Füchse Berlin, from Germany, is the opponent FC Porto will be facing in the third round of the EHF Cup, as determined by the draw held on Tuesday morning in Vienna, Austria. The qualification round guarantees a spot in the group stage, and the first leg will be played at Dragão Caixa, on the weekend of November 18/19, followed by a trip to Berlin on the weekend of 25/26 of the same month.
Fourth in the table of the main German division last season (they are currently second), the Berlin Foxes, as they are known, faced the blue and whites in Group C of the EHF Cup of the 2014/15 season, but the Dragons were defeated on both occasions (20-26 at home and 25-20 away), with Füchse ending up winning the competition that season.
Currently led by Velimir Petkovic, from Germany, Füchse Berlin is the current vice-champion in the EHF Cup, having been defeated in the decisive match by Göppingen, also from Germany, who the Dragons faced still in the group stage, last season.
In a first reaction to the draw, goalkeeper Hugo Laurentino admitted that this is an opponent the Dragons would rather avoid, but still assured that the team will do everything to reach their goals, which means qualifying to the group stage: “We will have to face these matches in a serious way and try to make their life difficult, as our goal is to reach the group stage. We will do our best and fight until the end”, the player stated, talking to Porto Canal and www.fcporto.pt.
For this to happen, Hugo Laurentino believes motivation will be an important factor, as his experience tells him that these are the matches every player wants to play and show their real value: “Any player wants to play these great matches. Everyone wants to show that we can be on the same level as them, that we have players who can play in the German league and that there is not so big of a difference between us. This is an added value to our motivation, but, in technical and tactical terms, we will have to work hard”, he concluded.