The Croatian team heading for the EHF EURO 2020 will be aiming to improve on their fifth place finish at the last European Championships, which they hosted back in 2018.
Missing out on the semi-finals was a significant disappointment for Lino Cervar’s team, especially for one of Europe’s most successful teams on the international stage.
Croatia may have won three Olympic titles and one World Championships in the past but the EHF EURO crown continues to elude them. However, they have twice won the silver medals, finishing runners-up in Norway in 2008 and repeating the feat two years later in Austria.
They have also three bronze medals to their name, the last of which came in Poland in 2016. That performance four years ago was one of the surprises of the tournament as the Croatians stunned the host nation by winning 37:23 in the quarter-finals.
Cervar, who is now in his second spell as the national coach, has a talented squad at his disposal as he aims to bring EHF EURO gold to Croatia for the first time. A team with goalscorer Luka Cindric and Domagoj Duvnjak in it will also be tough to beat – making them one of the favourites to win a medal.
A proven goal machine and team player, the versatile Cindric is hailed as the future of Croatian handball’s back court. A fast, agile and creative player, he started his career in the Croatian Premier League before signing for Metalurg in 2014. Just one year later he switched to HC Vardar in North Macedonia, where he won the VELUX EHF Champions League title in 2017. That paved the way for moves to Kielce and then, in the summer of 2019, to Champions League powerhouses Barcelona.
Considered as one of the most famous Croatian handball players in history, Domagoj began playing at the age of 10 and started his career in Zagreb where he was called up for the national team in 2006. His move from Zagreb to Hamburg in 2009 made his the world’s most expensive player and in 2013 he won the EHF Champions League and was named World Player of the Year. After five years with Hamburg Duvnjak signed for Kiel, where he remains today.
The most successful coach in the history of Croatian handball, Lino returned to the hotseat in 2017 having previously guided his side to World Championship gold in 2003 and the Olympic title one year later. A former coach of the Italian and Macedonian national teams, Cervar also coached Croatia to silver at EHF EURO 2008 and 2010 and has also coached domestically in Croatia, Macedonia and Austria.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events