Cindric: “I try to keep myself as busy as possible”
His first season in the Barça jersey has become quite a remarkable one.
Luka Cindric joined the Spanish team from PGE VIVE Kielce in the summer of 2019. While the Croatian international had already developed into one of the leading players for Barça, the season was put on hold as a measurement against the spreading of the COVID-19.
This season the centre back has scored 51 goals in the top European club competition. Barça won group A to skip the Last 16 and qualify directly for the quarter-final.
Cindric earlier played in the VELUX EHF Champions League for Metalurg (2013-15) and Vardar (2015-18). With the latter club, he lifted the trophy in 2017 after scoring a last-second winner against Barça (26:25) in the semi-final.
Cindric also enjoyed the taste of success with the Croatian national team, winning EHF EURO bronze in 2016 and silver last January.
Reaching the VELUX EHF FINAL4 was one of the main goals Barça themselves set for this season. Living in quarantine in Barcelona and waiting for the season to be resumed, Cindric shared his thoughts with ehfCL.com.
ehfCL.com: COVID-19 has halted everyday life, including sports, all over the world. How did you react to this news in Barcelona?
Luka Cindric: At first, you are shocked by the news and the impact. No one thought it will develop like this. It’s not easy, but I have to point out that health is the No. 1 priority at the moment. Nothing else matters. We all have to stay home and take care, try to avoid contact and other ways of getting sick or infecting other persons.
ehfCL.com: How would you describe Barça’s season so far?
Luka Cindric: We are satisfied, we achieved all goals set at the beginning of the season. Only one goal is left: the EHF Champions League, or to be precise, we want to reach the EHF FINAL4. That’s what we are hoping for.
ehfCL.com: Is it hard to stay motivated these days?
Luka Cindric: I will not say it’s hard, but it’s not easy. We are hoping this will have a positive outcome and that we will return to the court as soon as possible. We can’t change this situation and the most important thing is to keep safe. We have to support each other.
ehfCL.com: How does a top handball player stay fit in a situation like this?
Luka Cindric: The club gave us a comprehensive training program which we have to follow daily. That is all we can do at this moment due to lockdown in Barcelona. It’s important that we stay fit as much as we can. We don’t know when handball will continue and we have to be prepared.
ehfCL.com: How does your day look like?
Luka Cindric: After a long time, I have lots of free time. As I said training is one the most important things. Besides that, I like to read a book, watch TV or play games. Every day something different. I try to keep myself as busy as possible.
ehfCL.com: Do you have favourite music or TV series which help you relax right now?
Luka Cindric: The music depends on my mood, I don’t have any favourite musician. When it comes to TV series, right now my favorite one Homeland. If this situation continues, I have more shows on the watch list (laughs).
ehfCL.com: Do you miss handball, fans, matches and atmosphere?
Luka Cindric: Of course I do. I can’t wait for new minutes on the court. Handball is our life, our passion and everything surrounding it. That feeling when you enter your arena and hear your fans, it’s a special feeling. Not only that, I can’t wait for everyday life to return to normal.
ehfCL.com: Will it be difficult to return to the court after a long break? Especially as you started playing again in the second half of the season after coming back from injuries.
Luka Cindric: It is certain that we will be physically weaker than before. We do train at home. Problem is that we don’t have a daily routine of a complete handball training. I believe it will be compensated very soon as soon we start to train normally. I keep my motivation high. Whenever handball and normal life return, I will continue to give my best on and off the court.Author: Danijela Lemaić / ew