Team Players

Team Info

Croatia are one of the sides with the best pedigree at the IHF Men’s Youth World Championship, having secured four medals and qualified for the semi-finals five times, yet their last medal in the competition came in 2013, when they secured the silver.

In fact, three of the four medals came in the first three editions of the competition, with a bronze at Qatar 2005, a silver medal at Bahrain 2007 and the gold at Tunisia 2009, with a drop in the quality of their performances since then. Since that time, Croatia have been dropping their level, with the latest edition of the IHF Men’s Youth World Championship seeing them finish on the 10th place.

The pressure will be on Croatia this time around, as they will be the hosts of the world handball flagship competition at this age level, with expectations running high and a medal clearly being the objective for the young Croatia side.

Whether they will make it or not is still to be seen, but this generation finished fifth at the M18 EHF EURO 2022, despite a disappointing performance in the main round. Once again, in the preliminary round, they will face Portugal, a team they lost against last summer, 24:25, but the potential is there, as highlighted by the 28:26 win against Denmark in the Placement Match 5/6.

There are several players who already made their debuts for the senior squads, which in a tough competition like the Croatian first league means an important advantage, as the hosts look primed to progress to the main round in a group where they will be facing Portugal, Rwanda and Algeria.

Key players: Toni Zivkovic (right wing), Karlo Juric (right back), Martin Tomšić (centre back), Aleksandar Capric (left back)
Qualification for Croatia 2023: Hosts 
History in the tournament: 2005: 3rd, 2007: 2nd, 2009: Winners, 2011: 8th, 2013: 2nd, 2015: 14th, 2017: 4th, 2019: 10th 
Group at Croatia 2023: Group A (Portugal, Croatia, Rwanda, Algeria)