Of course, there was cheering. When Christian O’Sullivan accepted the trophy and shortly afterwards held it up, his colleagues gave the customary screams of joy – confetti rain included. At the same time, however, it was evident that the emotions were reaching the outside in a controlled manner. Completely different from a few months earlier, when the players of SC Magdeburg had finished the final of the European League victorious against the Berliner Füchse. The success in the European Cup was the entrance ticket to the IHF Super Globe, in the final of which the Magdeburg team beat the reigning Champions League winner FC Barcelona. 33:28, the Bördeländer unexpectedly and surprisingly clearly prevailed. The title can be “sold” wonderfully, after all, the SCM is now officially the best handball club team in the world. The 2001 championship and the Champions League triumph a year later will still be listed higher up on the traditional club’s letterhead.
At the moment of the victory in the futuristic arena in Jeddah, Bennet Wiegert did not think of stationery or the classification of the success in the club’s history. “That’s the greatest thing you can win in club handball. Even if there is not much appreciation for this competition in Germany. The terminology is not given, ”said the Magdeburg trainer. The 39-year-old is proud of his players, who initially recovered from Sydney University from Australia and Al Duhail (Qatar) before beating Aalborg Handbold, the up-and-coming club from Denmark, in the semifinals.
The triumph over Barcelona, the largest club in the handball world, is definitely a respectable success for the SCM, but Wiegert’s statement went a bit beyond the target. The Club World Cup, which has been held regularly since 2010, is primarily about two things for the European participants: First, their own players should stay healthy. Second, as much money as possible should be collected. The load on the top players in handball is undoubtedly too high, and the date of the Club World Cup does not fit into the European game calendar at all, so that a special form of motivation is needed to encourage the clubs to come to Saudi Arabia for a few days. To fly Arabia to – as in the case of the SCM – complete four games in five days.
It remains to be seen whether the efforts will have a negative impact on everyday life in the league in the coming weeks. The trip was definitely worth it for the Magdeburg residents. There was some fame for the club, but most of all, a big shower of money. The winner of the event will receive 400,000 US dollars, which for the SCM corresponds roughly to the size of a shirt sponsor partner. So the effort pays off: Even for the third party, there is a handsome sum of 150,000 US dollars left over. Because the participating competitors in addition to the three clubs from Europe fall behind in terms of quality, the award for third place is often very likely even before departure for the Red Sea.
In Magdeburg, those responsible hope that playmaker Philipp Weber’s ankle injury, sustained in the final against Barcelona, will not turn out to be serious. The traditional club has even bigger goals in the current season than winning the Club World Cup. In the league Magdeburg has not lost any points and dreams of being able to challenge THW Kiel to a serious fight for the championship. So far, the SCM is the team with the best prospects of being able to stand up to the defending champions.
The IHF Super Globe is said to have only been an intermediate stage on the way there. The jubilation after a victory over Kiel in the Bundesliga would certainly be much more euphoric than after the triumph in Saudi Arabia against FC Barcelona.