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28.02.2017, 15:50◄ last page     

FEATURE: Danish winger Magnus Bramming is leading the VELUX EHF Champions League top scorer ranking, but the rest of the pack are not far behind.

Magnus Bramming remains top scorer - for now

Two games before the end of the group phase, the current top scorer of the VELUX EHF Champions League is playing for a team which has already been eliminated from the competition.

Danish left-winger Magnus Bramming, from TTH Holstebro, played in Group D. Whilst his team didn't secure a Last 16 ticket, he still remains top scorer of the competition so far.

He scored 72 goals, but he is likely to have enjoyed his last weekend as top scorer of the Champions League this season.

“I would have swapped a better spot for the team in the group, for a lower one for me in the scorer rankings,” he says. “But to have your name among such players as Kiril Lazarov, Uwe Gensheimer or Andy Schmid is something you can enjoy - and I do.”

He is very likely to lose his number one spot next weekend, as Hungarian centre back Gabor Csaszar is just one goal behind him, after scoring ten goals in Paris on Saturday.

“I benefit from my teammates' hard work, they create spaces that I can use to score,” Csaszar said on Saturday after losing against PSG.

Magnus Bramming and Gabor Csaszar, the two current top scorers, are already out or only have a mathematical chance of reaching the Last 16. Therefore the question must be asked- who are the favourites to take the top scorer title?

PSG’s Uwe Gensheimer, who has scored 69 goals so far, is a strong contender.

“This is not something I'm chasing. If it comes along with the title, then I'd be delighted, but this is not a goal in itself,” he said on Saturday night, having scored another six against Schaffhausen. “There are a lot of good players in other teams that can also chase the title, but I'm sure that none of them has made this top scorer title their focus.”

The German superstar is still far from the number of goals Mikkel Hansen had scored by this time last year. The Danish PSG player, who still holds the EHF Champions League record with 141 goals scored last season, had already found the net 92 times after twelve games.

Gensheimer himself scored more in the 2010/11 season, when he won the top scorer trophy with 118 goals in total. Despite playing the EHF Champions League in a different format to the current season, he had scored 91 times in twelve appearances in the Rhein-Neckar Löwen jersey.

However, that's not to say that Gensheimer will not match Hansen’s performance last year. Indeed, PSG may have to play two more matches compared to last season, when they skipped the Last 16 phase.

Mikkel Hansen himself is still in the race for the top scorer title, only six goals behind Gensheimer. Other former winners of the prize are also in contention. Veszprém’s Momir Ilic, who won the title in the 2014/15 and 2013/14 seasons is on par with Hansen. Barcelona's Kiril Lazarov, winner of the title in the 2005/2006 and 2007/08 seasons lies twelve goals behind Gensheimer, with 57 scored. Julen Aguinagalde, the man who scored the who scored last season's title-winning penalty, is also just seven behind.

TEXT: Kevin Domas / kc

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