A quarter century ago Ujpest (HUN) and Recco (ITA) played in the final of the first
edition of the LEN Trophy, then the Hungarian side clinched the trophy – but in the
years coming this competition has become the playing ground of Italian teams.
They claimed 10 titles and had 9 runners-up, Hungary comes next in the all-time
ranks with five wins and four finalists.
The last title went to Hungary, however, as Ferencvaros managed to clinch this
trophy for the first time – and the Budapest based side looks for a double this
time. So far the competition witnessed only two Italian teams retaining their
respective titles: Brescia had back-to- back wins in 2002-2003 and Savona in 2011-
The Hungarians have built a team already fitting for the Champions League (they
lost the European Super Cup final to Szolnok on penalties only), a fine mix of
Hungarian Olympic and World champion players and key-members of Serbia’s
golden side, victorious in Rio and a series of other majors. They beat last year’s CHL
semi-finalist Eger in the domestic league, coming back from 7-9 down in the last
Verona is also shaping a pretty strong team of great Italian national players and
one Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin in the mix, good enough to take on most
of the Champions League participants too. As a kind of proof, they lost narrowly to
Recco at home, a fine sign of their strength. Though sometimes they have ups and
downs as it was mirrored in the semis against Marseille (FRA) when they had to
survive some scary moments before securing their place in the final.
The two sides already met in the qualifications, though that game was played long
ago on 30 September in Verona’s home. It was an exciting match with twists and
turns and Ferencvaros won 11-9, scoring the last two goals after 9-9.
In terms of medals the title-holder side has more silverware in its players’
respective treasuries but Verona is on fire to write history and clinch the first-ever
European trophy for the club.

Euro Cup, Final, 1 st leg

31 March
20.45 Ferencvaros-PSQ WP (HUN) v Banco BPM SM Busto (ITA)

The second leg will be played on 18 April.


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