The defending EHF EURO champions will arrive in Croatia with a new coach, but the same approach – to fight for the medals. After a successful qualification phase, with a clean record of six wins, hopes are high for Germany to continue on that same path.
The team has not changed significantly compared with that of the victorious EHF EURO 2016 squad, though new head coach Christian Prokop has made some additions.
“We were drawn into a tough but interesting group, in which we expect to have something like three away matches in Zagreb against former Yugoslavia sides,” says Prokop of Group C, where Germany will play Montenegro, FYR Macedonia and Slovenia. “We aim to proceed to the main round with the maximum points, but we are aware that the path to Varazdin is steep.”
Germany come into the EURO 2018 as defending champions and bronze medallists at the 2016 Olympic Games. Though they were unexpectedly knocked out in the round of 16 at the World Championship 2017, they remain a favourite in Croatia.
Germany are the only nation apart from Denmark to have won the full Men’s EHF EURO medal set – gold in 2004 and 2016, silver in 2002 and bronze in 1998.
Recent Team News
After missing the victorious EHF EURO 2016 in Poland due to an injury, the valuable captain is back on board for the 2018 campaign.
31-year-old Uwe Gensheimer has been top scorer of the VELUX EHF Champions League twice, with two different clubs: first his home side Rhein-Neckar Löwen in 2010/11, then Paris Saint-Germain in 2016/17.
Gensheimer was the All-star Team left wing at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, where he led Germany to the bronze medal. He received the same award for the 2016/17 season of the VELUX EHF Champions League, when PSG reached the final.
The EHF Cup 2013 champion is famous for his shooting variety, his magic arm and his cool from the penalty line.
The EHF EURO 2016 in Poland changed everything in Andreas Wolff’s life. It was a surprise that he took over the number one role between the posts from Carsten Lichtlein during Germany’s campaign, but he went on to become perhaps the most crucial element of the trophy win.
After an incredible performance throughout the tournament, Wolff was the match winner in the final, saving 48 per cent of Spain’s shots for Germany to claim a 24:17 victory.
He was the deserved EURO All-star goalkeeper, which was followed by more awards such as German handball player of the year, EHF Player of the Month, and even German bearded man of the year. After those awards came the 2016 Olympic Games, where Germany took the bronze.
Ahead of the 2016/17 season, Wolff transferred to THW Kiel, where he forms one of the best goalkeeping duos in the world with Denmark captain Niklas Landin.
After being appointed in February 2017, 39-year-old Christian Prokop entered the sizeable footprints left by his predecessor Dagur Sigurdsson without any problems. Under his guidance, Germany won all four EURO qualification matches, including two games against World Championship 2017 bronze medallists Slovenia. The only defeat occurred on his debut, in a test match in Sweden.
Prokop started as a coach at the age of 25 after a severe knee injury ended his playing career. In parallel with his job with the national team, Prokop coached German Bundesliga side SC DHfK Leipzig until June 2017, before turning his full focus to Uwe Gensheimer & Co. He steered Leipzig to first division in the Bundesliga and was awarded German Handball Coach of the Season for 2015/16.
Prokop’s contract as head coach of the national team expires in 2022, and his long-term goal is Olympic gold in Tokyo.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events