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17.11.2015, 15:00
The player every coach asks for
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EHF EURO KEY PLAYERS: Who would have thought that a 1,78 metre tall Victor Tomas, would one day be one of Spain’s, and arguably Europe’s, best handball players
 

The player every coach asks for

If you ask who could be the perfect player for any handball team, the answer is easy: Víctor Tomás. Quality, behaviour, passion - Tomás has all what a coach wants for his team.

Manolo Cadenas, who coaches Tomás in the national team and was also his coach at Barcelona between 2007 and 2009, says that “men who fight their entire live are essential for a team, and Tomás is one of them.”

“Tomás is only 1.78 metres tall, but he is able to stand in front of any player in the world and overcome him. That is why I admire him.”

Tomás played his first games with Barcelona’s first team in 2002, but it was only in 2004 that he signed his first professional contract with the Spanish team. The coach of that season was Xesco Espar.

“At 17 he was like he was today: explosive, a fighter, courageous and with a lot of quality. I was convinced he would be a handball star. I saw Carles Puyol, Barcelona’s football player, in him. He was like him just on the handball court.”

Relentless learning

To date he has scored more than 500 goals in the EHF Champions League. In 2005 he won the competition for the first time; the team’s captain back then was goalkeeper legend David Barrufet.

“When he came to the first team, I saw that he was very professional and that he had a lot of respect for the veterans, and was very eager to learn. He knew how to benefit from his virtues: was very fast and small, but strong, too.

“When a player reaches the first team you try to give him some advice, and Victor listened. He was very clear in what he wanted and was always willing to learn and learn,” says Barrufet.

One of Tomas’ handball friends is BM. Granollers left back Marc Garcia, who played together with Tomas in the Catalan and the Spanish team as well as at Barcelona’s youngsters.

“He always wants everything to go perfect. He has always had the handicap of being small, and a lot of people told him that he can’t play top level handball because he is too small.

“But he has managed to make a virtue out of his biggest flaw. He has reached a level that no one imagined, and now he is Barcelona’s captain.”

Important choices

However, some of Tomas’ secrets why he reached this level cannot be found on court, but lie with his parents, Montse González and Carlos Tomás.

“From early childhood on he loved handball and his father took him to Palau Blaugrana to see Barcelona play,” says Tomas’ mother.

“When he was 10, Victor wanted to stop playing handball because all his friends were playing soccer, but his father told him that there are fewer people who play handball than football, and you will play more if you choose handball.”

Carlos Tomás did not go wrong.

When he was 12 years old, Tomas signed for Barça, but they had no place in the team for him yet, and decided to transfer him to Adrianenc first – just two years later Tomás returned to Barcelona.

“Parents suffer a lot, and we still suffer these days,” says Montse González. “I suffer because my son has a lot of character and I know that if he doesn’t play well, he feels very angry with himself.

“I’m very superstitious, because if Victor doesn’t play a good match, I never wear the same clothes of that day.

“We are very proud of him, but we didn’t realise back then how important handball is for him.

“The first time he travelled with the first team, he called us before he went to sleep, and he said very softly: Mom, do you know who is sleeping in the bed next to me? Rafa Guijosa (former Barcelona player and World Handball Player 1999)!”

Nowadays, almost 15 years later, young Spanish handball players still dream of sharing some time some of the best players of their time – and Tomás is one of them as he has grown into one of the world’s best.


TEXT: Adria Barrio / ts
 
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