Guigou: “Handball can be proud”

Michaël Guigou

23 January 2017

You’ve shown two faces today…

Sadly, I think it’s normal when you go from qualification games to one-offs, where there’s a lot more at stake. Pressure was on our shoulders, Icelandics had nothing to lose. Often, these games are hard for the teams that have finished first of their groups. Iceland had a really good start and we didn’t panic and stayed focused. We came back into the game little by little.

Have you been able to enjoy the atmosphere?

Of course, even if I was tired at some points. We all took the time to milk it at the end of the game. It’s fantastic, we’re very proud to have been able to play such a game in front of 28,000 spectators. Handball can be proud. All this is possible thanks to the volunteers, the organisation comitee and to our ancestors that won the 1995 world championship. Thanks to them, handball has become more popular little by little and we are now setting up such events.

How does that feel playing in front of so many people?

We didn’t want them to go home unhappy and we really wanted to grap that quarter-finals qualification. Sometimes, we thought about the event and all of that, but that’s normal. We know that everything’s going to be harder and harder. Tonight, we were in a magnificient stadium and the only thing we could do was win.

The beginning of your game wasn’t too brilliant, can playing in such an atmosphere freeze you?

I don’t think it was the arena, but the fact that you’re playing an eighth final at home. There is a little bit more pressure, we don’t have too much experience, especially the players on the bench. For all these reasons, we know that the team can be not as efficient sometimes. We haven’t been good all the time but we won putting all of our heart into it.