After a disappointing first experience, Metz's handball players return to Budapest this weekend for the Final 4 Champions League matches. They are looking for the glory of winning the first European title in French handball among women.
After Brest's defeat (59-58 in the two matches), the celebrations of the 24th National Title were brief and only lasted 48 hours on the Moselle banks. Between the Sunday return match and Tuesday's return to training, the time the staff left for the players.
"We move to a more difficult mode, to another level. Although I am confident in the group, there are still two important deadlines, the Final 4 of C1 as well as the Coupe de France final at Bercy against Besancon.
Metz will have the chance to join Montpellier this weekend, the first European tricolor club men's champion (in 2003, with Nikola Karabatic), on the French handball charts. Bourges (1997), RC Cannes (2002), and other women's team sports, were the first French representatives to wear gold in a club at a highest European level.
The holy grail will be reached by Emmanuel Mayonnade's team if they can string together two feats within 24 hours. They must start in the semi-finals against Kristiansand of Norway, who won the trophy last year in Budapest. Messines has been a team that is more than happy to have Messines beat twice in the group stage.
They are the defending champions so they are favorites. They have the experience. There are many internationals who have won the Champions League. A Final Four is a different world. There are handballistic skills but also the head and the heart. "Nocandy says, despite a muscle contracture in his right thigh.
Metz is not completely unknown in Budapest as the club has played there in 2019. The only thing that changes is the Dome, which replaces the old Papp-Laszlo Arena.