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Date: 8/30/2013

FC Barcelona are the winners of the 2013 IHF Super Globe in Doha, Qatar. The Catalans took the upper hand in a thrilling final of two Super Globe debutants against HSV Hamburg by a 27:25 victory. In the final stages Barca were shaken, but did not fall. The Catalans took revenge for the defeat in the Champions League final in June, when they were beaten by Hamburg after extra time – and they received the winner’s prize money of 400.000 USD.

Final: HSV Hamburg (GER) – FC Barcelona (ESP) 25:27 (13:15)

Hamburg had the better start thanks to the saves of goalkeeper Johannes Bitter, but then Barcelona clearly improved in defence. After the 6:6 the Catalans took the lead, while the Germans had problems in scoring, as a huge number of their shots were blocked by the tall Barcelona middle block or were saved by goalkeeper Arpad Sterbik. After the 11:11 Barcelona scored a 4:2 series until the break, while Hamburg was too hectic in attack, causing an unusual high number of mistakes. Barca newcomer Kiril Lazarov even missed the chance to finish the first half with a four-goal distance, as he failed with a penalty shot.

After the break both teams were below their regular performing level, decelerated and made a big number of mistakes, so the general level decreased, the match became a tough and combative fight. It was clearly visible, that both teams were suffering from their fifth match in six days – and the game was nearly only imprinted by both defence sides.

But the Catalans - pushed by highly efficient team captain Victor Tomas - still were the better team: In minute 40 Barcelona managed to gain their first ever four-goal lead, when outstanding and powerful Nikola Karabatic hit the net for the 16:20. The best Hamburg player, who stood strong against their competitor, was right wing Hans Lindberg, who especially was as cold as ice from the seven metre line, scoring an overall of seven goals.

And backed by Lindberg and the saves of Bitter, Hamburg managed to return. At 20:21 Barcelona players felt the breath of their competitor in their necks. Only new goalkeeper Danijel Saric prevented his team, which missed two penalty shots in this period, from a HSV equalizer.

Backed by Saric, Barca strengthened their defence in the final crucial minutes, and the time was running for them, as Hamburg did not find the gaps to get through. Finally a successful penalty shot of Siarhei Rutenka secured the final result, the first ever Barca victory at the IHF Super Globe and the prize money of 400.000 Dollar.

Statements after the match:

Xavi Pascual, coach Barcelona: It was a very good match of two top teams. Every time Hamburg and Barcelona face, everything is possible, any team can win, and this time it was us. It was a great match for the spectators.

Victor Tomas, team captain Barcelona: We are very happy, as we had never won this title before – and right in our first participation of the IHF Super Globe we are on top, brilliant. We wanted to take revenge for the defeat in the Champions League final – and we managed to do so. Maybe we meet in the Champions League again.

Martin Schwalb, coach Hamburg: It was a very close match, in which we missed too many chances in the final stages to turn the match around. Our fighting spirit was very good, but in the end we congratulate Barcelona for the victory.

Henrik Toft Hansen, player Hamburg: It was a tough and close match with a lot of highlighters for the spectators. We had nice days in Doha and played good handball, now we are looking forward for the matches in the German league.