Paris Saint-Germain Handball now know who awaits them in the Velux EHF Champions League group stage. Here is the fifth instalment in our series of portraits of Paris Saint-Germain Handball's Group B opponents: old foes Flensburg!
Flensburg in a few words
Flensburg have made their mark on the Velux EHF Champions League in their 14 campaigns (including that of 2018-2019) in European handball's most prestigious competition - especially when they won the title in 2014. They generally reach the quarter-finals at least and will this season doubtless be formidable opponents. They certainly have been in the Bundesliga, where they won the last national title on offer.
Last season, the Flensburgers' campaign came to an end just one step away from the Final4. They were eliminated by Montpellier (45-57 on aggregate), who went onto win the title, in the quarter-finals. Before that, Kentin Mahé and his teammates had turned in a more-than-honourable campaign, placing third in Paris Saint-Germain Hanbdall's Group B and then eliminating Kristianstad in the round of 16 (46-53on aggregate). The campaign also included an excellent performance against the Rouge et Bleu in the Flens Arena (33-29).
Over the summer, the German outfit lost a number of its best players. Mattias Andersson (retired), Kentin Mahé (Veszprém), Kevin Moller (Barcelona) and Henrik Toft Hansen, who signed for Paris, all moved on. However, the club's leading scorer in Europe last season, Hampus Wanne, is still there. The Sweden international was exceptional in the win over Kristianstad, scoring eight times. Flensburg can also call on the likes of Rasmus Lauge, Lasse Svan and Holger Glandorf as they move forward.
Over the last several seasons, Flensburg and Paris have gotten into the habit of crossing paths in the group stage (each season since 2015-2016) and a number of spectacular matches have resulted. In their last meeting, the Parisians turned in an impressive defensive display (29-21), but that wasn't the case in 2016 when Samuel Honrubia scored eight times (35-32). But two seasons ago, the two sides had an amazing encounter in Germany. Neck and neck for most of the match (59’: 33-33), the two sides couldn't be separated until, with seconds to go, Uwe Gensheimer set up Nedim Remili for the kung-fu that clinched an unforgettable late victory for the Rouge et Bleu.
Paris – Flensburg: Round 7
Flensburg – Paris: Round 8