Handball World Cup 2023: Johnny’s smile (nd-aktuell.de)


In the very best type of his life: Patrik Grotzky has each purpose to smile at this World Cup.

Photo: IMAGO / wolf-sportfoto

Patrick Grotsky is now 33 years previous and is the daddy of three daughters. The Rhine-Neckar Leuven winger, who’s at present in his seventh World Cup in Poland, has had some struggles within the handball enterprise. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, only one instance, he was despatched house within the preliminary spherical as a result of one other skilled had recovered.

In any case, this Grotzky, who everybody calls “Johnny”, was smiling with pleasure after the sport in opposition to the Netherlands. And not simply because many pundits think about him to be in the very best type of his life. He scored 5 targets in 5 makes an attempt to win 33:26 in Katowice on Saturday night – the German handball gamers thus certified for the quarter-finals earlier than the final sport of the primary spherical in opposition to Norway (this Monday, 20.30, stay on ARD. ).

The proper winger confirmed how cohesive the crew construction is on the World Cup. “The temper is at all times good,” says Grotzky. “But this time there’s one thing somewhat further.” Now that the minimal objective has been achieved, specifically reaching the play-offs, they’re on their technique to their first World Cup medal since 2007, once they took half within the legendary Winter’s Tale. “. received the title at house.

“The dream, after all, is that we’ll have one thing hanging round our necks,” Grotzky mentioned. If you do not assume that is the objective, “then we need not hold taking part in right here.” The quarter-final opponents shall be both Spain or France, relying on Germany’s final sport in opposition to Norway. Who does he favor? Oh, Grotzky replied with the smile of a Buddhist monk: “I do not care.”

Against the dynamic Dutch, nationwide coach Alfred Gislasson’s crew confirmed for the primary time that they will do extra. And this, moderately, as a result of the German courtroom across the younger director Yuri Knorr didn’t act on the highest stage this time – Knorr, for instance, made 4 missed photographs from the backcourt. At the identical time, the German forwards let the ball go too far.

The German assault machine stuttered a bit – and nonetheless discovered options repeatedly. For instance, Kempa’s 26:17 trey, which began with a cross from lefty Christoph Steiner to Philipp Weber. For a few years, the German offensive didn’t carry such moments of shock, which required braveness and willpower.

But there have been different the reason why Germany overturned an early deficit after the primary quarter of an hour to dominate the sport. Suddenly, for the primary time, part of the crew that had troubled the coach shines for the primary time: the German protection. There, captain Johannes Golla (Flensburg) and Julian Köster (Gummersbach) labored along with the midfielders to construct an impregnable wall. “The indoor unit was nice,” Gislason mentioned.

This defensive wall will, after all, be challenged in a really totally different method within the quarter-finals. Both Spain and France have shooters within the backcourt, requiring the German defenders to maneuver additional away from the crease. The prime type of the German goalkeepers can also be encouraging for the German handball gamers. Joel Birlech (Leuven) saved the victory together with his saves within the hardest check but in opposition to Serbia. Andreas Wolff (Kielce) shone with 43 per cent in opposition to the Netherlands, maintaining his entrance males secure.

National coach Gislason is now in a cushty place to relaxation younger professionals resembling Juri Knorr and Julian Koster, who might make the distinction within the last sport of the primary spherical in opposition to Norway. Iceland has proven that it’s about sharing the burden. Also, the French and the Spanish, who certified early for the playoffs, have this benefit.

In any case, the German handball gamers will enter the quarterfinals as clear outsiders. “Spain and France have been taking part in on the world stage for a few years,” famous Grotzky. But, after all, there are benefits. If you don’t have anything to lose, you not really feel any stress to fulfill any expectations, you’ll be able to play with full freedom.

National coach Gislason admitted he felt the stress of reaching the quarter-finals on Saturday night time. This signifies that German handball gamers have secured an vital aspect impact, the qualification match for the Paris 2024 Olympics. That in all probability made Johnny smile too. Patrick Grotzky nonetheless has a rating to settle with the Olympics.

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