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Veszprém are eyeing top spot

EHF / Béla Müller

Having reached the EHF FINAL4 Men seven times in the last nine years, Telekom Veszprém HC are regular participants in Cologne. Indeed, only Barça can match this record of reaching European handball's showpiece event.

On the other hand, Veszprém’s long dream of claiming the Machineseeker EHF Champions League title has not yet come true, but the club started a new era with Momir Ilic as head coach last season. 

Main facts

  • this will be the club's 45th season since it was established in 1977
  • prolific wings Mikita Vailupau and Bjarki Mar Elisson joined Veszprém in the summer
  • fan favourite Máté Lékai left the club after eight seasons
  • although Veszprém are the most successful Hungarian club, they have finished as runners-up in the domestic championship in back-to-back seasons
  • Veszprém won the Hungarian Cup in the 2021/22 season

Most important question: Was last year's EHF FINAL4 appearance after a one-year hiatus a step forward?

Telekom Veszprém HC are known for dreaming about becoming the second club from Hungary to become champions of Europe. Budapest Honved triumphed in the IHF Champions Cup in 1981/82, the predecessor of the current EHF Champions League, and Veszprém have narrowly missed out on winning the top prize in European handball on four occasions. 

László Nagy has highlighted the importance of Europe's top-flight competition to the team. He said: "Our goals is to make it to the EHF FINAL4 again. We know that it is going to be a difficult season, but we are Veszprém and we’re counting on our amazing fans. The EHF Champions League is the best European competition. What more is there to say?"

As advancing to Cologne last season was a positive surprise for Veszprém, their supporters again share the hope that their side will lift the trophy this season.

Under the spotlight: Rasmus Lauge 

After four seasons with Veszprém, the Olympic, world and European champion Danish left back will return to Bjerringbro-Silkeborg, his first professional club, in 2023. 

"My goal is to win all possible trophies with the team before I return to Denmark. This is the biggest motivation for me," said Lauge.

In Lauge, the management saw a player they thought was the missing piece for Veszprém to win the EHF Champions League. In the 2022/23 season, he will have his last attempt with the Hungarian side.

However, Lauge understands that the season will not consist of just one game. "We have a lot of exciting matches waiting for us next season, but for me it is always special to play against Danish teams, so I’m looking forward to the one against GOG," said the team captain. 

How they rate themselves

The long-awaited fresh energy arrived last season and was integrated successfully into the team. Although it only delivered one domestic trophy, the Hungarian Cup, the club have huge faith in Momir Ilic, who took over as head coach last season.

The path seems to be set up, yet Veszprém have to break a habit of losing in the biggest matches if they are to open the gate of EHF Champions League success. 

Did you know?

Telekom Veszprém are celebrating the 45th birthday of the club. To celebrate this milestone, the club organised the "2nd Veszprém Handball City Festival" from 26-28 August, with THW Kiel, Lomza Industria Kielce and SG Flensburg-Handewitt participating.

Newcomers and departures

Newcomers: Dragan Pechmalbec (HBC Nantes), Mikita Vailupau (HC Meshkov Brest), Bjarki Mar Elisson (TBV Lemgo Lippe), Yehia Elderaa (Zamalek SC Handball)

Departures: Borisz Dörnyei (unknown), Dejan Manaskov (HC Vardar 1961), Jorge Maqueda (HBC Nantes), Máté Lékai (FTC)

Past achievements

EHF Champions League:

Participations (including 2022/23 season): 27

Runners-up (4): 2001/02, 2014/15, 2015/16, 2018/19

Semi-final (6): 2002/03, 2005/06, 2013/14, 2016/17, 2019/20, 2021/22

Quarter-final (10): 1997/98, 1998/99, 1999/00, 2003/04, 2004/05, 2006/07, 2008/09, 2009/10, 2012/13, 2020/2021

Last 16 (4): 1993/94, 2010/11, 2011/12, 2017/18

Group Phase (3): 1994/95, 1995/96, 2007/08

Other:

Cup Winners’ Cup: Winners 2008, Finalists 1997

SEHA-league: 5 titles (2015, 2016, 2020-22)

IHF Super Globe: Finalists 2015

Hungarian league: 26 titles (1985-86, 1992-1995, 1997-99, 2001-06, 2008-17, 2019)

Hungarian Cup: 29 titles (1984, 1988-1992, 1994-1996, 1998-2000, 2002-05, 2007, 2009-18, 2021-2022)

The copyright for the main image used in this article belongs to Stanko Gruden / kolektiff images

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