At eight o’clock within the morning on Tuesday, the German handball gamers had been on a bus to Krakow, after which the aircraft flew to Gdansk. There, the German Handball Federation (DHB) qualifier will host 1 / 4-ultimate towards the French on Wednesday (8:30 p.m., ZDF), the hardest problem of the World Cup.
Apart from the 26-28 loss to the Norwegians, that they had a contemporary begin after 5 wins in 5 video games within the match. For the sick Paul Drucks, who’s present process therapy and was on the aircraft to Gdansk, nationwide coach Alfred Gislason provided Erlangen midfielder Tim Zechel. The defensive stalwart can also be anticipated in Gdansk on Tuesday and can strengthen Germany’s younger squad.
However, the defeat from the Scandinavians was not vital, they reached the quarter-finals. Nevertheless, he gave Germany the hardest sport of the playoff spherical, the Olympic champion from France. The French secured prime spot of their group with a 28-26 win over Spain within the ultimate sport of the primary spherical. The Spaniards, who’ve been within the slim circle of contenders for the title in main tournaments for years, wouldn’t be a straightforward opponent. But the German selection needed to keep away from the French. At least that is the impression it’s best to get when speaking to the coach or the gamers.
“All the positions have been received twice, they’re world-class by way of width,” Gislason says of the French
“I believe France is one of the best group on the earth with particular person gamers,” Christoph Steinert stated. Goalkeeper Andreas Wolff was one of many few who may heat to the French as an opponent at first. Ahead of the Norway sport, when it was nonetheless unclear who they had been up towards, he described the Spaniards as “our kryptonite” – a vibrant inexperienced rock that will sap the facility of the invincible comedian guide hero Superman. The goalkeeper repeated this after the defeat, including: “The French are roughly invincible. Now the supervisor has to present us a couple of issues to show in any other case.”
Alfred Gislason does his finest. A day earlier than the sport towards Norway, the Icelander stated he had began to review video of his potential opponent: “I checked out each potential opponents.” However, the duty turned out to be very tough: “Of course, I do know that France is likely one of the huge favorites for the title. All positions are crammed twice, and they’re usually world-class.” A efficiency just like the one on Monday night won’t be sufficient, believes the nationwide coach: “We need to play shortly in protection and assault, so quite a lot of issues need to work properly if we wish to have an opportunity.”
The 63-yr-outdated is a coach who has seen all of it in handball, who likes to ship delicate messages to his workers or opponents with blunt statements. However, he doesn’t have to consolidate the position of favourite for the French: three-time Olympic champion, document six world champion, three-time European champion. The French have additionally at all times understood easy methods to shortly and adequately exchange prime performers who retire on account of age. That’s why they have been among the many finest on the earth for years, and that actually applies to the present squad as properly.
It is a mixture of prime gamers with worldwide expertise corresponding to Dika Mem, Ludovic Fabregas and Melvyn Richardson, all signed by Champions League winners Barcelona. Prospects like 2.05m large Thibaut Briet have nice throwing energy out of the backfield. Or Dylan Nahi, on the left wing with a robust leap. Additionally, there’s a first-charge goalkeeping duo in Vincent Gerard and Remy Desbonnet. The group is led by Nikola Karabatic and Kentin Mahe, two exceptionally skilled veterans. At 38, Karabatic is a bit previous his prime, however he nonetheless drives the French sport and units the tempo. His wealth of expertise is invaluable, particularly in tough conditions. Mahé provides construction to positional play in assault.
Germany playmaker Juri Knorr doubts what lies forward for him and his group-mates as he marvels on the grand outdated man of world handball: “For me, Karabatic is one of the best participant of all time.”
“Maybe the French underestimate us a bit,” hopes Yannick Kohlbacher
The German group is in no way hopeless on this comparability, as they’ve struggled all through the match, particularly towards the Norwegians regardless of the loss. “If we will handle a constant protection with Andi Wolff in help and make higher use of our possibilities, then we will beat any opponent,” stated captain Johannes Golla. Of course, the Germans ought to have a powerful day, “they usually may underestimate us a bit,” hopes Yannick Kohlbacher. But you might be shocked by the performances which have been proven thus far.
Goalkeeper Wolff is again to world class, Golla delivers confidently on the highest stage, and playmaker Knorr is stepping properly into this elite circle. The opposition did not miss a beat both, with Norway’s Petter Overby saying after the sport: “We needed to make issues tough for Juri and we did that properly within the second half.” Young gamers like Lukas Mertens and Julian Koster are taking part in a powerful match and sit up for the long run, whereas veterans like Patrik Grotzky, Kohlbacher and Kai Hafner are the spine of the group. The group has additionally confirmed to be absolutely match for the World Cup in width: gamers like Rune Damke, Djibril M’Bengue or Luka Witzke slot in seamlessly. In addition, everybody, with out exception, praises the particular spirit and group within the group.
This younger group lacks so much to be among the many finest on the earth. Maybe it is a win towards one of many greats in an essential competitors. Wednesday evening might be an important alternative for that.