Handball. Dika Mem is programmed to win

The alarm is triggered. High and high. Dika Mem, who scored 6 goals in 8 shots against Sweden in Katowice on Wednesday (January 11), one of the two hosts of the 2023 World Cup, did not half measure. In this first match of the first round of the blues, who is considered one of the best players in the world today, the scorer Paslanyanyan Nikola Karabatic (38 years old) takes the leader status.

The Barcelona right-back’s left arm didn’t waver, even as the French team slowed down and lacked effectiveness in attack. Opposing defenders know what to expect. Saturday 14 January (18:00, beIN Sports 1), starting in Saudi Arabia.

Martyrs the defense

After an upset fourth place at the 2021 World Cup and then at Euro 2022, the French handball players want to return to the top and bring back the seventh star, a year and a half before the Paris Olympics, where they will have to defend their title. in Tokyo. In the summer of 2021. “We have a goal of victory. But everything remains to be done and written. The road ahead will be very difficult and also very exciting.” coach Guillaume Gille, the former center half of the Specialists, who dominated world handball for nearly a decade, is slipping away.

In order to achieve this, Savoyard especially relies on Dika Mem (25), who has thrilled the stalls in Catalonia and toured Europe with his performances. A huge defender with a superior physique (1.94 m, 100 kg), a native of Eaubonne (Val-d’Oise), he can also play as a center half, martyring the defense with his quick passes and kicks. surgical strikes. “I have a pretty explosive game, I’m fast” admits. It is not surprising that FC Barcelona, ​​where he has been playing since 2016, asked to extend him until 2027. “It’s pride. I feel good here, almost like at home.” Explains who will win the Champions League in 2021 and 2022.

“I was also a fan of Ronaldo, Messi and Zidane”

The second top scorer (without penalties) in the last Champions League is flourishing and showing ambition at the club he is set to take over from Nikola Karabatic. I have grown as a player and as a person and I want to continue to grow, highlights six winners Spanish championship titles out of a possible six championships and many Copa del Rey since his arrival. I have always said that I want to write the history of this club, leave a mark on this sport and leave a mark on Barça. »

The phenomenon quickly found its place in the French national team. Called up by former coach Didier Dinart during the 2017 World Cup to compensate for an injury to a player, he started playing late in the matches and ended the tournament with gold around his neck. A year later, he was one of the most used Blues at Euro 2018 (bronze medal) and was able to score 9 goals in the match against Belarus.

But when he was young, young Dika, whose father is Cameroonian and whose mother is Reunionese, predestined himself in football and basketball, as did his two brothers who were professional players. At the age of 14, when she had never touched a handball game, she accompanied a friend to Val-d’Oise. They told me to come back remembers I didn’t want it, I didn’t like it… But it was a big thing for me to represent the best players in Val-d’Oise. So I continued and then I started to like it. » And to add: I didn’t know anything until I started playing handball. Niko (Karabatic) I didn’t know him either, Jackson (Richardson) either… My role models in sports were mostly footballers. I was also a fan of Ronaldo, Messi and Zidane. »

His rise will be meteoric. Noticed very quickly, he joined Saint-Gratien-Sannois Handball club (2013-2015) before making his professional debut at Tremblay-en-France (Seine-Saint-Denis) in 2015, also playing for the French youth team (Europe). won several titles. Under-18 champion in 2014 and world youth champion in 2015). Although he was voted the best player in Spain last season and the best right-back in the 2021 and 2022 Champions League, this time the era is ripe for another title with the Blues.

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