The most successful nation in the history of the EHF EURO will be aiming to celebrate a fifth gold medal at this year’s event – and with the final set in Stockholm, the whole of Sweden is hoping for a fairytale ending.
Two years ago at EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia, the Swedes narrowly missed out on that fifth gold, losing out to Spain having earned their place in the final after edging an epic semi-final against Scandinavian rivals Denmark. However, despite the loss to the Spanish, they could take heart from their best performance at a European Championship in 16 years.
Having taken a fourth title in the first five editions of the competition when winning gold on their home court in 2002, what followed up until 2018 was a period of disappointment. In 2006 the team failed to even qualify for the finals and between 2010 and 2016 the best finish the Swedes could muster was a fifth in 2008.
Under the leadership of Kristján Andrésson, who took control in 2016, results have steadily improved, with the Swedes finishing in the top six in all European and World Championships in that time.
Andrésson will leave his role at the end of this tournament to focus on his job with German outfit Rhein-Neckar Löwen, so success on their home court here could the most fitting of farewells.
Sweden has had a great history producing top class goal keepers and Mikael has continued that tradition. Growing up in Uddevalla he went onto play for three years in the top Swedish league with IFK Skövde before moving to German Bundesliga side Medlingen for three years. Since 2015 he has featured for Rhein-Neckar Löwen where he is the current team captain. He became German champion 2016 and 2017 and played an important part in the Swedish silver squad in Euro 2018.
Centre back and Swedish captain who hails from Ystad, a hotbed for numerous international handball players. Jim began his career locally with IFK Ystad and Ystad IF before moving to Germany to sign for SC Flensburg-Handwitt in 2013. Made his national team debut for Sweden in 2012 and has gone onto score over 250 times in the yellow and blue. Was part of the Sweden side that won silver in EHF EURO 2018 in Croatia where he was named Most Valuable Player in their first final for 18 years.
After an injury ended his playing career aged just 24, Kristjan turned his attentions to coaching and began coaching as an assistant for Eskilstuna Guif in the Swedish top flight. A year later the former Iceland international became head coach and led the side to two Swedish championships in his nine years at the helm. It wasn’t until 2016 that he took control of the Swedish national team, where he helped the nation win its first medal since in 2002 when scooping silver at EHF EURO 2018. Juggles his national team duties by also coaching Germany Bundesliga outfit Rhein-Neckar Löwen.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events