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06.11.2015, 11:50
The wizard at the EHF EURO 2008
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HEROES OF THE FINAL: Gold eluded Croatia's centra back Ivano Balic at the final tournament 2008, but the final still held a special moment for him
 

The final at the EHF EURO 2008 had come to an end, the last ball had been played and Denmark had won 24:20 against Croatia.

However, when the event's All-star team was named after the game, the Danish fans for a moment forgot celebrating their team and started celebrating the opponents instead, or one player to be precise: Ivano Balic.

"Ivano Balic, Ivano Balic" they cheered when the Croatian was awarded best centre back.

"It was a gorgeous moment, which made me feel so proud. This moment eclipsed the pains after this final defeat – but only a little," says Balic looking back.

29 years old he was back then and at the very height of his handball career.

At first at the EHF EURO 2004 in Slovenia followed by the 2004 Olympic Games, the World Championship 2005, the EHF EURO 2006 and the World Championship 2007 he had been named MVP.

In 2003 and 2006 he had been furthermore voted World Handball Player of the Year.

The EHF EURO 2008 was another event where he proved his excellence. He led Croatia all the way to their first EHF EURO final.

The 44 goals he scored along the way turned him into the joint tournament top scorer alongside Denmark's Lars Christiansen and France's Karabatic.

And even though the gold medal eluded him, he is worthy of being name a 'Hero of the Final'.


TEXT: EHF / ts
 
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