Meanwhile, in France …
A couple of videos for you from the good people at Canal+ (you may need to click on the links). First up, we have Montpellier putting fifty points on Billere. The boys from Billere were promoted as runners-up from Division 2 last year and were probably hopeful of a somewhat easier start than the team who have won the last ten national titles.
Hansen to Paris; Ekberg to Kiel
The messy end of AG København* saw a whole bunch of top handball players have no home to go to. Two of the bigger names have now found new homes.
Mikkel Hansen (left) who previously turned out for FC Barcelona before heading north to Copenhagen will now be plying his trade with Paris (Saint Germain). This is the same Paris who not only will not be taking part in the EHF Champions League (Hansen was the competition’s top scorer in 2012) this year but actually finished 12th out of 14 in the Ligue National. I’m assuming the arrival of Hansen signals some new investment in the club although whether they will be challenging the domestic dominance of Montepellier who have taken 12 out of the last 15 titles remains to be seen.
No challenges to domestic dominance though for the reported new home of Niclas Ekberg. The Swedish Olympic silver medalist looks set to join Kiel (link) who last year managed a meagre haul of league, cup and European titles. The arrival of Ekberg no doubt shortens still further their odds of retaking the Bundesliga. When I last checked they were 2/11 for the title.
(* For the unitiated, AG København were a short-lived ‘super team’ put together and financed by Jesper Nielsen. They won the Danish League and Cup, played before crowds of 20,000 in the EHF Champions League but fell short of the European title, eventually placing 3rd. They entered administration and disbanded in July.)