Six years of waiting since the coronation at Bercy in 2017, "it scratches a little" according to the president of the Federation Philippe Bana, even though the Blues won Olympic gold in the summer of 2021 in Tokyo.
Facing Denmark, precisely (25-23), their best enemy at the top of the planet hand for ten years.
Beaten in the final of the 2011 World Cup and then of the Euro-2014, the gang of Mikkel Hansen, the man with the headband, had taken revenge by depriving that of Nikola Karabatic of a third Olympic title in a row, in Rio in 2016 Before, therefore, being given back its own coin in Japan a year and a half ago.
A new episode of this thriller series will be broadcast on Sunday in the Tele 2 Arena, where the Blues defeated the Swedish host on Friday (31-26), after having already had the skin of the
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Read alsoWorld Handball: "A success that suffers no dispute" according to Vincent Gérard
Spain, Germany, Sweden and now Denmark: it's a real obstacle course that has been offered to Guillaume Gille and his men.
They went crescendo until the almost perfect score played Friday in the din of the Tele 2 Arena (20,000 spectators) against the Swedes, who had blocked their way in the semi-finals of the World Cup-2021 then Euro-2022 .
“We had the impression of progressing, of playing better and better since the start of the competition,” notes Vincent Gérard.
And this despite the many injuries that have occurred on the way to the goalkeeper and his teammates.
Faced with seven withdrawals (Pardin, Minne, Villeminot, Kounkoud, Konan, Nguessan, Descat) before the start of the competition, Gille has not been able to count on all of its workforce since it started on January 11. in Katowice (Poland).
She advances to the final with a suffering left-back position, with the only specialist Romain Lagarde, starving for playing time lately in Blue, at 100% of his capacity.
Thibaud Briet (right hand), Elohim Prandi (right wrist) and Nikola Karabatic (left foot), for his tenth and last World Cup at 38, will they be restored, at least in part?
Gille knew nothing about it on Saturday and praised his team's "strong ability to adapt to various events that fell on the corner of the face".
Which was also able to draw from the deep reservoir of French handball to pocket eight victories in as many games.
There remains one to glean for, according to Gille, “to concretize this fixed idea, this ambition” displayed from the beginning.
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"Stay on Top"
A first title of world champion since 2017 would also come, according to Nedim Remili, “to concretize the fact that this group, beyond the individual capacities demonstrated in the club, again possesses this collective strength to seek the summits and stay there. ".
The Danes are enthroned at the top of this world summit and want to stay there to achieve, after 2019 and 2021, an unprecedented treble - France and Romania twice each and Sweden have won two world titles in a row.
They can always count on their goalkeeper Niklas Landin, twice the best player in the world in title, and on Hansen, winner of this award three times like Nikola Karabatic (2011, 2015 and 2018).
At 35, the former PSG player is however now used more as a leader, surrounded on the back base by left-hander Matias Gidsel, who has become one of the best in the world in the position, and right-hander Simon Pytlick, revelation of the tournament. height of his 22 years.
A new challenge for the French defense, imperial on Friday, on the road to a seventh crown.