Croatia national handball team

The Croatian national handball team is a handball team that represents Croatia in the international matches and has been playing since the country's independence in the early 1990s. The team is controlled by the Croatian Handball Federation.

Results at the international tournaments

Despite of its relatively short history, the Croatian team has already made some significant results at the international tournaments. During the 1990s they placed third at the 1994 European Championship and second at the 1995 World Championship before eventually winning the gold medal at the 1996 Summer Olympics.

After these successes they have been going through the time without such good results until they eventually made their comeback by winning the 2003 World Championship. The new generation was led by Ivano Balić, who is considered to be the best handball player in the world. In 2004 they were fourth at the European Championship, but won second gold medal at the Summer Olympics later that year. In the Olympic tournament they didn't lose any single game. After these results it was logical that they were one of the favorites of the 2005 World Championship, but lost to Spain in the final match.

In 2006 the team finished fourth at the European Championship, where they have qualified for the semifinals by winning the group in the main stage, but were subsequently defeated by France in the semifinals and Denmark in the third place match.

In 2007 World Men's Handball Championship held in Germany Croatia finished 5th despite losing only one game against France in Quarter Final game. Croatia was seen by many as the team who played best handball in the tournament.

In 2008 European Championship Croatia won the silver medal losing the final against Denmark. In the group stage Croatia had many problems with injuries of key players and was heavily defeated by Denmark. In the last game in group stage they played draw with the host Norway and advanced in the Semi-finals were they defeated France.

European Championship record

World Championship record

Olympics record

  • as part of Yugoslavia
  • 1936: not participated
  • 1972 - champions
  • 1976 - 5th
  • 1980 - 6th
  • 1984 - champions
  • 1988 - Bronze medal
  • as independent Croatia
  • 1992 - not participated;
  • 1996 - champions
  • 2000 - not participated
  • 2004 - champions
  • 2008 - Fourth-place

Mediterranean Games record

  • as part of Yugoslavia
  • 1951:
  • 1955:
  • 1959:
  • 1963:
  • 1967: Champion
  • 1971:
  • 1975: Champion
  • 1979: Champion
  • 1983: Champion
  • 1987:
  • 1991: Champion
  • as independent Croatia
  • 1993: Champion
  • 1997: Champion
  • 2001: Champion
  • 2005:

Teams on the Olympics

During Yugoslavia

Until 1991., Croatia participated in Yugoslavian national team.
At the 1972 Olympics, Yugoslavia won gold, and following Croatian staff participated: players Hrvoje Horvat, Albin Vidović, Zdravko Miljak, Miroslav Pribanić, Zdenko Zorko, Dobrivoje Selec (reserve player) and coach Vlado Stenzel (also written as Štencl).
At the 1976 Olympics, Yugoslavia was fifth, and following Croatian staff participated: players Hrvoje Horvat, Zdravko Miljak, Željko Nimš, Zvonimir Serdarušić, Zdenko Zorko and coach Ivan Snoj.
At the 1980 Olympics, Yugoslavia was sixth, and following Croatian staff participated: players Pavle Jurina and Stjepan Obran.
At the 1984 Olympics, Yugoslavia won gold, and following Croatian staff participated: players Mirko Bašić, Pavle Jurina and Zdravko Zovko .
At the 1988 Olympics, Yugoslavia won bronze, and following Croatian staff participated: players Mirko Bašić, Boris Jarak, Alvaro Načinović, Goran Perkovac, Iztok Puc, Zlatko Saračević and Irfan Smajlagić.

As independent Croatia

Teams on World Championships

During Yugoslavia

  • 1938: Yugoslavia hasn't participated
  • 1954: Yugoslavia hasn't participated
  • 1958: Yugoslavia was eighth.
  • 1961: Yugoslavia was ninth.
  • 1964: Yugoslavia was sixth.
  • 1967: Yugoslavia was seventh.
  • 1970: Yugoslavia won bronze.
  • 1974: Yugoslavia won bronze.
  • 1978: Yugoslavia was fifth.
  • 1982: Yugoslavia won silver.
  • 1986: Yugoslavia won gold. From Croatia were Mirko Bašić and Zlatko Saračević.
  • 1990: Yugoslavia was fourth.

As independent Croatia

  • 1993: not participated
  • 1995: silver medalists
  • 1997: 13th
  • 1999: 10th
  • 2001: 9th
  • 2003: Champions
  • 2005: silver medalists
  • 2007: 5th (1 single loss in quarter-finals)

Famous players

Famous coaches

Current squad

This list represents the Croatian squad at the 2008 Summer Olympics.

External links

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