Görbicz: “With patience you can make dreams come true”
Almost 20 years ago, on 5 November 2000, a young, rising star of Hungarian handball made her debut in the EHF Champions League.
On that rainy Sunday, 17-year-old Anita Görbicz scored four times for Györ in a 23:19 win over Polish side Lublin.
Two decades and nearly 200 European games later, the Györi Audi ETO KC captain has reached an unprecedented milestone: ‘Görbe,’ now 37 and a five-time EHF Champions League winner, broke the 1,000-goal barrier in Györ's match against Odense Håndbold last Saturday.
In this Interview of the Week, Görbicz talks to eurohandball.com about:
eurohandball.com: Two decades ago, you played your first game in the EHF Champions League. What has Europe’s top flight taught you?
Anita Görbicz: I have got a huge amount of experience, many great things to remember. At the beginning, everything was about learning. As the records of Györ show, we have learned the way of success from our mistakes and evolved. After 2013, the tide has turned and one of the most dominant periods has come. I am very proud of this, as I am one of the members of the history-making team.
eurohandball.com: What were your happiest and saddest moments in 20 years of EHF Champions League handball?
Anita Görbicz: After so many clashes it is hard to highlight only one particular moment. There are so many memories and obviously the wins are the most precious ones. When I lifted mine and the club’s first Champions League trophy on my birthday, that day is still special. The taste of winning never gets boring, so the next four triumphs are also very close to my heart. Over such a long time, it is normal that many bitter moments came along as well, like the multiple lost finals. However, these memories are always with me as well. I think I have learned from those heartbroken moments. I needed those memories to become who I am right now, and the club for what it is right now: the world’s best women’s handball side.
eurohandball.com: A lot of handball players have grown up, watching you play as their idol. What does it mean to you to be followed by so many people?
Anita Görbicz: It is a huge honour and I am very happy about it, however, it is not why I started playing handball. What I am most proud of is sharing my knowledge and experience with the youngsters in my team. There were always newcomers among my teammates, to whom I could show something new. I was glad that they listened to me. I have also read many interviews where opponents named me as their favourite. It feels very great, it is wonderful.
Nobody was born as a winner. You need to go through defeats with patience in order to be at the top.
Anita Görbicz: To be very honest, I do not. After 20 years, this has been wiped out of my memory.
eurohandball.com: After 1,000 goals, have opponents seen every way from you to score a goal?
Anita Görbicz: My opponents know me very well. It is true, like in every sport, that nowadays you can learn a lot from watching videos. You do not have to show anything new, but you have to find the best angles, show your best and find the solutions. Nobody is perfect, everybody makes mistakes, I am also not infallible. I try to be not predictable for the goalkeepers in order to score more and more.
eurohandball.com: What would the current Anita Görbicz tell the Anita Görbicz from 20 years ago?
Anita Görbicz: To be patient is the most important. Often only small little things decide about your future. You need to be confident and not walking on the same road where you experienced failure. Those moments actually help you. Nobody was born as a winner. You need to go through defeats with patience in order to be at the top.
eurohandball.com: How do you prepare for life after your playing career?
Anita Görbicz: I do not have exact goals. My family comes first. I would like to spend as much time as possible with my son, Boldizsár. I am not thinking about being a coach, but I know that Györ will be always there for me and that feels great.
eurohandball.com: What has changed in handball over the past 20 years?
Anita Görbicz: Almost everything: the game has become much faster and players are more flexible. Back then, most of the players had their own positions, but nowadays most players are multifunctional and can play in numerous positions.
eurohandball.com: What would be your advice to young players dreaming of competing in the EHF Champions League one day?
Anita Görbicz: The most important is to be patient and humble. You have to sacrifice many things to become the best. But you are not alone. Your mates have to share the same goal, without them you can never reach your dreams.
Anita Görbicz: Györ is my city, the club itself is practically my family. I have grown up here and learned every little detail of handball. It has made me who I am. I am thankful to the club and grateful that we achieved many triumphs together.
I am really happy and proud of the 1,000th goal, but it couldn't happen without my teammates and my club. It is important of course, but it will be more important for me when I have finished my career.