Why Nikola Karabatic is so important for France at the Handball World Cup

DHe was standing, skinny, full beard, brief hair. Nikola Karabatic is wanting extraordinarily match lately, nearly emaciated. The Grand Old Man of French handball turned 39 in April. The scars of nice battles have engraved themselves on his face; Karabatic will fill the lead roles of each hero and villain in an American motion movie.

He is at the moment the solely hero in his nation. He leads a French workforce at this World Cup in Poland and Sweden that faces a protracted checklist of accidents – the French have been lacking eleven acquainted squad members on Wednesday night, heading into the title conflict In the opening victory, 26:24 in opposition to Poland in entrance of almost 10,000 followers at Arena Saucer, Spodek in the metropolis middle of the Silesian metropolis.

It was not a powerful success, however a triumph of labor interspersed with phases of weak point. Later, nobody wished to criticize it sharply. “There was loads of stress in the corridor, however we confronted it. That’s what mattered. It was an ideal begin,” praised Nikola Karabatic.

chief of the outfit

Because his brother Luka was additionally out, Karbatić led the workforce as captain. Of course, he is additionally the chief of this in any other case equally proficient and skilled ensemble, which instantly established an exclamation mark with the success with the hosts: the path to the title would solely undergo France, and subsequently via Karabatic, who had a He acted as a dependable pressure in protection and was not above a duel. At house, they offer him credit score for persevering with to stretch bones late in his profession’s decline.

You not often see him in assault; The energy to throw is lacking, additionally the energy to wrestle the opponent face-to-face. Karabatic is aware of this, he not often throws. But he does delay the recreation if crucial – and on Wednesday he offered the tempo wanted for counter-attacks and second waves with precision and an excellent overview from defence.

It’s a relentless thirst for success that drives this perennial title collector. Anyone who thought Karabatic, lengthy a household man, would step down after 2021 Olympic gold in Tokyo was improper. He needs to proceed till the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris.

“We are assured as a workforce”

And earlier than that, I’d love to participate in a fourth French World Cup title this 12 months. “We are assured individually and as a workforce,” stated Karabatic in Katowice. He didn’t lament over the many accidents; His brother and left-back Valentin Porte might return in opposition to Saudi Arabia on Saturday or be given one other break till Monday’s group closing in opposition to Slovenia given weak opponents.

Karbatić stated: “We know we are able to defend very nicely. We play with defence, confidence and aggression. We simply have to maneuver the ball higher in assault.” Up entrance, the French have been by no means masters of the collective, strikes. You typically see free jazz reasonably than taking part in sheet music. But they do not must: if crucial, their celebrity Dicka Mem merely throws balls into the purpose from the second line. Let’s give

Karabatic himself, now in his eighth season at Paris Saint-Germain, was not amongst the scorers on Wednesday. However, he had scored one purpose earlier than – in opposition to Germany, the place he performed for THW Kiel between 2005 and 2009. In the summer season of 2022, he stated he might perceive anybody who would not change to or from the Bundesliga, with a suggestion to not change to the hardest league in the world. When you see him right here at the age of just about 39, you may solely say this: The early departure from Germany was like the fountain of youth.


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