NewsDetails

Date: 12/16/2016
 

Coach: Eduardo ‘Dady’ Gallardo

 

Key Players: Diego Simonet (Centre Back), Gonzalo Carou (Line Player), Matias Schulz (Goalkeeper)

 

Qualification for France 2017: 3rd at the 2016 Men's Pan American Championship – Buenos Aires, Argentina

 

History in Tournament: 1954-95: DNQ, 1997: 22nd, 1999: 21st, 2001: 15th, 2003: 17th, 2005: 18th, 2007: 16th, 2009: 18th, 2011: 12th, 2013: 18th, 2015: 12th    

 

Overview:

 

18 January 2011. It was the biggest win for Argentina in history. In Gothenburg, the South American side defeated the 2011 World Championship hosts Sweden 27:22 in the preliminary round. The 12th final rank confirmed the team’s potential and marked a qualitative leap forward in the country’s handball development.

 

Four years later, at Qatar 2015, the Argentinians celebrated another unforgettable result. In their debut they draw 24:24 versus Denmark – runners-up at the Spain 2013 World Championship and the 2014 EHF EURO. Once again, impressive performances to finish 12th.

 

“Our goal for France is to reach the handball level we had at Sweden 2011 and Qatar 2015 and improve our highest final rank at World Championships – which was 12th,” says coach Eduardo Gallardo.

 

For 'Dady' Gallardo it is great news that Diego Simonet, their 26-year old star centre back, has recovered from a knee ligament injury suffered in March while playing for the French club team Montpellier HB. “I was very impatient to come back on the court,” Simonet affirmed. “The injury came at a very inconvenient time for me. I missed the EHF Champions League eighth-finals, the French Cup, the Buenos Aires 2016 Pan American Championship and the Olympic Games.”

 

It was not an easy task for Argentina to qualify for the 2017 World Championship without 'le Messi du hand' – as they call him in France, comparing his skills with the ones of the Argentinian football player Lionel Messi. A last minute win against Chile (22:21) in the first round of the 2016 Pan American Championship booked them a spot in the semi-finals of the tournament, where they lost to Brazil 23:20. Finally, they easily beat Uruguay 29:13 in the bronze medal match to secure their place in France.

 

To achieve their goals at the World Championship, Argentina will need to have their right and left wings Federico Pizarro and Federico Fernandez in good shape. Pizarro was the team’s top scorer at Qatar 2015 with 37 goals, while he scored 22 goals at Rio 2016 and 32 at the Pan American Championship. As for Fernandez, he accumulated 22 goals at the 2015 World Championship and was the highest scorer of the team at the last Olympic Games (23 goals) and at Buenos Aires 2016 (37).

 

“At least, we want to make it to the eighth-finals,” says Fernandez. “And our highest goal would be to go a step further and qualify for the quarter-finals. But we know our group is very hard, and it would not be absurd to think that we can be knocked-out in the preliminary round.”

 

Argentina, that finished 10th at the Rio 2016 Olympics, will count on the experience of their 37-year old captain Gonzalo Carou, who will probably participate in his last World Championship. The pivot plays for the Spanish club team Ademar Leon with other important players for Argentina – centre back Sebastian Simonet and right back Federico Vieyra. At the Liga ASOBAL they regularly play against the youngest Simonet brother, Pablo (24 years old), whose level at the national team has grown significantly during this year.

 

34-year old goalkeeper Matias Schulz (Pfadi Winterthur Handball, SUI) plays a crucial role in the Pan American team’s structure. He finished the Rio 2016 competition with a 31% save rate.

 

Coach Eduardo Gallardo is guiding the national team’s training sessions four times a week – including only those who play in Argentina. From mid-December, when the players who perform abroad arrive in the country, they will practice 10 times a week.

 

On 3 January, Argentina will travel to Spain to play the 'Memorial Domingo Barcenas' tournament against the hosts and two other national teams.

 

As it happened in Qatar, the ‘Albiceleste’ side will face Denmark in their France 2017 debut. Will they spring another surprise?

 

 

Group at France 2017:
Group D: Qatar, Denmark, Sweden, Egypt, Bahrain, Argentina

 

Games at France 2017:
All times local


Friday 13 January: DEN-ARG (20:45)
Sunday 15 January: ARG-SWE (14:45)
Tuesday 17 January: QAT-ARG (17:45)
Wednesday 18 January: ARG-EGY (14:00)
Friday 20 January: BRN-ARG (14:00)

 

IHF Social Media during France 2017

Follow the 2017 IHF Men’s World Championship on the IHF.info France 2017 mini-site on our website, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google+.

 

Official France 2017 channels

Join in the conversation around the world using the hashtag #PhenomenalHandball and through the official France 2017 channels – website, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube

 

For Argentina

Follow the official Federation website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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