For many years Luis Miguel Lopez has been the TV voice of handball in Spain. At Lloret 2015 eurohandball.com caught up with the now retired commentator and handball expert
Lopez: "I hope beach handball will grow in Spain because of this"
For 30 years Luis Miguel Lopez has been a handball TV commentator for Spanish channel RTVE, for six years he has been the general director for the handball clubs of Cuídad Real and Atletico Madrid.
But even in his retirement handball does not let him go - but finally he finds some time to also enjoy beach handball.
It is only two years ago that Lopez watched his first matches of beach handball when he visited the European Championships in Randers, and at Lloret 2015 he comes everyday to follow the sport.
"Beach handball is a different sport. The name is handball, but when you compare the two, they are entirely different," he says.
"What I like about it is that it's not about the physical aspect but about the athleticism. Shots like fly-ins and spin shots are truly spectacular - and they are also fantastic to watch for the spectators."
It is 13 years ago that Spain hosted a Beach Handball EURO for the first and only time to date, when the championships came to Cadiz in 2002 - and for Lopez the sport has the possibility to grow.
"It's a good thing for Spanish beach handball that Lloret de Mar hosts the European Championship. I think and I hope that beach handball will grow because of this."
"However, the sport still needs some time to develop. The spectators need to become aware of it - so that they want to come to a championship like this and watch it live.
"So we have to work even harder in Spain to make it more popular."
The tournament has moved to the main round and with both Spanish teams still in the competition, Lopez sees chances at least for one of them to make it to the podium.
"For the Spain's men's team perhaps it is possible to play for a medal. They have a lot of true beach handball specialists and good players in their team," he says.
"For the women it'd be a good performance if they make it to the quarter-finals, maybe the semi-finals. But nevertheless it will be difficult for both of them, there are a lot of good teams out there."
And even though he very much enjoys watching the games a return to the commentating booth for beach handball - which would be a premiere for him - is out of question.
"Oohh, that would be difficult. I would need to study the rules, because they are so different. It would have been nice, but not anymore. I'm retired and I'm just enjoying it," he says with a smile.
"My life still circles around handball and I'm literally watching matches all day."
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