From the dream: Despite a strong fighting performance, THW Kiel missed the final in the Champions League and must therefore continue to wait for the fifth triumph after 2007, 2010, 2012 and 2020. The German record champions lost in the semifinals in front of 19,750 spectators in Cologne on Saturday against defending champions and record winners FC Barcelona by 30:34 (18:19).

In the game for third place, THW meets Hungary’s top club Telekom Veszprem on Sunday. Barcelona is challenged in the fight for Europe’s handball crown by Vive Kielce with national goalkeeper Andreas Wolff. The ex-Kieler held his own with the Polish champions against Veszprem with 37:35 (16:18).

In the new edition of the victorious final of 2020, Kiel was initially unimpressed by the loss of their injured key players Sander Sagosen and Hendrik Pekeler. The defense was not always able to keep the strong offensive of the Catalans in check, but in attack they often successfully tried to get through the circle.

With seven goals, Patrick Wiencek was the best thrower in coach Filip Jicha’s team, who, as a player, was able to win the most important trophy in club handball with both THW and Barça.

As the playing time increased, the backcourt players ignited – above all Harald Reinkind. In the end, the Norwegian scored six goals. In this way, THW kept the game against the ten-time cup winner open in the first half.

After the change, however, the Catalans pulled away by three goals for the first time at 23:20 and from then on dictated the game. Although the THW braced itself against the impending defeat with heart and passion, it could not avert it. The best scorer for the Spanish series champion was Aleix Gómez with twelve goals.