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After more than 20 years, Klagenfurt is dreaming of Europe again

After more than 20 years, Klagenfurt is dreaming of Europe again

As is known, the Austrian club Klagenfurt is playing in the championship group for the third time in a row since its promotion to the German League. After twice finishing sixth at the Greats Gala, this year presents a historic opportunity. It actually qualifies for the European Cup. Today's duel with Hartberg comes at just the right time. With a win, the Klagenfurt side could secure a four-point advantage over fifth place with three games remaining, and even move higher, setting their sights on Rapid and perhaps even LASK.

Two points speak clearly about Klagenfurt ahead of today's away match in Styria: Weidmannsdorfer are yet to lose to Hartberg in the Bundesliga and have won five and drawn two of their seven encounters. The Violets have also been on cloud nine since their thrilling 4-3 win over Salzburg during the week. “Hopefully we can play with our hearts out and keep the momentum going. “It will be a completely different game, but our goal is to write again,” says coach Peter Buckholt, who has a lot of respect for the Hartbergers. “They are playing a great series.”

Memories of the early 2000s come back

However, Klagenfurt feels ready to attack the European Cup qualification spots this season. International matches were often played at the Klagenfurt Arena in the recent past, but when the stadium became an alternative stop for WAC, Sturm Graz or LASK. Klagenfurt's participation in the European Cup goes back more than 20 years. From 2001 to 2003, immediately after promotion to the Bundesliga and a surprise cup win under Walter Schachner, then-FC Kärnten played in Europe. One is the past and the other is still something of the future. In Klagenfurt we think about things from one match to the next. Bacolt: “We have four very difficult matches ahead of us, and we will go into them with great desire and determination.”

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As far as the staff is concerned, everything remains the same and is almost as tense as usual. Simon Strode, Kosmas Gakizos, Nikola Djuric, Anton Majlica and Nicholas Binder are still out injured. Ali Lone returned to training on Tuesday after recovering from the illness.

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