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27.09.2007, 18:22
EHF Champions League introduces: Vlado Sola 2/4
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In these 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.
 

EHF Champions League introduces:
Vlado Sola (CO Zagreb) – part 2/4  

Vlado Sola on the top of the Olympic podium in AthensIn these 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.

Croatia Zagreb lost against Ademar Leon on Wednesday evening and we found a gloomy Vlado Sola on the other end of the phone in Zagreb. However, this week we asked him about the best times of his rich career and these memories apparently gave him his good mood back.

Vlado Sola: I’m badly. We lost yesterday and than you never feel too good when you lose.

Eurohandball.com: Are you serious? With all the experience you’ve got you still can’t sleep after a defeat?

Vlado Sola: No, I couldn’t sleep well, I was nervous. But after all, when you lose, you don’t play well, it doesn’t bring any satisfaction…

Eurohandball.com: So Zagreb didn’t play well… Please tell us about the game.

Zagreb "must win" next weekVlado Sola: In fact, we started well, and we had a wonderful first 20 minutes in attack and in defence as well. Then something went wrong. There was a 4-minute suspension on our side and in this period we made many mistakes. We started to shoot in a hurry and our defence was not the same any more.

Leon played at home in front of a great public. We improved a bit, but we didn’t have a chance for much more.

Eurohandball.com: The next Champions League game will be at home within a week. What do you expect?

Vlado Sola: I’m sure we can play better – and not only for 20 minutes, but for the entire game. We will have a full sports hall and we must win.

Eurohandball.com: What does “full sports hall” mean and what is the atmosphere like for a match like this in Zagreb?

Vlado Sola: 8-9,000 people come who are a bit crazy. They are also football supporters and they make a big show.

Eurohandball.com: Let’s get back to the story of your career. You won two great events: the 2003 World Championship in Portugal and the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Which was the more difficult?

The Croatian fans love the handballersVlado Sola: The most difficult was the World Championship in Tunisia when we lost the final against Spain.

In Athens everything was easy. We won 10 games out of 10, in Portugal we had a young team and nothing would have happened if we lost. In Tunisia we lost the last game and it’s an empty feeling. We played badly in the second half against Spain and than you feel empty as if you would not have done anything…

Eurohandball.com: You talk about the Croatian national team with a lot of enthusiasm in your voice. What does it mean for you?

Vlado Sola: Croatians are especially proud to play for their country; it’s a special satisfaction for the athletes. I know some players who don’t want to because they have injuries or other problems – this is the case of the basketball team at the moment – but this is bad advertisement for them.

People love the handball team because we never say no.

Eurohandball.com: You also had a long period after 1996 when you did not play…

Vlado Sola: I was disappointed and I felt emptiness for years. I love to play for Croatia, so when Lino Cervar called me up again, I was as happy as I was at the first time.

Eurohandball.com: What was your role in the team that won the 2003 World Championship in Portugal?

Mediator between the young players and the experienced, such as MatosevicVlado Sola: First they just told me to come and play. Then I started to communicate with the many young players in the squad. They trusted me, so I was the mediator between the older players (Goluza, Jovic, Matosevic) and the young ones.

Eurohandball.com: Does age matter in handball at all?

Vlado Sola: Always the best handballers must play in a national team. If a player is in good form and wants to give everything, he has to play. Svensson has the same age as I have and he is still playing, for example.

Eurohandball.com: Will you have a chance to get back to the Croatian side again?

Vlado Sola: I had a long injury, it’s true. I talked to our coach and he said: »If you get in good form, I will take you to the Euro and to the Olympic Games«. So I just have to get my form back, but we will see. I want to be there anyway. If I can’t play, I will go as an adviser or supporter or anything…

Eurohandball.com: The greatest title you have is undoubtedly the Olympic gold medal. Do you agree?

Sola still talks with great emotions about the Games in AthensVlado Sola: Well, a European Championship is more difficult to win than the Olympic Games, to be honest. Still, this is what you dream of when you are young. No one dreams of a European Championship, you just go and play…

The Olympic Games have thousands of years of history and this is the greatest event for any sportsman. In addition, I won in Athens that makes you twice as happy. In Greece you feel that there is a connection between the old and the modern athletes.

Eurohandball.com: You seem to be a sports fan, not only a handball player…

Vlado Sola: Yes, of course. I love to watch ice hockey or rugby, for example. These are dynamic, quick games, but if something is interesting, I watch it.

The other day I was watching weightlifting in the TV. You see that the athletes invest a lot of energy into this sport and you get to appreciate it.

Next week will be a very important one for Zagreb. As Vlado Sola confirmed, they must win at home, which always makes things complicated. We will see and after the game we will ask the goalkeeper about different matters: the new and forming CO Zagreb team. 

Previously:

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

 


TEXT: Eurohandball.com
 
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