Even coach Alfred Gislason was touched. I didn’t even dream that we could do this before.” The always objective coach of the record champion THW Kiel enthusiastically betrayed.
The 29:24 victory of his team in the quarterfinals of the Champions League over title defender FC Barcelona gives the North Germans all the chances of the Final Four at the end of May in Cologne.
No one had ever quite wanted to believe that before. The weaknesses of the severely decimated and transformed gills after numerous injuries increased this season. The 22:22 in the Bundesliga of the candidate HBW Balingen-Weilstetten left no good idea for the “struggle of giants”, “the anticipated endgame” or “Mother of all Champions League battles”, how the game was titled against Barcelona’s ninth king-class winner.
Praise for the return of Wiencek
“It was our best game of the season,” added Joan Canellas, the Spaniard in Kiel services, who was once under contract at FC Barcelona himself. He praised his colleague Patrick Wiencek: “This was a huge achievement. He was very helpful to us.”
Six months ago Wiencek had suffered a cross-dressing tear; against Barca the 27-year-old gave his comeback. And what a one! As a central defender of the magnificently pairing goalie Niklas Landin, he held together the THW’s Bollwork, fearlessly pitched himself against any opponent.” It was a great feeling to be back,”said the two-metre-tall and 108-kilo-heavy colossus, wondering,”With the great atmosphere in the hall, you do things, which you can’t actually do.
“Would be one of the greatest successes ever”
Companions became spectators such as the co-player of mood cannon and motivator Dominik Klein. With nine goals worth gold anyway, he whipped everyone else with his body language. Looking out for Barcelona would be one of the greatest successes of all,”he said. They set themselves up for us for three weeks, and we had to see from one day to the next who could play at all.”
The 32-year-old left-winger, who goes to HBC Nantes in France next season, already set himself up for the rematch on Saturday in Barcelona:”Five goals are nothing. We have half-time, that’s all. We have to manage this in the head.”
Backwind for the Bundesliga
The return to the place of his greatest success had the former Kiel Filip Jicha in a Barca jersey imagined differently.” This is already a house number,”he commented, nodding the five-goal defeat. The Czech Republic appeared to be hampered in the Tollhaus Sparkassen arena sold out with 10.285 spectators.” It is difficult for everyone to play against these spectators in this hall,”he said.”It is difficult for everyone to play against these spectators.” But it was only the first 60 minutes.”
The Kielers in the Bundesliga want to use the partial success over Barcelona as a backwind.” After the indecision against Balingen, everyone was at the bottom,”said Wiencek. Now we believe in the championship again.”The THW is two minus points behind the Rhine-Neckar lions. We want to go to the Final Four in Cologne, and we want to go to the town square,”known Klein. There the championship is traditionally celebrated –ten times in the past eleven years.