Since independence in 1992, Croatia has established itself as a worthy successor to the former Yugoslavia. Gold medallist at the 1993 Mediterranean Games (its first title), Croatia has since shown an impressive consistency, with no less than 13 medals at the Olympic Games, as well as European and World Championships. Croatia has never missed a major event thanks to its handball school that allows it to regenerate its national team despite a limited pool of players (4 million inhabitants). Finishing in 3rd place at the last Euro in Poland, it proved unpredictable at the Games in Rio — in its group they beat both Denmark and France, eventual finalists at the Games, but fell to Poland in the quarter finals. The Croatian selection comes to France with the aim of winning on their rivals’ home turf, determined to erase the memory of that 2009 final lost in Zagreb by Ivano Balić’s team against the Bleus.
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DID YOU KNOW?
Leading the Croatian selection since the spring of 2015, Zeljko Babic resigned last September, as he thought that he was not sufficiently supported by his Federation. The Federation accepted his resignation before refusing it a month later when they failed to find a successor. As a result, it was the same 44 year-old man who managed the double Olympic champions at the World Championship in France.
Stars of the World Championship : Domagoj Duvnjak
COACH: Zeljko BABIC (Croatia)