SerbiaGroup C / Mainround 2 / Placement

 

Ex-Yugoslavia was a class of their own for decades in men and women’s handball, but after the wars in the 1990’s Serbia wasn’t the top nation in the Balkan area, as Croatia and Slovenia were much more successful on national team and club level. As the financial situation wasn’t as good as at their neighbours the great story of Serbian handball was interrupted. But now the Serbs are aiming high again.

After several years without qualifying for the WCH they qualified again for Croatia 2009 and reached a draw against that time reigning World Champion Germany. After a very weak result at the EURO 2010 in Austria the team changed the coach to Veselin Vukovic, one of the legendary players of the Sabac era who became World and Olympics champion. As no Serbian key players are currently earning their money in their home country but all over Europe it’s hard for Vukovic to have an overview and to build a team. But despite those difficulties the Serbs qualified in a highly close decision against Czech Republic for the WCH in Sweden. The tournament in Sweden should be kind of test and promotion for the EURO 2012, hosted by Serbia.

Players like Champions League winner Momir Illic (Kiel) or Mladen Bojinovic (Montpellier) have a lot of international experience. In history those Yugoslavian teams took five WCH medals (including gold in 1986) and three Olympics medals (including Gpold in 1984).