Nikola Karabatic will play for France of their World Cup quarter-final towards Germany on Wednesday. Perhaps the best participant of all time will finish his illustrious profession in Paris 2024, of all locations.
Nikola Karabatic the A collector of handball titles – and maybe additionally “The Greatest of All Time”. Three-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time European and four-time world champion has ten gold medals round his neck. Since 2003, she has been in 25 of the 26 main handball competitions and has collected a complete of 15 medals with the nationwide staff, in addition to quite a few information and particular person awards. There are additionally three titles within the Champions League, 20 (!) championships in France, Spain and Germany. “Bock auf Handball” visited him in Paris.
Sometimes Karabatic is pressured to recall an incident when he was younger and performed for THW Kiel: nameless surveys have been performed amongst athletes for analysis work on the college. One of the questions was: “If I promised you as we speak that you’d win each main title in your profession, however you could not transfer usually by the point you have been 40, would you do it?” ” Nikola Karabatic didn’t hesitate for a second: “When I used to be over 20 years previous, in fact I stated sure.
“Now, at 38, I see issues in another way. When you are younger, you do not assume the identical manner. As you become older, you perceive the connections higher. Nobody tells you that beforehand. You’re risking your well being on your profession, and even when you’re an athlete, you continue to have a ardour for sports activities. there are lots of attention-grabbing issues,” Karabatich overtly admitted.
There are days when all the things hurts once I stand up.
In the final recreation of the principle spherical of the 2023 World Handball Championship, within the match between France and Spain (28:26), Karabatic rested and injured his leg, and the French famous person, who has formed handball properly for twenty years – because the first championship. France with Montpellier in 2002. However, he’s anticipated to characteristic towards Germany as it’s a quarter-final and Karabatic stays a central issue within the title contenders’ recreation.
“There are days when all the things hurts once I stand up, and I actually do not feel like figuring out,” admits Nikola Karabatic. “But there are nonetheless days when it is actually enjoyable.” Today, it is primarily the video games that also problem him, “even when profitable does not have the identical significance because it did firstly of my profession, once I did not win all of the titles.” Nevertheless, he stated: “Of course, I nonetheless need to win and break information!” – says.
“Being the boss wasn’t necessary to me”
Despite all the private achievements and now greater than 70 medals, “titles are nonetheless essentially the most lovely factor” for the three-time world handball participant, he’s particularly joyful for his teammates in such moments, for whom this can be their first victory. “It’s at all times been necessary to me not to be the boss, however to really feel supported by my colleagues.” The similar goes for profitable on the Olympics: “To win the Olympic title in Tokyo with a brand new staff and my brother was particular.”
“It’s like my private story of coming again in time after my cruciate ligament tear and solely seven months of rehabilitation,” provides Karabatic. For the primary time since 2003, the 18-year-old was on the bench on the 2021 World Handball Championship, however a torn cruciate ligament was additionally to blame for not being on the ground when France gained bronze. – The everlasting karabat was a spotlight – on the age of 25, he represented France within the final 26 tournaments.
Olympic key phrase. With the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, a fantastic profession appears to be coming to an finish. Because he’s exhibiting his class each in Paris and in France.
“… in any other case the motivation will probably be misplaced”
“During my profession, I attempted to neglect all of the earlier titles, as a result of in any other case my motivation would go down,” says the famous person, the most-capped handball participant on the Olympic Games and the one handball participant with six. It is feasible to take part within the Olympics. But greater than participation, Karabatic will energy a fourth gold.
But is it actually potential to neglect so many names? “I push them,” says Karabatic. “Of course, I can’t neglect them. Children typically play with medals at residence,” he says. “But not large enough to perceive their worth and ask what the tales behind them are. One day, if my kids ask about them, I’ll inform them these tales.”
“No, handball just isn’t all the things for me anymore”
“But I’m not going to be a father who tells his children a narrative daily about how they turned a world champion or an Olympic champion,” he laughs, shaking his head. “No, handball just isn’t all the things for me anymore,” says Karabatic, “I’ve reached a degree in my life the place my household is a very powerful factor on the earth.” Of course, handball remains to be my ardour, however these priorities have modified, however the sport has given me so much and made me very joyful.” He and his spouse Geraldine have a son, Alec, and a daughter, Nora.
“My handball profession is coming to an finish, so I’m making an attempt to think about what my subsequent profession will probably be. However, I’m making an attempt to make handball as enjoyable as potential and revel in the previous few years,” he predicts.
I’m very involved about how sports activities and the surroundings match collectively.
He is already working as an skilled beneath contract with Canal Plus. “I feel that will even be a part of my work afterward. I’m additionally very involved about how sports activities and the surroundings match collectively. It’s a subject I’m very taken with and essential to me, particularly since I’m going to be a father.”
Is internet hosting the 2024 Olympics in his hometown of Paris a practical aim? “Two years go by rapidly, however will I nonetheless find a way to play at a excessive stage for the nationwide staff and within the Champions League in 2024? I do not know. The French league is getting stronger yearly and each season is stuffed with struggles. Normally I should not find a way to play at this tempo and at this stage at 40 years previous. But if I’m bodily match and nonetheless having enjoyable – why not?
Karabatik depends on “good hygiene”.
In any case, he’s nonetheless in the course of the 2023 World Handball Championship. “I feel one of many causes I’ve been in a position to play handball at a excessive stage for a very long time is due to correct diet and hygiene,” explains Nikola Karabatic. But he additionally stated: “We usually overstepped and overstepped. That’s our downside in handball. Today I ask myself how I did it.”
Sometimes he additionally performed video games, however everybody knew that the danger of damage was excessive. “But I did it for my staff, for my buddies within the staff,” says Karabatic trying again. “They have been a very powerful factor that handball gave me. Handball taught me so much about life, how folks behave when issues are good and the way folks react when issues are dangerous. I knew who I needed to be.” He will most likely mark that reply once more within the ballot as we speak. “Yes,” says Nicola, “it is all value it.”