What our internationals have been up to
Heading into the 2019 World Cup, which begins in Denmark and Germany on Thursday, a number of our internationals rounded out preparations with their respective national teams. Check out how they fared...
Luka Karabatic, Luc Abalo, Nedim Remili and the rest of Les Bleus showed no mercy in their double-header with Slovenia. The reigning World Champions played their role perfectly, claiming two comfortable wins at the Kindarena in Rouen (34-25; 29-21). All three of France's capital club players were among the goals in these final hit-outs before defending their title (two for Nedim, four for Luc and Luka). The Experts begin their campaign against Brazil on Monday.
Meanwhile, Henrik Toft Hansen and Mikkel Hansen took on Hungary, also in a double-header. The reigning Olympic Champions showed some up-and-down form, with a massive 14-goal win in the first match (33-19) before falling by three goals in the second (28-25). However, Henrik and Mikki didn't take part in these two matches. Denmark begin their World Cup against Chile on Thursday.
Spain took part in a friendly tournament but showed their competitive pedigree as reigning European Champions with three wins on the bounce. In their first win, 42-25 over Saudi Arabia, our left-back Viran Morros earned his 200th cap for Spain. Rodrigo Corrales and his teammates then beat Poland (34-28) and Belarus (40-29), winning the competition ahead of their opening World Cup clash against Iceland on Sunday.
Gracias familia!!! https://t.co/1GUBq5KoCS— Viran (@Viranmorros) 4 janvier 2019
Sander Sagosen's Norway were in action in the Gjensidige Cup in Oslo, and right from the off, our playmaker was in sparkling form with eight goals in the 31-25 win over Iceland. Restes two days later for the win over the Netherlands (36-29), he once again proved decisive in their third match, scoring seven times in the 30-26 win over Brazil. Doubtless he will once again be in fine form when Norway's World Cup begins against Saudi Arabia on Friday.
Sweden twice did battle with Russia to wrap up their preparations, with a 29-18 win in the first match. Parisian Kim Ekdahl du Rietz scored three times along the way and was once again on show in the second match, which ended honours even (29-29) on Sunday afternoon, scoring another two goals. Sweden start their World Cup against Egypt on Friday evening.
Die Mannschaft and its captain Uwe Gensheimer did their pre-tournament fine-tuning against the Czech Republic and Argentina. Following victory over the Czechs (32-24), Germany steamrolled Argentina 28-13 two days later in an attacking masterclass that saw our left-winger bag eight goals. World Cup winners in 2016, Germany start their campaign against Unified Korea.
Last but not least, Luka Stepancic's Croatia were in action against Montenegro and Italy in the HEP Croatia Cup, claiming two wins (34-22; 28-20), with Luka scoring six against the Italians. The Croatians start their World Cup campaign against Japan on Sunday afternoon.
(Credits: J. Azouze/PSG)