The FC Barcelona handball team has won the European Cup for the eighth time, as well as the Liga Asobal. It was the first Barça Borges double since 1999/2000.
14 new winners
Of the 18 players in Cologne, 16 seniors and 2 juniors, only Nagy, Romero, Rutenka and Tomàs had
ever won the trophy before. The other four were new winners, as was Xavi Pascual in the capacity of
coach, although he was a player in the squad that won the club’s first ever European Cup.
Barça had not won the European crown for eight years. After winning in Cologne, FC Barcelona now
have a total of 113 titles, which include a record six European Cups. They are followed by
Gummersbach with five and Ciudad Real, SKA Minsk and Magdeburg with three.
First double for eleven years
The last time Barcelona won the Spanish and European titles in the same year was
1999/2000, the very best of the Dream Team era, when they won seven out of seven trophies.
Pascual’s side has managed to achieve something similar just over a decade later.
Two decades of titles
All eight titles have come in the last twenty years. Barça with Sagalés, Serrano
and company, and coached by Valero Rivera, finally broke the Eastern dominance of the competition
20 years ago, and became the first Spanish champions at the Palau against Proleter. That was the
first stage towards the glorious side known as the Dream Team.
The Dream Team, titles galore
From 1996 to 2000, Valero Rivera led the team to five European titles in a row, a
dominance never seen before or since. The Dream Team started by beating Elgorriaga Bidasoa in
1995/96. They then won three tense finals in a row against Badel Zagreb before making it five in a
row against Kiel.
It would be another five years before the Palau saw another Champions League final. This time
under Xesco Espar the side won a tight all-Spanish final against Ciudad Real.