The best of the week


5 December 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 : Kiril Lazarov (FC Barcelona, Macedonia)

Aged 36, the all-time top goalscorer on one World Championship (92 goals in 2009) still is an exceptional attacking player. On a nice roll lately, the Macedonian played two superb games during the past week. Top scorer for the Barça (6 goals) in the win at Puente Genil (35-29) on wednesday in Liga ASOBAL, he was again the top scorer against PSG in Champions League, with 9 goals, his best tally of the season on the European stage. Defence was the driving force behind Barça’s success, which gave them the leading spot in the group A, but Lazarov also played a crucial part in attack. In the run-up to 2017 World Championship, the Macedonian star seems to have found a second youth.

The feat : Wisla Plock goes back a long way

Usually, when THW Kiel is playing at home and starts to break away on the scoreboard, the opponent tends to sink. But Sparkassen Arena vertigo didn’t affect Wisla Plock, which managed to recover from a disastrous start on saturday in Champions League. Down by six goals at halftime (9-15), the Russian international Dmitry Zhitnikov (3 goals) and his teammates first brought back some balance to the debate, and then pulled out full speed, ending the game on a 4-0. Finally, Wisla Plock, which had already beaten the Zebras in november in Poland, comes back home from Kiel with a convincing draw (24-24).

The number : 443

Like the number of goals scored on Lidl Starligue matchday 10, so that is a little more than 63 goals per game. It is the best total on a single matchday since the beginning of the season, and it was reached thanks to some large wins from the French championship’s top teams. PSG thus grabbed a triumphant win in Saran (44-32) with eleven goals from Uwe Gensheimer, whereas Nantes and Saint-Raphaël also scored a lot of goals, respectively against Toulouse (42-27) and Créteil (39-28). In each arena of Lidl Starligue, the spectators enjoyed last week a true goal-fest, like a foretaste of the 2017 World Championship…

The schedule : Saint-Raphaël hunting for a big win

Champions League is on a break and the group phase will not start again before next February, after the 2017 World Championship, but the national competitions still are topical, more than ever. In Spain, two Liga ASOBAL matchdays are to be played during the coming week, which will also feature a lot of Bundesliga games. Lidl Starligue, for its part, will « only » offer the seven games of matchday 11, but among these is one of the biggest European contests of the week. On thursday 8 December, PSG will host Saint-Raphaël in Pierre-de-Coubertin. Runner-up behind Paris last year, and ranked third this season after 10 games, Saint-Raphaël is hoping to cause an upset, and will rely, among others, on the young Belarussian international pivot Artsem Karalek (20 years old), who has been in a great shape lately.

The play : Wael Jallouz (FC Barcelona, Tunisia)

Second best goalscorer for Barcelona in the win against PSG with six goals, Wael Jallouz confirmed that he is, like his teammate Kiril Lazarov (see elsewhere), full of confidence, a few weeks before the 2017 World Championship. The Tunisian international made a particularly deep impression in the first half, with a high-powered rocket hip shot, which litteraly mystified the great Thierry Omeyer.

Picture : S. Pillaud