“They just wanted it more than us”

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“They just wanted it more than us”

June 17, 2023

1. EHF Champions League Semifinal

SC Magdeburg vs Barca 40:39 (16:18) 



SC Magdeburg enjoyed the better end after a thrilling match of handball in front of 19.450 spectators at Lanxess arena, in Cologne.  The German champions of 2022 needed extra time and a penalty shoot-out before they could eliminate the back-to-back Champions League winners from Barcelona.

Man of the Match

Kay Smit’s 12/16 scoring record stood out and was a key factor why the team from the east of Germany secured a final appearance for the very first time in the EHF Champions League FINAL4.

 The Set-Back

A new injury of center-back, Gisli Kristjansson, will weigh heavily on the roster of  Magdeburg’s head coach, Bennett Wiegert, but it will hardly derail the fighting spirit of his squad.

What They Said

Magnus Saugstrup (line player, SC Magdeburg)

On Magdeburg’s character:

“It’s amazing, but it’s just the character of this team. We were fighting like crazy for 70 minutes and we
are backing each other when we are failing or when we receive a red car or lose an injured player.  When it happens,
we stand even closer together and carry this team. And that’s what I think is so amazing about all of  this.”

On replacing Gisli Kristjansson after his injury:

“We have 16, 17 great players in the team.  I know maybe many have forgotten about his attacking
skills, but I need to mention Marco Bezjak, today. What he did in the extra time was amazing. He’s doing
everything and it shows that you don’t have to be the fastest or the strongest to get through, it’s just his
incredible intelligence.”

On the shot he missed during the penalty shoot-out:

“When the shot is like 2 cm lower it will go in. Again it’s millimeters – sometimes the shots go in, sometimes they do not. I don’t even care that I did not hit the target because we won.”

On how to recharge the batteries ahead of the final:

“We are going to see the medical staff, have an ice bath and whatever we can do to make sure we all
will be ready come Sunday.”

Emil Nielsen (goalkeeper, Barcelona)

On the reasons for Barcelona’s loss to Magdeburg:

“They win on rebounds. They wanted it more than us. That’s it. I cannot tell you how this is possible in a
semi-final of the Champions League. But that’s what happened. They get six, seven rebounds and they
score on those rebounds. It’s what changed the game. They just wanted it more than us.”

Dika Mem (right-back, Barcelona)

On why Barcelona lost the game:

“Because we missed too many shots. We missed some shots that were very important and
that was the key in the end. We finished the match with a penalty shoot-out and we scored just one and that’s the

On Magdeburg wanting it more:

“I don’t know. I don’t think so because I think we were also hungry. But yeah, at the end of the day,
this is a FINAL4. This is one game. If you lose, you’re out. And this is what happened. It’s very simple.”

On losing in the semis after winning the Champions League twice:

“I don’t know. For me it’s most important to rest now and try to win on Sunday. And then we need to
work hard and try to get back here. We are FC Barcelona and we will get back to Cologne.”

On the importance of the game for Bronze:

“It’s very important, of course. I think we deserve more than we achieved today. We had a great
season and it’s important to finish with a good feeling and a win.”

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