14.01.2019 12:17

108 Champions League stars on the world stage

108 VELUX EHF Champions League players are currently on court at the IHF Men’s World Championship in Germany and Denmark, for which a total of 384 players have been nominated by the 24 nations. This is a decrease of 24 players compared to the 2017 World Championship in France.

Reasons for this lower number include top European nations such as Poland and Slovenia failing to qualify, star players such as Nikola Karabatic, who is with France but not in the squad, or Diego Simonet out through injury and THW Kiel are not part of the VELUX EHF Champions League this season.

Even without Karabatic, defending world champions France top the ranking with 15 Champions League stars in their 16-man squad. Only Adrian Dipanda (Saint-Raphael) is not playing for a Champions League club.

Below France, EHF EURO 2018 champions Spain (13) and 2016 Olympic champions Denmark (11) are listed, followed by Russia with ten, Croatia with nine, while Norway, Sweden and Hungary each have eight players.

Co-host Germany only have four Champions League players, three from Rhein-Neckar Löwen and Uwe Gensheimer from PSG.

The only European team without a player from Europe’s premier club competition is Austria, joined by seven non-European nations.

Two of Africa’s Champions League stars at GER/DEN 2019, Mohamed Mamdouh (EGY) and Mohamed Soussi (TUN) play for defending Champions League winners Montpellier, while Brazil and Argentina count on three Champions League players each. No players from the five Asian participants are part of a Champions League club.

Champions League players at GER/DEN 2019 per nation:

15 players/5 clubs: France
13/6: Spain
11/6: Denmark
10/6: Russia
9/6: Croatia
8/6: FYR Macedonia
8/4: Norway, Sweden
8/3: Hungary
7/5: Iceland
5/5: Serbia
4/2: Germany
3/3: Brazil
3/2: Tunisia
3/1: Argentina
2/2: Egypt
0: Austria, Angola, Bahrain, Chile, Japan, Korea, Qatar, Saudi Arabia

From the club point of view, Barcelona and Rhein-Neckar Löwen have the largest contingent of World Championship players in their squad, eleven each, followed by PSG and Flensburg (without any German player).

Paris have the largest spread of all clubs with World Championship players from seven countries. Six players from each of the VELUX EHF FINAL4 2018 finalists Nantes and Montpellier are on court in Denmark and Germany.

While all 16 clubs from Groups A/B are represented at GER/DEN 2019, three of twelve clubs of the Groups C/D have no player at the World Championship. Leon top the C/D ranking with five players.

Champions League clubs Groups A/B represented at GER/DEN 2019:

11/6: Rhein-Neckar Löwen (3 GER/4 SWE/1 DEN/1 MKD/ 1 SRB/1 ESP)
11/5: Barcelona (4 FRA/4 ESP/1 BRA/1 DEN/ 1 ISL)
10/7: Paris Saint-Germain (3 FRA/2 ESP/1 GER/1 CRO/1 DEN/1 NOR/1 SWE)
10/3: Flensburg (4 DEN/4 NOR/2 SWE)
8/5: Szeged (3 HUN/2 CRO/1 ISL/ 1 RUS/1 ESP)
7/4: Veszprem (4 HUN/1 DEN/1 MKD/1 SWE)
7/3: Vardar (4 RUS/2 MKD/1 CRO)
6/4: Nantes (3 FRA/1 MKD/1 NOR/1 ESP)
6/3: Montpellier (4 FRA/1 TUN/1 EGY)
5/2: Kielce (4 ESP/1 SRB)
3/2: Skjern (2 NOR/1 ISL)
3/1: Zagreb (3 CRO)
3/1: Kristianstad (3 SWE)
2/2: Zaporozhye (1 MKD/1 RUS)
1/1: Celje (1 SRB)
1/1: Brest (1 RUS)

Champions League clubs groups C/D represented at GER/DEN 2019:

5/3: Leon (3 ARG/1 HUN/1 SRB)
3/2: Bucuresti (2 TUN/1 RUS)
3/1: Bjerringbro (3 DEN)
2/2: Plock (1 BRA/1 SRB)
2/1: Chekhovskie Medvedi (2 RUS)
2/1: Metalurg (2 MKD)
1/1: Sporting Lisboa (1 BRA)
1/1: Elverum (1 ISL)
1/1: Besiktas (1 EGY)
0: Presov, Cocks, Thun

Author: Björn Pazen / cor