«Spain has an immaculate trajectory in terms of results but also in terms of game. He has demonstrated an exquisite solvency in all the matches, he has been able to distribute the efforts among the entire squad and we reach this second phase more rested, ”says David Pisonero, coach of Atlético Valladolid, who closely follows the developments of the European Championship. Now, with the Hispanics in the second phase of the competition, Pisonero affirms that «Spain is going to measure itself with rivals that, apart from Croatia, are not of the first order, such as the Czech Republic, Austria and Belarus, but if anything has been demonstrated This European is that the level of handball in general has risen many integers and surprises are not so much because everyone works hard and very well ». The elimination of France is precisely a surprise, although for Pisonero «the generational change in France is noted, they are another type of players, more physical but have not yet acquired the game of their predecessors and have paid a bad start, but also Merit must be given to Portugal, which has taken a qualitative leap, as have Iceland, Belarus, Slovenia or Austria. They are selections that must be taken into account because they have experienced great growth ».
As for the Spanish national team, Pisonero acknowledges that «in comparison to other teams, Hispanics lack a superstar, or a very physical player who makes a difference, but that is palliated with exquisite tactical richness, with intelligence. Before the Latvia of Kristopans we had a slight tactical touch. That is the merit of Spain, which has a staff of excellent players, who know very well the handball and all bring brilliance and efficiency to the game ». And in this sense and despite the veteranity of some players, the Valladolid coach is in favor of not touching the election of Jordi Ribera. «It is true that they are the same as always, but they work and have to complete their Olympic cycle. Ribera knows the Spanish quarry very well and already prepares future selections ».
On the other hand, regarding the novelties offered by this World Cup, Pisonero said he is pleased to see “that only seven against six is played, except Portugal that practices it for Porto” and is in favor of all technical advances “while keep the flow of the game ».
Czech Republic, a very strong defense and a great goal
For David Pisonero, the Czech Republic is a bone, but affordable. «They are playing very well in defense and their goalkeeper, veteran Galia is stopping almost everything. They also have two men in the front line who make the difference such as Babak and Zdrahala, helped perfectly by the side Kasparek, ”says the coach of Atlético Valladolid, who says that“ now almost all teams have very physical players, with great power and very good one on one ». With a very powerful first line, the Czech team may dispense excessively with its pivot and prefer throws from the perimeter or the middle distance. The Czech Republic overcame the first phase with a defeat against Austria and two tight victories against North Macedonia and in the last match against Ukraine.
Belarus, the cover ready to surprise anyone
«For me it is the great cover of this European. It has a truly ‘Champions’ squad, they have a great progression in the last tournaments and their game has won a lot. They just need to finish off their good handball with a great continental tournament, something that is not easy because in this sense they lack experience, ”says the coach of Atlético Valladolid, who was tempted precisely by Meshkov Brest. «The Nikulenkau center, the Kulesh, Pukhovski or Shylovich sides and the Karalek pivot are excellent players who practice a very fluid, fast and combinatorial handball. Perhaps the goal is its least strong point, ”says Pisonero. Belarus, whose best result has been an eighth place in the European European in 1994, is led by veteran Chevtsov and only lost to Croatia in the previous phase.
Austria, host and depending on central Bilyk
She is one of the hosts of the tournament and for that reason she can already appear among the favorites. In addition, the Austrian team is perhaps one of the most evolved and improved in recent years. His best position in a European was a ninth place in 2010, precisely held in Austria, and everything suggests that this result will improve. «They are a very strong block. In fact, last year they already won Spain in the EHF Cup. They have a very strong, very tough defense, undoubtedly influenced by their coach, Ales Pajovic. It also has a goal that is working very well, ”says Pisonero. «His star is Bilyk, who plays for the German Kiel. If this young player has his day, Austria will be a very complicated opponent. Austria has gone round winning its three games with total solvency against the Czech Republic, Macedonia and Ukraine.
Croatia, eternal favorite that has never won the European
She is the eternal favorite, but she has never won a European, although she has two silvers and three bronzes in her brilliant medal winners, and she wants to recover from the discreet sixth place achieved precisely in 2018 as a hostess. «Croatia has an excellent initial seven, but that comes down with the changes, so it usually reaches the finals of the tournament with its overly punished and fatigued main men. In any case, it is, a priori, the rival of Spain to lead the road in the semifinals. It has an exceptional first line with Duvnjak, Karacic, Cindric and Stepancic, to which Veterans Horvat and Musa join and may now be weaker in the goal, ”said Pisonero. In the first round, Croatia counted its matches for victories against Belarus, Montenegro and Serbia.