Barça and Vipers among 2020/21 national champions
The European club season reached its conclusion at the EHF FINAL4 in Cologne in June, when Barça claimed the EHF Champions League Men crown, but to wrap up the past season and begin looking ahead to the 2021/22 season, we thought that we would take a look at what happened in some of Europe's biggest leagues during the 2020/21 season.
Barça's 36:23 win in the EHF Champions League final against Aalborg completed a perfect campaign of 19 wins from 19 matches for the Spanish giants – and it was a similar story in the Spanish men's league. Barça won all 34 matches on their way to an 11th consecutive Spanish league title.
While Barça were able to play a full domestic season in Spain, DELO EHF Champions League winners Vipers Kristiansand had a heavily interrupted season due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When Vipers did step on the court in the Norwegian women's league, they were unstoppable. Prior to the suspension of the Norwegian league in January, Vipers had won all 11 matches from 11 played. In the title-deciding play-off final in May, Vipers beat Storhamar 34:25 to claim their fourth consecutive Norwegian championship.
One country where both the men's and women's titles changed hands in the 2020/21 season was Hungary. In the men's league, Telekom Veszprem topped the table after 26 games in the regular season, but MOL-Pick Szeged won the crucial two-legged play-off final 68:64 to reclaim the title that they had last won in 2017/18. The women’s champions in Hungary were not determined through a two-legged play-off, but as both FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria and Györi Audi ETO KC were tied on 50 points after 26 matches, FTC's superior head-to-head record ended Gyor's streak of four titles.
In Germany, the men’s Bundesliga consisted of 20 teams and featured 38 matches for each club for the first time since the 2000/01 season. Reigning champions THW Kiel’s dramatic draw on the last match day against Rhein-Neckar Löwen ensured that they won the Bundesliga title for a record 22nd time. In the women's Bundesliga, history was also made: Borussia Dortmund completed a perfect season as they won the first league title in the club's history.
Although the EHF Champions League Men trophy remains elusive for Paris-Saint Germain, they secured their seventh men's French championship trophy in a row. In the French women's championship, DELO EHF Champions League runners-up Brest Bretagne brought Metz's reign of four consecutive titles to an end. Metz won the first leg of the play-off final 31:24, but Brest triumphed on away goals after a 29:22 win at home in the second leg.
List of 2020/21 national champions*
|AUT||Alpla HC Hard||Hypo Niederösterreich|
|BIH||RK Izvidac||ZRK Borac|
|BLR||HC Meshkov Brest||HC BNTU-Belaz|
|BUL||HC Shumen 61||HC Svilengrad|
|CRO||HC PPD Zagreb||HC Podravka Vegeta|
|CYP||Sabbianco Anorthosis Ammochostou||A.S. Latsia|
|CZE||Talent t. Plzenskeho kraje||DHK Banik Most|
|DEN||Aalborg Håndbold||Odense Håndbold|
|ESP||Barça||Super Amara Bera Bera|
|FRA||Paris Saint-Germain Handball||Brest Bretagne Handball|
|GER||THW Kiel||BV Borussia 09 Dortmund|
|HUN||MOL-Pick Szeged||FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria|
|ISR||Maccabi Rishon Lezion||Maccabi Rishon Lezion|
|KOS||KH Besa Famgas||KHF Istogu|
|LAT||ZRHK Tenax Dobele||Spopinu NHK|
|LIE||VHC Sviesa Vilnius||Cascada - HC Garliava SM Kaunas Reg.|
|LAT||Handball Esch||CHEV Diekirch|
|MKD||HC Vardar 1961||WHC Kumanovo|
|NOR||Elverum Handball||Vipers Kristiansand|
|POL||Lomza Vive Kielce||MKS Zaglebie Lubin|
|POR||FC Porto||Madeira SAD|
|ROU||CS Dinamo Bucuresti||CSM Bucuresti|
|SLO||RK Gorenje Velenje||RK Krim Mercator|
|SRB||RK Vojvodina||ZORK Jagodina|
|SUI||Pfadi Winterthur||LK Zug|
|SVK||Tatran Presov||IUVENTA Michalovce|
|SWE||IK Sävehof||Skuru IK|
|TUR||Spor Toto SK||Kastamonu Belediyesi GSK|
|UKR||HC Motor Zaporozhye||Galytchanka Lviv|
* the list may be incomplete at the time of publication