The best of the week

S. Pillaud/FFHandball

31 October 2016

Every monday, we bring you everything you need to know and see from the handball news, in France and around the world.

The player : Mathieu Grébille (Montpellier, France)

In a week devoted to national competitions, Montpellier Handball delighted their fans with a dominant win over Nîmes (37-30) in the derby, on wednesday. In front of 7500 spectators in the Arena of Montpellier, Mathieu Grébille brought his « A » game to lead his partners to success, scoring 10 goals. Best scorer in this Lidl Starligue game, Grébille did it again this saturday against Chartres in League Cup (6 goals in the 32-28 MHB win). While he’s about to join again the French team, for which he should be a key player in the next years, the left back is in a magnificient run of form.

The feat : Billère stuns Chambéry

Billère Handball will be the only team from Proligue (French second division) in the League Cup quarterfinals this season. The Pyrenean side invited itself among the cream of French handball with a sensational win over Chambéry on sunday evening (33-26). In a state of grace, Argentinian international Leonardo Querin (3 goals, with a shot conversion rate of 100%) and his teammates amazed the crowd of the Palais des sports of Pau, which will host the French national team in a few days…

The number : 100

Like the 100th Liga ASOBAL win in a row celebrated by FC Barcelona on saturday, against BM Sinfin (27-22). Barça’s last defeat in the Spanish championship dates back to May 2013, in La Rioja. Title holder since 2011 and already in front in the 2016-2017 season, the Blaugranas didn’t miss the chance to extend their successful series to a three-digit number, with a ninth win in nine games, thanks in part to a very good display from the French international Timothey N’Guessan (3 goals).

The schedule : Euro 2018 on the horizon

Less than 80 days before the beginning of the 2017 World Championship, the European national teams are back in action, with the first matches of the third qualifying phase for the 2018 European Championship in Croatia. Among the most enticing contests of the week, Iceland – Czech Republic (wednesday), Poland – Serbia (thursday) or Latvia – Denmark (sunday). The beginnings of Jordi Ribera as the new head coach of the Spain team will also be attentively watched, in the two games against Bosnia-Herzegovina (wednesday) and Finland (saturday). With his new pair of coaches, Didier Dinart and Guillaume Gille, the French team will, for its part, start these qualifiers against Lithuania in Pau (thursday), and then in Belgium (sunday).

The play : Cyril Dumoulin (Nantes, France)

Behind the legendary Thierry Omeyer, the competition is very tough for the goalkeeper spots inside the French team. Cyril Dumoulin is well placed to know it : he won the 2015 World Championship with France, but didn’t play in the 2016 European Championship and in the Olympic Games in Rio, because Vincent Gérard was prefered to him as the second goalkeeper. Called in the expanded squad for the first matches of Euro 2018 qualifiers, Dumoulin seems determined to do whatever he can to impress the French coaches, as demonstrated this week in Nantes’ win over Aix in Lidl Starligue. In the last minutes of the game, with his team comfortably leading on the scoreboard, the keeper made a sensational save to deny Matthieu Ong’s penalty. Not just for fun, so.

See the save of Cyril Dumoulin