Viktor Szilagyi: The first player to win all major European Cup trophies

In 2010, the Austrian Viktor Szilagyi completed his cabinet of silverware by lifting the Cup Winners’ Cup after winning Champions League and EHF Cup - all with different German clubs

Magnus Wislander? No! Talant Dushebaev? No! Nikola Karabatic? No! The first player in the EHF history to win all major EHF European Cup competitions is an Austrian: Viktor Szilagyi.

In 2005, the now 37-year-old former playmaker took his first trophy with Tusem Essen in the EHF Cup, followed by the Champions League title with THW Kiel in 2007.

After winning the EHF Cup for a second time with VfL Gummersbach in 2009, one year later Szilagyi completed his silverware cabinet with the Cup Winners’ Cup, again in the jersey of Gummersbach.

And to finish his international career on club level, he made history by winning the last trophy handed over in the Cup Winners’ Cup in 2012, then as a player of SG Flensburg-Handewitt.

Looking back on a successful career

Today, and after retiring from handball in June 2016 with his last international match for Austria against Denmark, Szilagyi is sports director of German Bundesliga club Bergischer HC. And he looks back with pride and honour on all his achievements.

“I never expected to make European handball history in that way, no matter whether I am Austrian or not. This series of successes proves that I was very lucky to be part of European top class clubs throughout my career.”

At first, when it happened in 2010, Szilagyi did not even know that he made history: “It was a journalist who informed me about that fact, that I was the first to win all three competitions.”

“Every title, every trophy was something very special, as I managed to win those trophies with different clubs and different teams.

“Every title has its own special story. You start a season with a certain objective – and you finally made it, it is such a great feeling of success. When you hold the trophy in your hands – regardless of the type of the trophy – you know why you work so hard. Every title pushes you to win even more.”

Major titles with German clubs

Despite winning the EHF Champions League with THW Kiel, his first international title was the most special one for Szilagyi: “We had lost the first leg of the EHF Cup finals by eight goals at Magdeburg, and a lot of players and even our coach Yuri Shevtsov had already signed contracts at other clubs.

“So we knew after a long-term together as a team, this was our last chance to win a title. And finally we made it by beating Magdeburg by nine goals at Oberhausen. Simply incredible!”

The 2007 EHF Champions League finals of his club Kiel against SG Flensburg-Handewitt are different memories for Szilagyi: “I had been on court in the quarter-finals and the semi-finals. But like a huge number of my team mates, I was ruled out by injury for the finals. But of course I was part of this first ever Champions League trophy for Kiel.”

Right in his first season at VfL Gummersbach, Szilagyi took his next international title: “After so many years without international success, the whole city and region went crazy, when we won the finals.

And the same occurred in 2010, when we won the Cup Winners’ Cup.” It was Szilagyi’s last international match for Gummersbach, before he transferred to Flensburg.

After winning the Cup Winners’ Cup again in 2012, he signed for Bergischer HC, were after finishing his career - and after more than 200 caps for Austria - remained in the handball business.

More record breakers

And since 2010, when Szilagyi made history as the first ever winner of all three EHF EC competitions, more players have followed in his footsteps.

The Russian player Konstantin Igropoulo, who won the Champions League with Barcelona, the Cup Winners’ Cup with Medvedi Chechow and the EHF Cup with Füchse Berlin.

Also the German, Holger Glandorf, who won the Champions League and Cup Winners’ Cup winner with Flensburg also took the EHF Cup title with Lemgo and Nordhorn.

Swedish player, Jonas Källman, has also won the Champions League three times, the Cup Winners’ Cup winner with Ciudad Real and the EHF Cup winner with Pick Szeged.

about me
Björn Pazen is a freelance journalist, writing here in an official capacity for the EHF. Since 2006, he has been reporting on an international level, covering all major European and World Championships as well as the Olympic Games and the finals of Champions League and EHF Cup competitions. In addition to his regular work across the EHF websites, he has also worked for the IHF, Olympic News Service and the SEHA League, and writes for numerous handball publications as well as the Germany Handball Federation (DHB).