royal final for a seventh world crown
The last step to climb is undoubtedly the highest: after a course full of pitfalls overcome with brio, the French handball team face double title holders Denmark in the final on Sunday (9pm) en route to a seventh world crown. Stockholm.
The six-year wait since the coronation at Bercy in 2017 is “a bit of a scratch”, according to Federation president Philippe Bana, even if the Blues win Olympic gold in Tokyo in the summer of 2021.
Facing Denmark, exactly (25-23), their best enemy for ten years.
Mikkel Hansen’s team, defeated in the finals of the 2011 World Cup and then Euro-2014, took revenge by depriving Nikola Karabatic of his third consecutive Olympic title in Rio. 2016.
Therefore, a year and a half ago, before returning his coin in Japan.
A new episode of this thriller series will be broadcast on Sunday at the Tele 2 Arena, where the blues defeated the Swedish host on Friday (31-26), after already having the Spanish skin (at the end of the main round). and Germany (quarter final).
– Crescendo –
Spain, Germany, Sweden and now Denmark: this is a real obstacle course on offer to Guillaume Gille and his men.
They crescendoed to a near-perfect score against the Swedes at the Tele 2 Arena (20,000) on Friday, which saw them through to the semi-finals of WC 2021 and then Euro 2022.
“We had the impression from the start of the competition to improve, to play better and better,” notes Vincent Gérard.
This is despite numerous injuries to the goalkeeper and teammates along the way.
Faced with seven withdrawals (Pardin, Minne, Villeminot, Kounkoud, Conan, Nguessan, Descat) before the start of the competition, Gille has not been able to count on all his manpower since he started on January 11. Katowice (Poland).
He reaches the final with the position of left-back suffering, the only specialist Romain Lagarde, recently hungry to play in Blue, at 100% of his ability.
Will Thibaud Briet (right hand), Elohim Prandi (right wrist) and Nikola Karabatic (left foot) make at least a partial recovery at the age of 38 in their tenth and final World Cup?
Gille knew nothing about that on Saturday, praising his team’s “strong ability to adapt to different situations that come our way.”
Which, from the deep reservoir of French handball, managed to win eight games in as many games.
According to Gill, something remains to be achieved to “concrete this fixed idea, this ambition” that has been demonstrated from the beginning.
– “Stay on top” –
According to Nedim Remili, the first world champion title since 2017 should also be realized “to realize that this group once again has this collective power to reach the top and stay there, beyond the individual capabilities shown at the club”. .
The Danes sat at the top of the world table and are looking to stay there after 2019 and 2021 to achieve an unprecedented treble – France and Romania have won twice each and Sweden have won two consecutive world titles.
They can always count on their goalkeepers, two-time World Player of the Year Niklas Landin and three-time winner of the award, Nikola Karabatic (2011, 2015 and 2018).
At 35, the former PSG player is now used more as a leader, flanked by left-handed Matias Gidsel and right-handed Simon Pytlick, who has become one of the world’s best in the position at the back. Top of 22 years.
A new challenge for the French defense, the empire on Friday, on the way to the seventh crown.