A qualification campaign that saw four victories from six matches secured Latvia their first ever appearance at a major handball finals tournament.
Their EHF EURO debut will be the most important competition in the history of Latvian handball and while they face stiff opposition Armands Uščins’s side will be out to spring a surprise.
Latvians can take heart from the terrific performance in qualifiyng which included a run of four wins in a row with one over Slovenia a particular highlight.
Their appearance this year comes after a number of near-misses for a team making solid progress on court.
The heartache of failing to qualify for the 2017 World Championships by the narrowest of margins – Belarus took the ticket on away goals after the two nations had tied their play-off matches 52:52 on aggregate – has been a source of inspiration.
With one of Europe’s most recognisable and feared players in Dainis Krištopāns among their squad, there’s no reason why Latvia cannot continue their upward momentum at EHF EURO 2020.
Krištopāns lifted the VELUX EHF Champions League last season and was named Europe’s best player in June 2019 and a player of his calibre could prove to be the difference.
Arguably one of the stars of the Latvian side and also within European club handball, goal machine Dainis has risen to become of most the feared players on the court. Last season saw the right back clinch the VELUX EHF Champions League with Macedonian outfit RK Vardar and is a player capable of winning games on his own.
A leader of the Latvian side, goalkeeper Arturs was playing in the second tier of German handball only a year ago. But after shining for the national team during qualifiying, especially in the match at home to Slovenia which sealed their last at EHF EURO 2020, he earned a career-changing move to RK Vardar alongside Dainis Kristopans. The stopper is capable of disabling opponents’ self-belief with his saves and can take control of any surprises that come his way.
Armands was one of the best players in Latvian handball before starting his coaching career. In this EURO 2020 team of Latvia squad are some players with whom Uščins himself once played together during his playing days that spans spells with clubs such as Celtnieks and ASK Rīga. Armands moved to Germany where he spent many years as a player and also started his coaching career. He remains one of only three players who has played more than 100 games (128) in national team. After playing his last game in 2013, it wasn’t until 2017 that Armands become the head coach.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events
|No past achievements at the EHF EURO|