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25/03/2020 17:44
On this day… Yellow Angels fly to historic Champions League triumph
News from the CEV

Luxembourg, March 25, 2020. The ‘Yellow Angels’ of Fenerbahce celebrated exactly eight years ago an unprecedented success. On March 25, 2012, they secured their first and only Champions League title to this day. Theirs truly was what you would call a ‘Dream Team’, coached by the legendary Zé Roberto and including the likes of Fabiana Claudino, Lioubov Sokolova, Eda Erdem, Logan Tom and Kim Yeon-Koung to name only a few. At that time, many thought such a team was just unbeatable and so they were.

They lost six sets only throughout the entire season, conceding their only defeat to Rabita Baku in the pool stage but routing the very same opponents in straight sets as many as three times on their way to the gold medal.

Middle blocker Eda Erdem has been playing for Fenerbahce uninterruptedly ever since celebrating that success in Baku and setter Naz Aydemir left the Yellow Angels right after that memorable day to return to play for the Istanbul team earlier this season. Together they have reached the quarterfinals of the CEV Champions League before the coronavirus outbreak resulted in the postponement of the competition until further notice.

Eda Erdem celebrating her success with Fenerbahce at the Champions League Final Four held in Baku in 2012

“The 2011-2012 season was a difficult one for Fenerbahce and us athletes because our club faced some major problems and suffered both economically and socially,” Eda Erdem recalls. “Our team, that season, was much stronger than all other competitors and we were the hottest candidate to win the title. We made it to the Final Four match after match and seized the title with a smooth performance in the gold medal match. That was a great boost of energy to our club and fans and we literally made history. My first and only Champions League title to this date is therefore very valuable to me. Whenever I look back at those days, I get goose bumps and I am proud that I have been able to fight for my club even in subsequent difficult times that came after that historic success.”

A large number of Fenerbahce fans travelled to Baku eight years ago to witness such a historic success. Fenerbahce are yet to repeat that success and back in 2012, they became only the second Turkish club to win the CEV Champions League after VakifBank had achieved the feat a year before.

Naz Aydemir (#11) was only 21 at the time of the Fenerbahce triumph in Baku

“It was our third Final Four in a row as a team after losing the previous two in a very dramatic fashion,” says Naz Aydemir. “Therefore, that final was extremely important to us. I remember that the semi-final with Dinamo Kazan was a great battle and that I enjoyed every rally of it. The final against RC Cannes was much easier and the emotions were running high after our victory. It was our first Champions League title – only Sokolova had won the trophy before as far as I can remember – and celebrating it with so many Fenerbahce fans in Baku was a privilege.”

These are some of the highlights from the final between Fenerbahce and RC Cannes.

The final score (25-14, 25-22, 25-20) says it all about Fenerbahce’s supremacy on that day, with an out-of-this-world Kim receiving the award for the Most Valuable Player of the Final Four.

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