Ian Tarrafeta: “I feel super happy to be part of one of the feats of the ‘Hispanics'”

“The center-backs in this team are the ones who light the fuse and then everything flows”

MADRID, Jan. 27 (.) –

The Spanish handball team player Ian Tarrafeta considers what he is experiencing in the European Championship in Hungary and Slovakia “incredible” and feels “super happy to be part of one of the feats” of a team that is already in the fight for the medals and in which he has the mission of lighting “the fuse” in the attacking game.

“Being in the semifinals is incredible. Since I was little I watched all these feats on television and I feel super happy and super happy to be part of one of them. Spanish handball is where it should be and now we are going to fight to take home the gold”, Tarrafeta told Europa Press.

The 23-year-old Catalan center-back is one of the debutants that Jordi Ribera has called for this event and his performance is being remarkable in a continental champion who does not have key players from his latest successes such as Raúl Entrerríos and Alex Dujshebaev.

However, he believes that both Agustín Casado and him make that position in the center “very well covered”. “We are both very comfortable and we don’t have any added pressure on our backs, we simply know that Jordi trusts us and that we have to do what we do at our clubs. We are both very comfortable and very well integrated and I think we are doing a good championship,” he stressed.

Tarrafeta admits that it has been possible to see that “the pieces fit” in the national team and that “despite being young”, the new ones like Casado, Chema Márquez or him have “boldness and desire”. “We want to show that we can be here and you can see that in the games,” he said.

“I have always said that the central defenders in this team are the ones who light the fuse and then everything flows. We have a very collective game and we simply have to send an action and then we have a thousand different options depending on what the defense does. Everyone in the team know what we play, it is only to start it and then everything flows”, detailed the international.


Now, they are already focused on the duel against Denmark, “a bit of the ‘black beast'” of the national team. “Before it was France until we beat them a couple of times in important games. We will prepare the game with a lot of intensity, passion and dedication, we are going to stand up,” he assured.

In this sense, Tarrafeta is already “practically in top form” after having to stop with Joan Cañellas for testing positive for coronavirus before the last match of the first phase against Bosnia and Herzegovina and missing the games against Germany and Russia. In any case, he does not hide that he felt “tired” in last year’s clash in Norway after being “locked up for three days”

But now, the team has had two days without a game and that has been “great” both for Cañellas, who returned against Poland on Tuesday, and for himself “to finish putting the set-up and to get sensations” for the semifinals.

“It was the first time that I experienced something like this and it has been complicated and hard. You see your teammates playing on TV and you feel that you are not in the dynamic, that the championship is passing and that there are fewer and fewer left and you are still isolated. But we have been able to leave in time for the best and we still have to give our best”, celebrated the French Pays d’Aix player.

In any case, the man from Sabadell knows that Spain has been one of “the least affected” by a situation that has “affected” the team’s performance along with the number of games and the “tiredness of playing two days in a row” as happened with the games against Germany and Russia without 24 hours of rest.


However, he believes that, although there are “things to improve”, they have generally been “very good in defence”. “Yes, it has cost us a little more in some positional attacks, but I think it’s a matter of being patient and not rushing, when we make one more pass we find easier solutions”, he confessed.

Finally, the center-back emphasizes the qualities of the Spanish player that are so popular outside of Spain. “There is talk of a very intelligent player, who knows how to manage and play handball very well, where to be positioned and that although we may have some physical deficiency, we make up for it with individual tactics and technique,” he stressed.

“From the outside there is a perspective that there could be a league with teams with fewer resources except for Barça, but you see Logroño or Irún who are competing at a good level in Europe. Some ingredients are missing, above all financial resources, for ASOBAL be the same as it was 15 years ago”, said the Catalan.

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