After 700 goals for Denmark, Lindberg hopes for fourth EURO medal

FEATURE: The Denmark right wing was the player of the match against Germany, and aims for another highlight of his career in Croatia

Right wing Hans Lindberg reached a milestone 700 goals for Denmark during their 26:25 win against Germany. Photo: Sasa Pahic Szabo

Since 2007, Hans Lindberg has played for German clubs, so matches against Germany are always something special for the Denmark right wing. “It is not only that you face many players you know well from the Bundesliga, but most of the time, those matches are extremely important for both sides – which makes them even more special,” Lindberg told ehf-euro.com the day after the EHF EURO 2018 duel with the Germans, which Denmark won 26:25.

36-year-old Lindberg was awarded man of the match after scoring nine goals in the crucial main round encounter in Varazdin, which brought Denmark quite close to the semi-finals. If they make it, it would be the fourth semi-final appearance for Lindberg, who has never lost a semi on European ground: In 2008 and 2012 he became EHF EURO champion with Denmark, and in 2014, they took the silver medal on home ground.

And 2018? “We do not start calculating before our last main round match against the Macedonians on Wednesday. We focus on them in preparation and start the match with the same goal as usual: win it!”

Though back-court aces Rasmus Lauge Schmidt (23 goals) and Mikkel Hansen (26) are the top scorers for Denmark, the wings have been in focus during the last two matches: First, Lasse Svan netted 11 times against Spain, when 18 of Denmark’s goals were scored by their wings, then Lindberg topped the list versus Germany, bringing his tally to 16. “It is one part of our tactic to get free space for both wing sides, and it worked well with the additional court player against Germany,” Lindberg says.

Svan is currently in question for the match against the Macedonians due to an injury to the upper thigh.

Lindberg was not part of the victorious Denmark squad at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016, but returned to the team for the World Championship 2017. With 250 caps in his tally, he is second behind Lars Christiansen (338) in the all-time record list of international matches for Denmark. During the game against Germany, Lindberg scored his 700th goal for the national team. After his nine strikes in that match, he reached a total of 704.

In the Bundesliga, where he played for HSV Hamburg from 2007 until the financial collapse in 2016, and since then for Füchse Berlin, Lindberg has scored more than 1,700 goals. His contract is valid until his 40th birthday in 2021.

Aside from the two EHF EURO trophies and the silver medal in 2014, he won silver medals at the World Championships in 2011 and 2013, bronze at the World Championship 2007, and raised the VELUX EHF Champions League trophy in 2013 with Hamburg.

Lindberg was top scorer in all competitions he played in the 2012/13 season – EHF Champions League, Bundesliga and German Cup. He was also top scorer of the EHF Cup 2016/17, when he made it to the final with Berlin, but lost to hosts Göppingen.

Looking back on his trophies, the EHF EURO 2018 is still the stand-out memory for Lindberg: “It was our first title with Denmark, we had ended the curse. Everybody said the Danes could only make it to the semis or win bronze medals. With this trophy, we started a series of success to finally make it among the best teams in the world.”

written by Björn Pazen / cg