First year without German clubs on the EHF Final Four in Cologne?
Posted: April 27, 2017
Updated: October 6, 2017
Macedonia to be the new country joining the “elite club” of handball countries with participants on the EHF Final Four
The EHF Final Four in Cologne is the greatest manifestation in the handball world on a club level. This is the event that is impatiently expected by hundreds of thousands of handball fans all over the world. This is the event that club fans are hoping to attend at least once in their life. This is the event the handball players are dreaming for during their club careers. Cologne is shortly, the Mecca of the Handball world. However, as online sportsbook in EU note, not many teams succeed to visit it since the establishment of the Final Four tournament.
Who has participated so far?
The EHF Final Four has hosted 15 different participants from 7 countries so far: Germany, Spain, France, Denmark, Russia, Hungary and Poland. Having in mind this year’s 1/ 4 final matches Macedonia is the only candidate that can possibly join these countries. In the past years it was common that Cologne hosts at least one team from the Handball Bundesliga. No matter which one it was, the host audience was traditionally gathering around that team, giving amazing support for any home handball representative.
All participants in the history of the EHF Final Four
• 2015/16: Vive Tauron Kielce, Paris SG, THW Kiel, Veszprem
• 2014/15: Barcelona, Veszprem, Vive Tauron Kielce, THW Kiel
• 2013/2014: Barcelona, Flensburg Handewitt, THW Kiel, Veszprem
• 2012/2013: Vive Targi Kielce, Barcelona, THW Kiel, HSV Hamburg
• 2011/2012: Atletico Madrid, THW Kiel, Fuchse Berlin, AG Kobenhavn
• 2010/2011: Rhein Neckar Lowen, Ciudad Real, Barcelona Borges, HSV Hamburg
• 2009/2010: Barcelona Borges, THW Kiel, BM Ciudad Real, Chekovskie Medvedi
This year the chances to see this seem to be rather small.
THW Kiel will have an extremely difficult task in Palau Blaugrana in their match against Barcelona. NetBet gives Barcelona odds of only 1.12 while the one for THW Kiel are incredible 7.0. It seems that only extremely optimistic bet on sports fans in Germany would place a wager on this one. The second German team, Flensburg Handewitt has already lost the home match again Vardar Skopje. Their chances for them to change the result on their side also seem to be leveled pretty low.
The “masters“ of the EHF Final Four
The most successful teams in the history of the final fours as well in the history of the European Handball Champions League are Barcelona and THW Kiel. Barcelona are clearly the most successful team in the history of European handball, in general. In regard of the EHF Final Four they have so far participated on five of the seven EHF Final Four tournaments held, played 4 final matches and won 2 of them. THW Kiel, on the other side, has one more participation than Barcelona in Cologne. They have so far also won 2 Champions league titles, but participated only three times in the final.
It is interesting to note that five of the clubs who have so far attended the EHF Final Four do not exist anymore or continued working is a somehow reformed conditions. Among them the biggest name is certainly Ciudad Real (later transfered to Madrid and transformed into BM Atletico Madrid) which was the greatest European handball club in the past decade. Another prominent name, as online sportsbooks in France note, is the EHF Champions League winner from 2012/2013, HSV Hamburg. Due to financial reasons the club practically disappeared of the elite handball map few months after winning the Champions League title.