Champions League


photo: Rostov Don facebook

DELO WOMENS EHF FINAL4 – 11-12th of May 2019

Budapest, Papp László Sportsarena

The four participants: Metz Handball (FRA), Rostov Don (RUS), Vipers Kristiansand (NOR), Győri Audi ETO KC (HUN)

Rostov Don – facts

  • they are at the second participation at the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4
  • their head coach is the most experienced one regarding the Final4. Ambros Martin was present with his former team Győri Audi ETO KC four times out of five in Budapest and he won three times the event with Győr
  • players with CL-titles: Mayssa Pessoa (with CSM Bucuresti in 2016), Polina Kuznetcova (with Zvezda in 2008), and Ana Paula Rodriguez (with CSM Bucuresti in 2016)
  • Eight Olympic champions for Russia are in the team: Anna Sedoykina, Anna Vyakhireva, Anna Sen, Maya Petrova, Ksenia Makeeva, Marina Sudakova, Polina Kuznetsova, Vladlena Bobrovnikova
  • Injuries: Ana Paula Rodriguez has been struggling with her Achilles injury after she got injured one year ago in Budapest and the Final4 as a CSM player. Since then she has been through two surgeries and a long recovery
  • Line player Maya Petrova (35) suffered an ACL rupture in the second match of the quarterfinals against FTC, she is finished with this season and with her handball career as well
  • Anna Vyakhireva has been also out with a serious elbow injury during the Main Round, but after a quick surgery she is recovered and back on the court again
  • Rostov kicked out FTC on their way to Budapest, same as in the previous season
  • The team has now only one lineplayer, Ksenia Makeeva, so likely it will be Anna Sen who will have to replace her in order to get some rest during the weekend
photo: Rostov Don facebook

Fun facts:

  • Rostov will play against Metz Handball in the semifinal. The French side defeated Rostov twice during the Main Round games
  • Ambros Martin built an impermeable defensive system in Rostov, the players gain confidence in defense in every game
  • If Rostov and Győr makes it to the final than Ambros Martin may face his former team and his former assistant coach, Gabor Danyi, who the head coach now in Győr
  • Foreign players: Lois Abbingh (NED), Mayssa Pessoa and Ana Paula Rodriguez (BRA), Viktoria Borschenko (UKR)
  • Polina Kuznetsova and Anna Vyakhireva are sisters and they are preparing for their first Final4 together

Anna Vyakhireva (24) was elected as MVP at the 2016 Olympics in Rio and at the last EURO as well, She is the engine and the brain of this team, but after her elbow injury, she was forced outside the court for two months. She recovered quickly, but she still has to be careful. Despite this she trains, even more, to be able to perform near her best in the DELO WOMEN’S EHF FINAL4.

” At the moment, winning the Champions League is the biggest goal in my career, especially because the FINAL4 is coming very soon,” Vyakhireva told

“The team hasn’t changed a lot, but now we have more experience. Besides, we have a new coach: Ambros Martin. Ambros is our motor. He gives us motivation and confidence. His experience is huge, and I think it’s a factor that gives us a big chance to win the title.” – as many of the Rostov players, Vyakhireva has also a high opinion about their head coach.

Mayssa Pessoa won already once the CL-title in Budapest back in 2016 with CSM Bucuresti and participated twice: once with Vardar, making it to the final, but not being able to win, and last year with Rostov, when they finished fourth. In her opinion, last year their former coach Bougeant and the team has approached the matches in Budapest with a wrong attitude, that’s why they were not able to get a better result then.

“I am happy to reach the FINAL4 again, and I have a positive feeling looking forward to it. We have a new team this year, and a new coach, so it was not easy at the beginning. But we worked hard, and Ambros Martin showed us that it was possible to go far. He is a brilliant coach,” Pessoa told

Mayssa Pessoa, photo: Rostov Don facebook

Key players: Anna Vyakhireva, Anna Sen, Ksenia Makeeva, Iulia Managarova, Mayssa Pessoa, Anna Sedoykina

The team of Rostov Don:

Goalkeepers: Anna Sedoykina, Mayssa Pessoa, Galina Mekhdieva

Leftwings: Polina Kuznetsova, Kristina Kozhokar

Rightwings: Iulia Managarova, Marina Sudakova

Rightbacks: Anna Vyakhireva, Valerya Maslova

Playmakers: Ana Paula Rodriguez, Viktoria Borschenko, Milana Tazhenova, Anastasia Duleva, Regina Kalinichenko

Leftbacks: Anna Sen, Vladlena Bobrovnikova, Lois Abbingh, Elene Slivinskaya

Lineplayers: Ksenia Makeeva, Maya Petrova (injured)

Headcoach: Ambros Martin

Assistant coach: Tamas Hlavaty

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Champions League

Hungarian living in Norway with a great passion for handball, primarly women handball. Travels all over the world to follow handball matches and tournaments and to write good articles on this website.

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