Croatia: 2018 European Men’s Handball World Championship
The 2018 European Men’s Handball World Championship gets underway in Croatia at the Spaladium Arena when hosts Croatia take on geographical neighbours and arch-rivals Serbia. 16 teams will be competing for the coveted title this year, with former Olympians Croatia expected to put up a valiant fight for the honour of winning.
Former Croatia coach Slavko Goluza has made it quite clear that there is no love lost between the two teams and that Serbia should not expect a hero’s welcome or red carpet reception. Goluza should know, as he was the man in charge in 2012 when Serbia beat Croatia in the semi-final in Belgrade.
Goluza remembers incidents of empty bottles and coins being hurled about by emotional players and has said that hopefully this won’t be the case at this year’s championship. He added that for the Croatian players it was a very emotional affair but that the players were bound to realise that they had to keep their emotions under wrap this time round.
Passion Runs Amok
Stefan Vujic, who ironically will be making his debut for Serbia, is originally a native from Croatia. He expects much ado about everything in the terraces. Vujic has said that he expects nothing short of a hostile atmosphere. Regarding his shift in allegiance after having failed to make a start for his own country, Vujic has said that he expects that there will be insults from other players as well as fans but that he would not be paying much attention to those. He seemed aware of the fact that there was a strong possibility that the home fans may very well try to enter the courts to make amok.
The Teams, The Odds
Reigning champions Germany will play in Group C alongside Macedonia, Montenegro and Slovenia. These matches will be played in Croatia’s capital city, Zagreb. Host nation Croatia will play alongside Serbia, Iceland and Sweden and their matches will be played in Split. Sweden is the holder of the most European titles to date.
Three time title holder France will be competing against Norway, Austria and Belarus and the Group B games will be played in Porec.
Spain is bound to remain ever hopeful of winning a final, having played in four and having lost as many times. They will be playing in Group D alongside Denmark, the Czech Republic and Hungary. Group D matches will be played in Varazdin, which lies to the North of Croatia.
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