Handball in France
Handball is a very popular sport in France. The French men’s handball team (French: Équipe de France de handball masculin) is a team that represents France in international handball competitions. It is one of the most titled teams in the world: the owner of two Olympic gold medals, six times world champion and three times European champion.
Handball was included in the program of the Summer Olympic Games in 1936, however, the French team failed to qualify for the Olympic tournament. For the first time, the French team took part in the Olympic tournament only in 1992 at the games in Barcelona. The debut was very successful.
His titles are difficult to fit into a few lines – he won everything possible both with the French national team and at the club level – a multiple world, European and Olympic champion, winner of the Champions League and winner of the European Super Cup, the owner of all significant titles in the championships of France, Germany and of Spain In “Barcelona”, his uniform was valued no less than Lionel Messi’s T-shirts.
For one of the strongest clubs in France – “Montpellier” – the boy made his debut in 2000 at the age of 16! And already at 17 he became the national champion, and then came the victory in the Champions League.
In the future, Karabatic’s career developed more than rapidly. Having won two more French championships, Nicolas moved to Germany, where he continued his impressive streak – in each of his four seasons as part of Kiel, he became the Bundesliga winner!
And in 2007, when the Zebras won the title of the strongest club in Europe for the first time in history after beating their arch-rivals Flensburg in the Champions League final, Karabatic became the top scorer of the European tournament. And it happened – in 2007, the Frenchman from the Balkan countries was recognized by the International Handball Federation as the best player in the world.
Career in France
At the age of 14, Nikola was enrolled in the Montpellier Handball Academy. Tall stature and a strong physique made it possible not to get lost even among older comrades. He quickly adapted to physical activity, so the coaches actively used him both in attack and in defense.
Karabatic began playing handball in the French city of Colmar, since 1992 he played under the leadership of his father in the youth team “To” from Frontignan, and from there in 2000 he was invited to the main club of the leadership of his father in the youth team “To” from Frontignan, and from there in 2000 he was invited to the main club of the Languedoc region – Roussillon and one of the strongest clubs in France – Montpellier.
The 2001/02 season was Nikola Karabatic’s first season as a professional handball player. At the age of 17, he became the champion of France for the first time. On November 2, 2002, in the World Cup match France – Russia, he made his debut in the national team. In 2003, along with winning both national titles, Nikola became the winner of the Champions League with Montpellier.
After winning two more French championships, Nikola Karabatic moved to Germany, where he continued his impressive streak – in each of the four seasons with Kiel.
He won the Bundesliga, and in 2007, when the Zebras, having beaten their eternal champions in the Champions League final rivals from Flensburg, won the title of the strongest club in Europe for the first time in history, Karabatic was the top scorer of the League (89 goals).
Gummersbach players try to interrupt the attack of Kiel leader Nikola Karabatic
In 2007, Nikola Karabatic was recognized by the International Handball Federation as the best player in the world.
In January 2011, Nikola Karabatic became the world champion for the second time in his career as part of the French national team and was recognized as the most valuable player in the championship. In August 2012, at the Olympic Games in London, he won the second Olympic gold medal.
In January 2014, Nikola Karabatic won the gold medal of the European Championship for the third time and was awarded the prize for the most valuable player of the tournament. In 2015 and 2017, Nikola Karabatic again managed to win the world championships.
Nikola Karabatic, having won many tournaments and championships, became one of the most famous handball players in the world, thus glorifying France and making his sport even more popular on the world stage.