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EHF EURO

Flash quotes: France media call

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Szeged, 11 January – Quotes from coach Guillaume Gille, left back Nikola Karabatic and goalkeeper Vincent Gerard (all FRA) at a media call on Tuesday.

Guillaume Gille (FRA) – coach

On the level of the tournament:

“We know we are about to start a tournament with a lot of teams contending for the win. France will have to find a way to medal, in a competition with a lot of uncertainty in it. It is very hard, right now, to pick a favourite for the title.”

On integrating seven new players at the EHF EURO :

“A lot of players have never played the EHF EURO, which makes our task even more difficult. The chemistry does not come easy, it is not as simple as a recipe when you are cooking. There is a lot of work behind this, collective experience and it makes every competition different. It takes time and a lot of work.”

Nikola Karabatic (FRA) - left back

On the opportunity of winning a fourth EHF EURO :

“I have not thought about it yet.The end of the competition seems very far away, we focus only on the preliminary round so far.I have a couple of records already, and I don’t focus on it only, but also about what goes on in the team and taking pleasure with your friends.”

On still being hungry for success :

“It remains a huge honour to wear the national team jersey. For me, it was not the time to stop after the last Olympics. The gold medal was a massive goal for me and now I want to have even more fun. I feel fit, both physically and mentally, and there is no reason I would stop.”

Vincent Gerard (FRA) - goalkeeper

On the two years spent since the EHF EURO 2020 failure :

“Since January 2020, it feels like everything is a blur. Handball-wise, the last EHF EURO was tough, but such an episode can be lived through better by not playing for one year. The year without games, in 2020, allowed us to come back stronger, and have strong foundations and then to progress steadily.”

On the game against Croatia on Thursday :

“We don’t know yet who will be on the court and who will not. We prepare as if [Domagoj] Duvnjak and [Luka] Cindric will play. I don’t know whether they will have revenge on their mind after the Olympic qualification tournament last year. It is an important game, as the points we might win or lose might be very useful for the next round.”

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