Changes to playing system
During the winning streak of Barca, who had already won the former IHF Champions Cup, the playing system was changed to a group phase with 16 teams, followed by quarter-finals, semi-finals and the final in the 1996/97 season.
The first non-Spanish winner was German side SC Magdeburg in 2002, coached by Alfred Gislason. Eight years later, he became the first coach to lift the trophy with two different clubs after also leading THW Kiel to the title in 2010.
The next winners came from two more countries: France (Montpellier) and Slovenia (Celje), with famous players like Siarhei Rutenka (from Celje - five trophies in total) or Thierry Omeyer (four trophies so far) and Nikola Karabatic (both Montpellier).
Between Barcelona’s sixth triumph in 2005 and their eighth title in 2015, all winners were either from Spain (Ciudad Real 3x) or Germany (Kiel 3x, Hamburg, Flensburg).
At the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2013, 2014 and 2017, there were shocks for the handball world with HSV Hamburg, SG Flensburg-Handewitt and HC Vardar taking the VELUX EHF Champions League titles on their first appearances at the event.