the theme of the French national Handball team Nikola Karabatić is once again. But now in a different facet: The 34-year-old world-class players missing at the world Cup in Germany and Denmark due to a surgery on the left big toe. Almost 20 major tournaments has denied the charismatic game designer for the French. The Olympic victories in 2008 and 2012 would have been without him, just as little conceivable as the four title at the world Championships since 2009. What a balance! Now, the title defenders France has to make do without his athletic and mental leader. The long-cherished hopes, Karabatić will after the procedure in the past year, but still fit in time, were dashed.

Often enough, he had played with injuries, had preceded, had been brought to the game of “Les Experts”. Inexperienced to be a substitute, however, is not. The 27-year-old Kentin Mahé has already experienced too much. Four stations in the Bundesliga, the last champion without the use of the SG Flensburg-Handewitt, now for the Hungarian club KC Veszprém at the Ball – Mahé has played the French almost 100 games for his country. It will now arrive on to him. Because of Mahé, versatile, is provided to the Team of national coach Guillaume Gille and Didier Dinart as a playmaker.

Handball world championship 2019 live Ticker for this

Along with Nicolas Claire to share Mahé, the steering, in Team of France. But the left-handed Dika Mem, and Valentin Porte can make the game. Four players will share the role of the great Karabatić. Since the question comes up, whether it comes in the case of any Individual to more power, with more self-confidence because the coach is now suddenly the one who controls everything, but a four-man, take the responsibility. Mahé said the “basketball week”: “at the age of 27, I role automatically. Since there’s no way around it. But to assume you, as Niko had you not. Everybody has to make his own way. I’m not the mirror image of Niko, I have to go my way.“ Mahé speaks very good English, because the Paris-born handball player, went with nine years to Dormagen, where his father Pascal played as a professional.

measure of all things

For the French, it is a challenge, but also a stimulus to play without the year-long leader. Mahé believes that the competition to take his team are now weakened rather true, it was still Karabatić, who threw the decisive Pass or an offensive foul that got out when it was tight. The need to take others. There is a willingness to rise to the occasion, and the Can also. Whether Mahé and co. managed to but a “mental Leadership” à la Karabatić, then doubt it.

with regard to the successes and also the structures, is France’s Handball is the measure of all things. The League has tremendously caught up and is heavily occupied. The last two Teams to the Final Four of the Champions League were qualified, Nantes, and the eventual champion Montpellier. In Créteil, the house of the hand-ball is just created, the modern, spacious Association headquarters, with opportunities for play, Training, administration, training, media work. Also, for the French women, which won the world Cup in Germany is also the European championship at home.

In such an imposing solution the German handball Federation (DHB) thinks, as President, Andreas Michel man said recently. In Creteil, the French prepared to this world Cup. She starts for the defending Champions this Friday (20.30 clock/ live in the F. A. Z.-Liveticker zur Handball-WM) with the game against Brazil. On Tuesday, the much anticipated preliminary round of the climax against Germany. France should move according to expectations in the main round, waiting there in Cologne delightful duels, probably with Spain and Croatia. And admired of the right rear room is admired in the French. The left-handed sports Mem, Dipanda, Remili and Melvyn Richardson, actually right outside, and the son of a Handball legend Jackson Richardson – the means for the Trainer-Duo Gille and Dinart be spoilt for choice.