“I’m gonna win”: Kristina Liscevic is on song
When your plans are not fulfilled, despair can come in different ways. When wins are scarce and defeats mount, you try and find refuge in everything you can.
This is not a story about dealing with losses, but about the sheer joy expressed by a handball player trying to decompress and explore her passions - through handball and music.
For years, Serbian international Kristina Liscevic has been one of the most creative playmakers in the EHF Champions League. A globetrotter, she has played in her native Serbia, France, Hungary, Russia, and Denmark, now plying her trade in Romania for SCM Ramnicu Valcea.
Creativity is expressed in many ways, both on and off the court, with Liscevic trying to decompress after tough games, be it wins or losses, through music.
The 31-year old centre back is in her second season for Valcea, a place she already calls home. A place where her creativity was moulded into “I’m gonna win”, an uplifting anthem which has been released just weeks before Liscevic is set to represent Serbia at the EHF EURO 2020 in Denmark.
eurohandball.com: Let’s talk handball first. Valcea are on a five-game losing skid. Is it tough for you to manage the situation?
Kristina Liscevic: It is absolutely hard. We struggled a lot this season, we had injuries, an outbreak of Covid-19, so everything went against us. We have not been able to field a complete team from the start of the season and this affected our season. But we have been slowly getting better and better and our one-goal loss against Buducnost in round 8 was tough, but a sign of improvement. I feel we are getting closer and closer to win our first game and we are ready to secure that elusive game, but it is still tough physically.
eurohandball.com: With five losses in a row, is there a light at the end of the tunnel?
Kristina Liscevic: We do not think about this at all. We go out there to try and win every game, we are preparing very good and I think we are evolving on a game-by-game basis. Surely, this whole situation is affecting us, but, in my book, we are focusing on getting those wins. We still have a lot of games to play and we only need one win to really get going.
eurohandball.com: Do you think Valcea can still progress to the play-offs of the DELO EHF Champions League?
Kristina Liscevic: I am completely sure. I am absolutely positive that at some point, the results will bank our way. We put in the hard work required for everything to work out fine, so I am sure that we will win some games this season.
eurohandball.com: Next up is the EHF EURO with Serbia. Are you ready for this challenge?
Kristina Liscevic: Yes, I am. It is difficult to speak about the shape of the team. Because of all those challenges, some teams are struggling, the balance is quite hard to find now, but, personally, my expectations are high. I am happy to have some of the important players back, despite others missing due to injuries, like Dragana Cvijic. But, overall, I want to fulfil my expectations and play some good handball. Our group could have been better, could have been worse, but I expect to progress to the main round, as we are facing a tough challenge in meeting Netherlands, Hungary and Croatia.
eurohandball.com: Let’s talk a little bit about music…
Kristina Liscevic: … it is a passion. Next to handball, probably the biggest. So, I have learnt to play the guitar via YouTube, I am a self-taught guitar player, I know to play a little bit of music, nothing too difficult, of course. I also like to make some noise in the house, to sing a little bit, it makes me feel good.
eurohandball.com: Oh, I could have sworn that you are a professional, listening to your first song…
Kristina Liscevic: I always liked to write some lyrics in my notebook, but it is quite difficult, as I am not an English native speaker. But I was always going to make the next step in this and I found a bit of help from my teammate, Mireya Gonzalez, who is really good at shooting videos. So, she pushed me a little and, having already made a presentation video for me when I signed for Esbjerg, she joked that she would direct my first video.
eurohandball.com: So you were under a little bit of pressure to deliver, really…
Kristina Liscevic: Well, I love romantic songs, easy music, so this was a big leap. I really do not know how this really came up. But I had the chorus in my mind, it fitted well together. So, I started humming it a little and, well, the idea took off from that moment. And I ended up recording this song.
eurohandball.com: And Mireya outdid herself with the video, didn’t she?
Kristina Liscevic: The video is absolutely amazing. I am over the moon with how everything panned out. It is true, we had a little bit of spare time, because we had to go into quarantine for a long time, but this was a seven-month effort, because Mireya thought everything out. We thought every day about each frame, about each moment of the clip and the result was truly superb.
eurohandball.com: Did you find it hard to convince all your teammates to feature in it?
Kristina Liscevic: Not at all. It was really a teambuilding exercise, it really helped us connect and make us a better team. They felt very good, both in uniform and trying to blow off some steam and we really did not expect so much help from them. It was amazing!
eurohandball.com: Did you receive any feedback? And what’s next?
Kristina Liscevic: Well, I did not have the time to scroll through all the comments, but my WhatsApp has been blowing up, so it must be good. We do not have plans for the future, we just wanted to complete this and prove to ourselves that there is life beyond handball, that we can relax and drink coffee all day and enjoy what the future brings. It is one song, but, just maybe, it is not a one-off.