28 January 2017
Here are some facts and figures of the 25th IHF Men’s Handball World Championship Final between France – Norway…
This is Norway’s first ever final at a major handball tournament; their best finishes before this were fourth at the EURO 2016 and sixth at a World Championship in 1958
Should France be successful in the final, it will only be the second time that they had a ‘perfect run’ i.e. winning every game en route to the final. The first occasion was at the 2001 WCh when France hosted the 17th IHF World Championship; the final also took place in Paris.
Fifth host since 2007 to make it to the final of a Men’s World Championship: 2007: Germany (gold); 2009: Croatia (silver); 2011 (not Sweden, as they lost their semi against France); 2013: Spain (gold); 2015: Qatar (silver); 2017: France
This will be France’s seventh IHF Men’s World Handball Championship Final; they have only lost one WCh final in 1993 when Russia beat them 28:19
France have an eight-game winning streak against Norway on home soil. The last win for Norway against France in their own country dates back 22 years (December 1994) – older than their current star Sander Sagosen (21)
Norway’s team captain Bjarte Myrhol played for German side Rhein-Neckar Lowen 2009 to 2015 and the Mannheim-based club had his number 18 retired upon his departure to his current Danis club Skjern. Furthermore, Norway’s win over Croatia (28:25) in the semi-final marked the captain’s 200 cap for the country.
The final of the 2017 IHF World Handball Championship will mark French goalkeeper Thierry Omeyer’s fifth World Championship final while Michael Guigou, Nikola Karabatic, Daniel Narcisse and Cedric Sorhaindo all play in their fourth gold medal match – all of the above are unbeaten in WCh finals. Coach Dider Dinart will also take part in his fourth final if you include his three finals as a player (2001, 2009 & 2011); co-head coach Guillame Gille could collect his third gold after the 2001 and 2009 finals. In total when you combine all the World Championship medals of the current French squad including coaches, the figure comes to an amazing 26 gold medals
This final will be the 50th tie between the two sides. Taking in all major competitions and friendlies into consideration, the balance stands currently at 29 wins for France, three draws and 18 wins for Norway
76 vs 51
France goalkeeper, Vincent Gerard, has saved 51 from 128 shots giving him a 40% save rate, while Norway’s rising star, Torbjorn Bergerud, 76 shots from 225 shots (34%)
249 vs 248
France have score 249 goals while Norway are just one behind at 248. France’s Nedim Remili is his team’s top scorer netting 33 times from 49 shots (67%). Norway winger Kristian Bjornsen scored 41 times out of 54 shots (76%) making him most prolific scorer for the Scandinavian side
Norway star, Sander Sagosen, has signed a three-year contract with French side PSG for the 2017/18 season. He will join French final participants Thierry Omeyer, Daniel Narcisse, Nikola and Luka Karabatic, Luc Abalo and Nedim Remili and also Croatian national team player and semi-final participant, Luka Stepancic