Vardar's strength always lays in a wide variety of high-quality players. Coach Parrondo has many aces in his sleeve, but at this SEHA – Gazprom League Final 4, one ace, the biggest of them all, stood out. This season, the Latvian giant, was in spectacular form, and was the MVP, winning the award in a way that could not be clearer.
In the semi-final, against his former club Meshkov Brest, Dainis Kristopans was beautifully welcomed by the home crowd. The fans acknowledged everything Kristopans did for Meshkov Brest, as the right back played there from 2015 to 2017. However, the Latvian did not hold back in a spectacular semi-final, as he was one of the leaders of his team in a 25:23 victory for another SEHA – Gazprom League gold medal match for Vardar. Kristopans scored 5 goals, he added 6 assists and played incredible on both ends of the court, providing reliable defence with efficient attack.
The 215 cm tall right back did not stop there. He was even better in the final match versus PPD Zagreb, in the repeat of the 2018 gold medal match. Kristopans scored 7 goals, had 7 assists and was absolutely the key player. He scored some crucial goals, played an essential defensive role and deservedly won the MVP and his second SEHA title. Not only was he the TOP scorer of the SEHA Final 4, but he also had the most assists too, which is something we rarely see in handball!
Last year, Kristopans won his first SEHA gold, after playing in the League since the beginning, and he finally lifted the trophy in Skopje. This season, Kristopans established himself as Vardar’s key player, with tremendous appearances in the regular season and especially at the Final 4. But, the Latvian giant is one of the best players ever to be a part of the SEHA – Gazprom League. With 642 goals he is the second-best scorer of all time, with 210 assists he has the most assists, and also has the most appearances, with 145 matches played. The 2019 Final 4 in Brest, was a testament to an incredible SEHA – Gazprom League career for Kristopans, but he definitely still has plenty to say!