The EHF Handball Champions League Final Four is set and the fuse is about to be lit at the show club event in cologne.
THW Kiel, Barcelona, Veszprem and Kielce will battle it out for European supremacy with many of the best players on the planet involved:
Dika Mem, Domagoj Duvnjak, Steffen Weinhold, Luka Cindric, Ludovic Fabregas, Rasmus Lauge, Alex Gomez…
And although it will feel a little strange without the presence of PSG’s handball icons Mikkel Hansen and Nikola Karabaticthere’s plenty of star power to get the party started, even Kiel’s Sander Sagosen being out with an ankle injury as well.
Read on for a preview, schedule and stars to watch with a European champion to be decided by June 19.
When is Handball Final Four 2022?
The semi-finals and final of the Champions League will take place on 18/19 June 2022 at the LANXESS Arena in Cologne, Germany.
Handball Champions League semi-final, final date and time: Schedule
Here are the match dates and kick-off times:
Saturday, June 18, 2022
• 15:15 (CEST): Telekom Veszprem HC (HUN) vs Lomza Vive Kielce (POL)
• 18:00 (CEST): THW Kiel (GER) vs Barça (ESP)
Sunday, June 19, 2022
3rd Place Match:
• 3:15 (CEST)
• 18:00 (CEST)
2022 Handball Champions League Final Preview
Only one of last year’s final four teams made it this year, and that happens to be the reigning champions, Barcelona.
They were on fire, reaching the semi-final with a +58 goal difference after 16 games and the top scorer of the tournament Dika Mem in rough form.
But their semi-final opponent, THW Kiel, effectively improved Barça’s route to the final record, winning 12 of their matches to the Catalan’s 11, albeit scoring fewer goals.
Barça and Kiel have both won this competition 3 times each and it will be a memorable battle as they look for a record fourth title.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the tie, Hungary’s Telekom Veszprem take on Polish giants Kielce in a historic tie.
Kielce coach Talant Dujshebaev and his two sons, Dani and Alex, are making this semi-final a family affair, but they have their work cut out for them as the Hungarians have won 11 of their last 16 meetings.
Dad and coach Talant won the Champions League both as a player and coach, but he’s not the only one with experience, Momir Ilic coach Veszprem winning him as a player as well.
Stars to watch in the 2022 Final Four
Barcelona vs THW Kiel
With four absolutely stacked sides, there’s a superstar everywhere you look.
Gonzalo Perez de Vargas, That’s Arino, Ludovic Fabregasand Luka Cindric they are all multiple champions of Europe in the Barcelona team, as they aim for something that no other team has achieved:
Winning the final four for the second time in a row.
Dika Mem will be key to the Catalans’ efforts, he is the competition’s top scorer this season with 90 goals and is ably assisted by Alex Gomez from the wing and left back of the explosive Egyptian star Aly Zein it’s always fun to watch.
But when it comes to star power, THW Kiel can easily match their semifinal opponents:
Croatian hero Domagoj Duvnjak and the German man-mountain Patrick Wiencek there are two that immediately come to mind.
Add Denmark’s Olympic gold medalist goalkeeper Niklas Landinhis brother Magnus, his sorcery Dahmke rune and Hendrik Pekelerhis solidity Steffen Weinhold alongside Wiencek and Kiel are a scary prospect.
Veszprem v Kielce players to watch
To the Kielce team Igor Karacic is the experienced hand who won it twice with Vardar, the 33-year-old Croatian is certainly one to watch alongside the Dujshebaev brothers and a strong team unit who have had an incredible season so far.
The Polish side topped their Champions League group ahead of Barça, Paris Saint-Germain and Veszprem and defeated Montpellier HB in the quarter-finals.
But Veszprem also has plenty of top firepower: Petar Nenadic (85 goals), Gasper Marguc (79) and Fathy Omar (71) has led the Champions League scoring for Hungarians so far.
Central defender Rasmus Lauge from Denmark is also a key piece of the puzzle.
They are looking to make it fifth time lucky after losing in the last four finals they have reached.
EHF Final Four Quotes: What They Say
All quotes from EHF.com:
“It’s a big event, this is what you train for all season, it’s an amazing weekend. Hopefully we can bring the trophy back to Kiel, but it’s quite difficult.” – Sander Sagosen
“We struggled in the first half of the season. Now we are back in top form, but I don’t think we are favourites.” Gonzalo Perez de Vargas he said, and when asked about Barca’s history chasing two chances in a row, he smiled:
“This is our challenge.”
Rasmus Lauge from Telekom Veszprem knows that in one of the most unpredictable sports competitions nothing is easy:
“It’s a tough EHF4 FINAL, very even. I can’t name a favourite, but we’re confident we can beat them all.”
And what is the secret to Kielce’s sizzling season?
“No secrets, just hard work,” Alex Dujshebaev told EHF. “The whole team has played amazingly this season, I hope we can continue to the EHF4 final.”
Could Alex share the trophy with dad as coach?
“That would be amazing,” he said. “Also with my brother, Dani.”
EHF Final Four where you can watch and stream live
With handball expanding globally, the Champions League Final Four will be live on many national TV stations and their corresponding online platforms around the world.
Where there isn’t, you may be able to get it live streamed on EHFTV.com, but geo-blocking will apply depending on where you are.
There are also plenty of highlights, viral clips and more to be found on the EHF’s official YouTube channel.
Here’s a list of where you can watch on TV according to EHF.com:
Albania: Sports Arena
Belarus: BTRC/via Intermediate
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Arena Sport
Bulgaria: A1 Bulgaria
Croatia: Arena Sport/RTL
Cyprus: TBC/through Intermediary
Czech Republic: Czech TV/AMC/via Intermediate
Denmark (including the Faroe Islands): TV2 Denmark/via NENT
France (including Andorra, Monaco and the French overseas territories of French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Reunion, Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre and Miquelon, Wallis and Futuna): beIN Sports France, TF1 / via beIN Sports France
Germany: ZDF/via SportA, ARD/via SportA, Spotdeutschland.tv/via SportA, Eurosport Germany/via SportA
Greece: Cosmote/via Intermedaite
Hungary: MTVA/via Intermediate
Italy: Eleven sports (preliminary round and main round)/via intermediary, Sky Sport (semi-finals and final only)/via intermediary
Kosovo (non-exclusive): Arena Sport
Montenegro: Arena Sport/RTCG
North Macedonia: Arena Sport
Romania: Watch TV/via Intermediate
Russia: Match TV/via Intermediary
Serbia: Arena Sport
Slovakia: AMC/via Intermediate, RTVS/via Intermediate
Slovenia: Arena Sport/RTVSLO
Spain: TVE/via Intermediate
ESPN: Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay and Venezuela; Brazil; Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama; Mexico; Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Barbuda, Bermuda, Bonaire, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Falkland Islands, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Montserrat, Saba, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Eustatius, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos
beIN Sports: USA, Canada, Turkey, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, East Timor, Hong Kong, Philippines, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, Mauritius, Madagascar, New Zealand