“I still do not believe it, I am almost in ‘shock’ to be able to go to a World Cup with all the great figures of Spanish handball that are in this team.” Sergey Hernandez, one of the two new features on the ‘Hispanics’ list for the World Championship that will be held from January 13 to 31 in Egypt, you will never forget this tournament. Neither Ruben Marchán, to take over from Julen Aguinagalde at the pivot of the selection.
They are two of the young promises of Spanish handball and will be part of the block that hopes to return from Egypt with the third world title in the history of Spain. The company could appear affordable for the current European champions. And it is. However, this World Cup is special. Because for the first time the tournament has 32 teams instead of 24, which requires two group stages before the final qualifiers. And because the shadow of the pandemic has been present in the preparation and organization of the tournament.
Just a friendly
At the sporting level, the selection of Jordi Ribera He has only been able to make a friendly before traveling to Cairo. It was before Croatia, another of the great favorites. And although it ended with a Hispanic defeat, it served to adjust details and make it clear that the team is arriving at a good pace. Also with clear ideas, although that is not surprising, because little has changed the cards since a year ago Spain will be crowned as champion of the old continent. And that is the great advantage of the national team: that they arrive in Egypt with a consolidated group that does not need too many sessions to understand each other and bring the game together.
Something vital in the already dubbed World of Unknowns. Because most teams are going to have to pick up pace during the tournament itself. And although the ‘Hispanics’ are not 100% start in a perfect group to get in tune and reach the ‘Main Round’ in the best of conditions.
Brazil, in the debut
Spain debuts on Sunday (6:00 p.m. tdp) before Brazil and his is a group without favorites but also without cinderellas, which is going to force Jordi Ribera’s team to plug in from the first moment. After measuring yourself to Brazil, Poland and Tunisia, It is expected that the ‘Hispanics’ access the next phase and face the first three of group A, in which Germany and Hungary they start as favorites.
Although the real ‘coconuts’ of the tournament are Croatia, Denmark and Norway, who together with Spain will fight to conquer the world throne. The Croatians, runners-up in Europe, arrive with the loss of Luka stepancic and the doubt of Igor Karacic although they still have players of the talent of Domagoj Duvnjak or of the azulgrana Luka cindric. Denmark also has casualties, which is presented with the young promise Emil jakobsen. In the favorites equation you could add the almighty France, who is still in trouble and has run out of NIkola Karabatic. Also to effervescent teams such as Hungary, Portugal or Argentina.
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Many names and more uncertainty in a World Cup in which United States and Russia participate as guests. A World Cup without the media or spectators that was about to be played with the stands full. COVID-19 has changed everything. What will not change is a month full of emotions and handball that can end with another trophy in the showcases of Spain.
Denmark defends title in a tournament with 32 teams
He Egypt World Cup, which will be played from today until January 31 and in which Denmark will defend the title, will count, for the first time in history, with the presence of 32 teams, which will be divided into eight groups of four teams each. The first three of each group will go to the second phase dragging the results, so the result of each match will be essential to have a chance to reach the quarter-final crosses.
Spain is paired in Group B with Brazil (day 15), Poland (day 17) and Tunisia (day 19) and if the logic is fulfilled, in the second phase they will meet the teams of group A in which they are Germany, Hungary and Cape Verde.
Group C is made up of Croatia, Qatar, Japan and Angola; In group D are: Denmark, Argentina, Bahrain and Congo; in group E: Norway, Austria, France and the USA; in the F: Portugal, Algeria, Iceland, Morocco; in the G: Sweden, Egypt, Czech Republic and Chile; And in the H: Slovenia, Belarus, South Korea, Russia.
The first phase will run from January 13 to 19, the second from January 20 to 25; The quarters will be played on the 27th, the semifinals on the 29th and the final on the 31st.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.