Nikola Karabatic will play for France of their World Cup quarter-final towards Germany on Wednesday. Perhaps the best participant of all time will finish his illustrious profession in Paris 2024, of all locations.
Nikola Karabatic the A collector of handball titles – and maybe additionally “The Greatest of All Time”. Three-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time European and four-time world champion has ten gold medals round his neck. Since 2003, she has been in 25 of the 26 main handball competitions and has collected a complete of 15 medals with the nationwide crew, in addition to quite a few data and particular person awards. There are additionally three titles within the Champions League, 20 (!) championships in France, Spain and Germany. “Bock auf Handball” visited him in Paris.
Sometimes Karabatic is compelled to recall an incident when he was younger and performed for THW Kiel: nameless surveys have been performed amongst athletes for analysis work on the college. One of the questions was: “If I promised you at present that you’d win each main title in your profession, however you could not transfer usually by the point you have been 40, would you do it?” ” Nikola Karabatic didn’t hesitate for a second: “When I used to be over 20 years previous, in fact I mentioned sure.
“Now, at 38, I see issues in a different way. When you are younger, you do not assume the identical method. As you become old, you perceive the connections higher. Nobody tells you that beforehand. You’re risking your well being in your profession, and even for those who’re an athlete, you continue to have a ardour for sports activities. there are various fascinating issues,” Karabatich overtly admitted.
There are days when every part hurts after I rise up.
In the final sport of the primary spherical of the 2023 World Handball Championship, within the match between France and Spain (28:26), Karabatic rested and injured his leg, and the French celebrity, who has formed handball effectively for twenty years – for the reason that first championship. France with Montpellier in 2002. However, he’s anticipated to function towards Germany as it’s a quarter-final and Karabatic stays a central issue within the title contenders’ sport.
“There are days when every part hurts after I rise up, and I actually do not feel like understanding,” admits Nikola Karabatic. “But there are nonetheless days when it is actually enjoyable.” Today, it is primarily the video games that also problem him, “even when profitable would not have the identical significance because it did firstly of my profession, after I did not win all of the titles.” Nevertheless, he mentioned: “Of course, I nonetheless need to win and break data!” – says.
“Being the boss wasn’t essential to me”
Despite all the private achievements and now greater than 70 medals, “titles are nonetheless probably the most stunning factor” for the three-time world handball participant, he’s particularly joyful for his teammates in such moments, for whom this can be their first victory. “It’s at all times been essential to me not to be the boss, however to really feel supported by my colleagues.” The similar goes for profitable on the Olympics: “To win the Olympic title in Tokyo with a brand new crew and my brother was particular.”
“It’s like my private story of coming again in time after my cruciate ligament tear and solely seven months of rehabilitation,” provides Karabatic. For the primary time since 2003, the 18-year-old was on the bench on the 2021 World Handball Championship, however a torn cruciate ligament was additionally to blame for not being on the ground when France received bronze. – The everlasting karabat was a spotlight – on the age of 25, he represented France within the final 26 tournaments.
Olympic key phrase. With the Olympic Games in Paris in 2024, an ideal profession appears to be coming to an finish. Because he’s displaying his class each in Paris and in France.
“… in any other case the motivation can be misplaced”
“During my profession, I attempted to neglect all of the earlier titles, as a result of in any other case my motivation would go down,” says the celebrity, the most-capped handball participant on the Olympic Games and the one handball participant with six. It is feasible to take part within the Olympics. But greater than participation, Karabatic will energy a fourth gold.
But is it actually doable to neglect so many names? “I push them,” says Karabatic. “Of course, I can’t neglect them. Children typically play with medals at residence,” he says. “But not sufficiently big to perceive their worth and ask what the tales behind them are. One day, if my kids ask about them, I’ll inform them these tales.”
“No, handball shouldn’t be every part for me anymore”
“But I’m not going to be a father who tells his children a narrative day-after-day about how they turned a world champion or an Olympic champion,” he laughs, shaking his head. “No, handball shouldn’t be every part for me anymore,” says Karabatic, “I’ve reached a degree in my life the place my household is crucial factor on the earth.” Of course, handball continues to be my ardour, however these priorities have modified, however the sport has given me quite a bit and made me very joyful.” He and his spouse Geraldine have a son, Alec, and a daughter, Nora.
“My handball profession is coming to an finish, so I’m attempting to think about what my subsequent profession can be. However, I’m attempting to make handball as enjoyable as doable and revel in the previous few years,” he predicts.
I’m very involved about how sports activities and the atmosphere match collectively.
He is already working as an skilled underneath contract with Canal Plus. “I feel that may even be a part of my work in a while. I’m additionally very involved about how sports activities and the atmosphere match collectively. It’s a subject I’m very inquisitive about and crucial to me, particularly since I’m going to be a father.”
Is internet hosting the 2024 Olympics in his hometown of Paris a practical purpose? “Two years go by rapidly, however will I nonetheless give you the chance to play at a excessive stage for the nationwide crew and within the Champions League in 2024? I do not know. The French league is getting stronger yearly and each season is stuffed with struggles. Normally I should not give you the chance to play at this tempo and at this stage at 40 years previous. But if I’m bodily match and nonetheless having enjoyable – why not?
Karabatik depends on “good hygiene”.
In any case, he’s nonetheless in the course of the 2023 World Handball Championship. “I feel one of many causes I’ve been ready to play handball at a excessive stage for a very long time is due to correct vitamin and hygiene,” explains Nikola Karabatic. But he additionally mentioned: “We typically overstepped and overstepped. That’s our downside in handball. Today I ask myself how I did it.”
Sometimes he additionally performed video games, however everybody knew that the chance of harm was excessive. “But I did it for my crew, for my pals within the crew,” says Karabatic trying again. “They have been crucial factor that handball gave me. Handball taught me quite a bit about life, how individuals behave when issues are good and the way individuals react when issues are dangerous. I knew who I needed to be.” He will in all probability mark that reply once more within the ballot at present. “Yes,” says Nicola, “it is all price it.”