The ‘Hispanics’ make an appointment with history in Budapest

The ‘Hispanics’ make an appointment with history in Budapest

Spain seeks its third consecutive gold in the European against Sweden and match its continental feat

MADRID, Jan. 29 (.) –

The Spanish men’s handball team aspires to defend this Sunday in Budapest (6:00 p.m./La 1) its double continental crown in the final of the European Championship in Hungary and Slovakia against Sweden, which will seek revenge for its defeat in the preliminary phase and prevent that the ‘Hispanics’ match their feat of linking three consecutive golds in the competition.

Without key pieces like the eternal captain Raúl Entrerríos, Viran Morros or the Dujshebaev brothers and with a renewed team, Jordi Ribera’s men have been able to reinvent themselves to embroider it in a tournament in which they have gone from less to more and in which the past Thursday they showed their ‘black beast’ of the last championships, Denmark, that it is useless to underestimate the ‘Hispanics’.

The current world champion and Olympic runner-up ‘chose’ the Spanish to face each other in the semifinals, convinced that this would make her way to the final easier, and she paid dearly for it; Confident from their victories against them in the semifinals of the World Cup in Egypt and the Tokyo Olympics, Denmark found the best version of the Spanish ‘wolves’ (29-25), who with a blow of authority and with Aleix Gómez (11 points) as leader of the pack howled loudly.

With this, the Iberian team guaranteed, in addition to their ticket to the final phase of the 2024 European Championship, the presence in their fourth final in a row in search of their third consecutive win. In 2016, Germany sentenced him to silver, but both in Croatia 2018 and in Austria, Norway and Sweden 2020 they managed to hang the long-awaited gold medal around their necks.

Precisely, the beginning of that victorious cycle came against the Swedes, victims in the final four years ago (29-23) and who hope this time to make up for that and also take revenge for the defeats in the Tokyo Games (33-34) and in the preliminary phase of the tournament (32-28).

Many things have happened in these two weeks. Glen Solberg’s men reached the last five minutes of the match of the final day of the ‘Main Round’ against Norway almost hopeless, but a 5-0 run allowed them to come back from the match (24-23). In the semifinals, they knew how to withstand the final rush of the French to get their ticket to the final (33-34).

“It is true that we have beaten him in recent matches, but they have been very close matches. In fact, the Games is a match that, those of us who were inside, still do not know how we were able to turn it around, because it looked very wrong,” recalled Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas. “Two weeks ago the match was decided very early in the second half. In the most difficult moments, Spain was better. I see the match at 50-50%,” he added.

Appealing to the strength of the group and the guarantee of men such as goalkeeper Andreas Palicka or central defenders Jim Gottfridsson and Felix Claar but without the infected Hampus Wanne -scorer of seven goals against France-, Sweden will fight to prevent Spain from equaling their mark of three consecutive European golds achieved between 1998 and 2002.

That will be the challenge for the ‘Hispanics’, who hope to put the finishing touch to a championship in which, whatever happens, they have once again shown that they continue to be competitive animals. With veterans like Gedeón Guardiola, Joan Cañellas or Pérez de Vargas and debutants in a major tournament like Ian Tarrafeta and Agustín Casado, Spain promises to howl once again.



SPAIN: Pérez de Vargas (P), Corrales (P), Hernández (P); Gurbindo, Peciña, Maqueda, Fernández, Solé, Figueras, Cañellas, Casado, Sarmiento, García, Gómez, Ariño, Guardiola, Tarrafeta, Sánchez-Migallón, Márquez, Sarmiento and Odriozola.

SWEDEN: Johanesson (P), Palicka (P), Thulin (P); Carlsborgard, Mellegard, Darj, Ekberg, D.Petterson, F.Petterson, Pellas, Claar, Lagergren, Gottfridsson, Bergendahl, Sandell, Johansson, Wallinius, and Moller.

–PAVILLION: MVM Dome in Budapest.

–TIME: 18.00/1.

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