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03.04.2013, 10:10
Spain keen to let the dream continue
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Two months after winning the World Championship, the team gets ready for a big step towards the EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark
 

Spain keen to let the dream continue

It has been just over two months that Spain clinched the title at the Men’s World Championship 2013 on home soil, making a dream come true.

But as life goes on, it is now time for the team to continue up and show that the dream is not a short-lived one.

In this mood, the Spanish squad has arrived in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, where - in the first of two matches against FYR Macedonia - they want to make another step forward towards the qualification for the Men’s EHF EURO 2014 in Denmark.

National head coach Valero Rivera has kept the main block of players who succeeded in January, making only three changes to the team.

Raúl Entrerríos is in the team instead of his brother Alberto, who left the team after becoming world champion.

Rafa Baena has been nominated for Julen Aginagalde, whose left hand is injured, and Chema Rodríguez has come in for Dani Sarmiento, due to a hamstring injury that will keep Sarmiento out of competition for a couple of weeks.

Concerning the changes, the coach commented on the Spanish Handball Federation website: "If I had to put a single objection to the last tournament that would be the sadness of not having the two (Entrerríos) brothers together playing the World Championship."

With regards to Spain's opponent Valero explains that he sees "two very tough matches" ahead of his team. "Especially the first one," as the coach explained.

"They (FYR Macedonia) finished fifth at the EHF EURO (2012) in Serbia, playing outstandingly, and from the World Championship, even though they finished 14th, we must take into account that they drew with Russia and only lost by three goals against Denmark, which forced them to play against Germany in the last 16.

"It is a fantastic group of players which will rely on enthusiastic supporters and will have an extraordinary incentive to beat the current world champions.

"These will be two very important matches for us, as we can secure our qualification for the next EHF EURO 2014, but let me insist, FYR Macedonia are a great team, so we must not relax in any moment."

So far both teams have only played each other once. On 3 June 1998 Spain beat FYR Macedonia 26:19.

The first of the two encounters throws off in Skopje on Wednesday, 3 April, at 17:45 local time in Skopje and second match on 7 April at 12:30 in Guadalajara, Spain.

The Spanish roster for the EHF EURO 2014 qualification matches against FYR Macedonia

Goalkeepers: Arpad Sterbik and José Manuel Sierra

Wings: Víctor Tomás, Albert Rocas, Valero Rivera and Aitor Ariño

Line players: Rafa Baena and Gedeón Guardiola

Back court: Jorge Maqueda, Ángel Montoro, Antonio García, Viran Morros, Joan Cañellas, Raúl Entrerríos, Chema Rodríguez and Carlos Ruesga


TEXT: Francisco Miranda / ts
 
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