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21.09.2007, 10:48
EHF Champions League introduces: Vlado Sola 1/4
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The second player we introduce in our interview series is the Croatian Vlado Sola. The World and Olympic champion goalkeeper is a colourful personality - and not exclusively because of his constantly changing hairstyle...
 

EHF Champions League introduces:
Vlado Sola (CO Zagreb) – part 1/4  

Sola celebrating the World Championship titleIn the next four weeks, we will introduce you CO Zagreb goalkeeper, Vlado Sola. The Croatian handballer reached his best results with the national team. He won silver medal at the 1995 World Championship in Iceland, just as in 2005 Tunisia. Sola took the gold medal at the 2003 WCh in Portugal, and he is also Olympic Champion of Athens 2004.

Apart from being a good and successful goalkeeper, Sola is also a colourful personality – don’t think only about his hairstyle – who is more than pleasant company and a favourite of journalists with his witty comments.

This week, Vlado talks us about his early career and tells us who supported and influenced him the most during his career.

Eurohandball.com: Tell us first about the start of your career. When and where did you play handball for the first time?

Vlado Sola: I started like every kid: at school. We were 12 when we had a choice: football, handball or basketball. Most of my classmates chose handball and so did I also. No one wanted to be a goalkeeper, so I chose this position: I was a goalkeeper from the very first time…

Eurohandball.com: Are you from a sports family that gave a lot of support?

In the goal since the age of 12Vlado Sola: No, I’m the only professional sportsman in the family, but my parents – especially my mother – helped me a lot. Once as a kid I wanted to stop handball and she insisted that I continue.

Later my wife gave very important support for my career. I had some long and bad injuries – a knee injury earlier or the shoulder injury that kept me out of action last year – and she was always there to help and encourage me. We married in 1994 and we have a 13-year old daughter.

By the way, there is my cousin in the family who is a sportsman too. He is the team captain of the Croatian bob team… It is something like the Jamaican one. There is not much snow in Split, but they have a team. He is famous in Croatia.

Eurohandball.com: Where did you play handball in Croatia?

Vlado Sola: I began my career in Medvescak Zagreb and also played for Sisak – a small side near Zagreb – for a year. In Medvescak I played together with Mirko Basic. I learnt a lot from him during the season that we were together.

Basic was not the same kind of goalkeeper as I am – I’m rather like Sterbik, big and fat. He had a different style, but I tried to learn his way of thinking, his tactical knowledge and his technique. Now we work together again in Zagreb.

Eurohandball.com: Do you remember your first match in the Croatian national team?

Vlado Sola: Of course I do. It was the first ever national game of Croatia in August 1990. We played against Japan. I was member of the national team until the 1996 Olympic preparations, but the coach did not take me to Atlanta. A long break followed and I was away from the team for seven years. Lino Cervar was the one to call me up again.

Eurohandball.com: Who were the best players you ever met?

The best in the world for Sola: Alexandre TuchkinVlado Sola: Oh, it’s a very difficult question… I played four years in Minden where we had handballers such as Magnus Andersson, Pettersen and many others.

In Croatia we had a fantastic national team with players such as Smajlagic, Saracevic, Perkovac, Puc or Cavar.

On the international stage, the bests were the Swedes, the strong Russians… Dujshebaev was great, but for me – apart from the Croatians – Alexandre Tuchkin was the best player ever.

Tuchkin also had many injuries, but it was impressive how easily he could score ten goals a game. Unfortunately we never played together, because I left Minden before he arrived.

Eurohandball.com: You played in many countries and you are famous for speaking also many languages…

Vlado Sola: No, I only speak English, German and a bit of French. This is also useful, because I can talk to the chef in my restaurant in Zagreb. I could not learn Hungarian when I played there, for example.

A favourite of journalistsEurohandball.com: So you are preparing for life after handball…

Vlado Sola: Yes, of course I’m thinking of it. In fact, I would like to stay inside handball, but I want to keep my independence. I opened a restaurant, a sports bar in Zagreb. There is jazz music once a week that I like very much and I enjoy working with it.

Next week we will ask Vlado about the most successful periods of his career, but we will also talk to him about the first CL game of Zagreb in León.

Previously:

The László Nagy (FC Barcelona) interview series


TEXT: Eurohandball.com
 
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