INTERVIEW – Kielce´s Spanish international Julen Aguinagalde finds it impossible to point out a favorite among the FINAL4 teams this year.
By Peter Bruun
As thorough readers of this website will know, the domain name “stregspiller.com” is derived from the Danish term for line player. So, it’s almost must to present a line player – a “stregspiller” – when looking ahead to the FINAL4 this weekend! We do it now.
Spanish international Julen Aguinagalde is in his third season with KS Vive Tauron Kielce and competing in the FINAL4 is no new experience for him. And neither is playing away from Spain, now that he has finished three years in Poland.
As a matter of fact, it was never a problem for him to get adjusted to Polish handball and the Polish way of live.
“After all, handball is the same everywhere in the world!” as he puts it.
This year, the powerful 33-year-old line player is expecting a very close FINAL4 tournament.
“Only really strong teams make it this far, and this year, we have four extremely good teams here in Cologne; so it is really difficult to point out a clear favorite.
“In fact, I see all four teams with a 25% chance to reach the final on Sunday and this obviously means that I see our own opportunities just as good as the chances of other teams,” finds Aguinagalde.
Tough, but not impossible against Paris
Kielce are going to open the FINAL4 on Saturday, as they are fighting against Paris Saint-Germain in the first semi-final.
In their two previous FINAL4 appearances, Kielce have not made it any further than finishing third.
Aguinagalde is determined to change that.
“Of course, we are in for a tough semi-final against Paris, but as I said, all four teams can win, and this also means that any opponent, we might have drawn, would have been a tough one.
“We realize that we probably will have to play a perfect game in order to win, but it is my firm belief that we can do that,” he expects.
Elsewhere on this website, Paris player Henrik Møllgaard claims that his team is better than Kielce.
When confronted with the statement from the Dane, Julen Aguinagalde reacts:
“Well, that is good for him!
“However, we may be “permitted” to play for it and we will definitely do our best to prove him wrong!
“I expect a lot of Polish fans to support us in the Lanxess Arena tomorrow.
“Our city is always behind us!”