“This is the big weekend in handball”
June 16, 2023
by Sascha Staat
Norwegian international, Christian O’Sullivan, joined SC Magdeburg in 2016 and in 2023 he will compete in his first EHF Champions League FINAL4 semifinal against FC Barcelona. Before the match, he weighs his team’s options.
On playing the EHF Champions League FINAL4 for the first time:
COS: “It is something special. You can just see that with all the media around. It’s like that
in the German Cup as well, but it’s not the same. This is the big weekend in handball. That’s just how
it is and everyone is looking forward to it every year. This year we’re here to compete against the best
teams in Europe and we’re happy to be here – hopefully we can deliver a great result.”
On all the activities around the FINAL4 taking the focus away:
COS: “Actually, I think it’s the opposite. I think it’s an advantage for us not being here every year because
you come here with so much energy, because it’s the first time and there’s so much happiness to be here. I
think this could be an advantage for us. The other three teams are here almost every year. They know
how it is with the media and everything else. Hopefully, the energy that all of this generates can lead us to something special this weekend.”
On the impact of the earlier EHF Champions League match against Paris:
COS: “Yeah, I think it did change things. Just seeing at what level we have to be at in order to compete against the best
teams and then we beat them away some months later. I think we learned a lot from these games and
hopefully this experience and playing a very tough HBL season this year will be an
advantage for us.”
On Barcelona being the favorite:
COS: “First and foremost, Barcelona is the favorite to win the FINAL4. They showed it for two years now – they’re almost always here in Cologne. They have a fantastic team and we’re looking forward to the opportunity to play against them. It’s a team we know, as we played against them some months ago.
“They come with an unbelievable pace and we have to slow them down to a speed that fits our style of play. I think this will be the key to beat them on Saturday.