Paris Saint-Germain's EHFCL opponents: Sporting CP

Here's our latest introduction to Paris Saint-Germain Handball's opponents in Group A of the next EHF Champions League group stage: Sporting CP.

HISTORY

While Les Rouge et Bleu are more used to facing Porto, this time they will have to face the rival club. The duel between Porto and Sporting is a hotly contested one on the Portuguese scene. While FCP hold the record for the most league titles with 24, Sporting are not far behind, with 22. On the European front, Sporting will be taking part in the EHF Champions League for the fourth time in their history (a round of 16 tie in 2019). The club has also won two European Cups, in 2010 and 2017.

SEASON 23-24

The Portuguese team's season of 23-24 was more than a success. The Green and Whites put an end to Porto's hegemony on the domestic scene (champions for the last three seasons). And they did it in style! Sporting won all their league matches, finishing with a record of 22 wins in as many games and a nine-point lead over their main rivals (whom they also beat in the cup final). They thus won the title for the first time since 2018.

In the EHF European League, the Lions delivered a rather interesting campaign. As in the previous season, they equalled their best performance in the competition by reaching the quarter-finals. In particular, they managed to defeat Fuchse Berlin (32-28), whom they will face in Group A inthe 24-25 campaign. Their adventure came to an end after a very tight double-header against Rhein-Neckar Löwen (60-58 on aggregate).

KEY PLAYERS

Among the men in the Lisbon outfit's squad, Francisco Costa is certainly one to watch out for. The 19-year-old right-back found the net 73 times on the European stage last season. He scored 11 times in the quarter-final second leg against Rhein-Neckar. His brother (Martim) is also in the team, while his father (Ricardo) is Sporting's coach. Among the goalkeepers, Leonel Carlos Maciel was the most impressive, with 72 shots saved. Last but not least, this cosmopolitan squad includes a Frenchman, Etienne Moquais (28-year-old left winger), who scored 43 goals in the Liqui Moly StarLigue for Créteil and Tremblay.

TRANSFERS

The transfer window has been fairly quiet at Sporting. So far, only two players have left: Manuel Lima and Edmilson Araujo are both moving to France after joining Saran and Istres respectively.

HEAD TO HEAD

This will be the first time that Sporting and Paris Saint-Germain Handball have met in the EHF Champions League. However, the Portuguese side have already played against a French team, Montpellier, on several occasions. There's no doubt that this match should live up to all its promises against an unprecedented opponent.

(Credits: Team Pics/PSG)