Tomás ended his national team career in 2017 – with the 2008 Olympic bronze medal and the 2013 world title, as well as a bronze medal from the EHF EURO in 2014 and a silver medal from 2016, but without an EHF EURO gold medal.
“Right after I retired, first EURO, I was not there with the team, Spain win the gold medal. Of course, I was super happy for my friends,” Tomás says about the EHF EURO 2018, when Spain finally got onto the European throne.
And, of course, Spain added another gold two years later, in 2020.
Ending his illustrious career without a European title with Spain has been tough to swallow for Tomás. Winning that gold, he says in the interview, “would have been something very, very special.”
According to the former right wing, who spent his entire playing career with Barça, the EHF EURO is the toughest competition to win for any team.
“Even tougher than World Championship or the Olympics,” he says.
Still, even though he did not win it, Tomás cherishes fond memories of playing with Spain at various editions of the two-yearly continental championships.
Like in 2014 in Denmark, when his terrific performance helped Spain beat Norway – the country where his wife, Hege Bolstad, was born.
Or in 2016 in Poland, when he led Spain past Croatia in the semi-final, before Germany in the final prevented them from taking the gold.
Tomás says he is happy with what he has achieved in his national team career.
“It doesn’t matter how the game is going, I will fight and fight and fight. I think this was my best skill in handball,” says Tomás, adding he didn’t have the sheer talent of wing magicians like Uwe Gensheimer or Albert Rocas.
“I have always been aware of what I can or can’t do. This is why I was lucky enough to succeed in handball,” he says. “Making it pretty for me was not the most important. The most important was to be successful.”
Speaking of being successful, Tomás believes Spain could go all the way again in Germany in January at the Men’s EHF EURO 2024, the tournament he serves as one of its ambassadors.
“I don’t think they are favourites,” Tomás says. “But I think they can win.”