FC Barcelona Lassa
The son of the most successful handball coach of the world is back home. The Barcelona-born left wing returned to the Catalans after eleven years including six successful seasons at HBC Nantes.
Dominik Klein will succeed on the 2013 world champion, who in turn will fill the gap keft by Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson at Barcelona.
14. Valentin Porte - Montpellier Handball
At the Olympic Games in Rio, Valentin Porte won the silver medal and was awarded best right back of the tournament, adding to the expectation that the left handed star of the French national team will improve Patrice Canayer’s squad in Montpellier.
The 2015 world and 2014 EHF EURO champion arrives from Toulouse and signed a contract until 2019. Despite his wealth of international experience, this will be his first opportunity to shine in the VELUX EHF Champions League.
13. Lasse Andersson - FC Barcelona Lassa
The Danish left back was chased by a number of Europe’s leading clubs, but finally he signed a four-year contract at FC Barcelona Lassa. In previous seasons the 22-year-old shooter was a key factor in the Champions League campaigns of KIF Kolding Kobenhavn and scored 65 goals in the 2015/16 season.
12. Dominik Klein - HBC Nantes
After eleven seasons, Klein (32) left THW Kiel to join his first club abroad. The 2007 world champion won the EHF Champions League three times (2007, 2010 and 2012) and took an overall of 23 domestic and international titles with Kiel.
His wife Isabell joined French club Nantes Loire Atlantique. The left wing will take the place Valero Rivera.
11. Igor Vori - RK PPD Zagreb
Igor Vori is another player involved in a “back-to-the roots”-story. The 2004 Olympic champion, 2003 world champion and 2013 VELUX EHF Champions League winner will be the most experienced player in the rejuvenated squad of Zagreb.
The last time the 36-year-old had played for Zagreb was in 2009. Soon after becoming a silver medallist and MVP of the World Championship on home court, the line player joined HSV Hamburg, followed by a spell at Paris Saint-Germain.
TEXT: Björn Pazen / cor