With a skilled generation of players nicknamed “Les Experts”, the France national team is considered one of the most talented in handball history.
The three-time EHF EURO winners go into this European Championship aiming to regain the title they last captured in 2014.
In recent years the French fans have been blessed with success. In 2017, France became the first nation to win six world titles adding to their three EHF EURO trophies and two Olympic gold medals.
As well as the trophies, France have also claimed silver medals at the 2016 Olympic Games and the World Championship 1993, as well as bronze at the 1992 Olympics, the World Championships 1997, 2003, 2005 and 2019, and the EHF EURO 2008 and 2018. They are the first and so-far only men’s team to have held all three major international titles at once (2008-2010).
Young players such as Nedim Remili, Ludovic Fabregas and Melvyn Richardson, have shown they have the potential to become world-class athletes and help the team renew itself following the retirement of long-time, key stalwarts Thierry Omeyer and Daniel Narcisse.
With coaching duo Didier Dinart and Guillaume Gille at the helm, the French squad have stayed in contention for major titles. Their last EHF EURO performance saw them take bronze in Croatia two years ago and all eyes will be on the French to better that result this time around.
As three-time recipient of the World Handball Player of the Year award, in 2007, 2014 and 2016, Karabatic is regarded as one of, if not the, best player in French history. With an incredible total of 59 titles and multiple individual recognitions, he is the most recognisable handball player in the world. Karabatic’s list of achievements includes two Olympic gold medals, four world titles and three EHF EURO trophies. He has also won the VELUX EHF Champions League three times, with Montpellier in 2003, THW Kiel in 2007 and FC Barcelona in 2015. Karabatic currently plays for PSG Handball, who reached the VELUX EHF FINAL4 in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18 after he joined.
French captain and a member of the powerhouse FC Barcelona squad, Martinique-born Cedric is one of the best line players in the world. His cooperation with Nikola Karabatic was a cause for panic in any opponents’ defence until ‘Niko’ moved to Paris. Mentored by Dinart, Sorhaindo adapts his game to the requirements of solid defence with great self-sacrifice. Sorhaindo has long been an indispensable member of the team that has claimed four world titles since 2009. He also counts the 2012 Olympic gold, and EHF EURO 2010 and 2014 trophies in his record. With Barcelona, Sorhaindo has won two Champions League titles (2010/11 and 2014/15) and made it to the FINAL4 an additional three times.
After finishing a decorated playing career in 2013, Didier switched immediately to France national squad staff, where he became assistant to head coach Claude Onesta. EHF EURO 2014 and World Championship 2015 titles followed, making Dinart the first member of Les Experts to succeed in retraining to the level of his incredible track record as a player. Together with his former teammate Guillaume Gille, Dinart took the lead of the France national team after the 2016 Olympic Games. The duo claimed the world title on home soil in Paris in January 2017, in what was their first major tournament leading the team. As a trademark specialist defender, Dinart earned the nickname ‘The Roc’ during his days playing in Spain for Ciudad Real.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events