01 Jul. 2020
As part of the celebration and lead up to the first annual International Handball Week, the IHF is pleased to announce the nominees for the 2019 IHF Male World Player of the Year. The five finalists were decided in January by a panel of 18 experts, comprised of nine top coaches and nine IHF experts.
Twelve nations were represented in the first round of selections before the narrowing down to the final five players. France and Norway both counted five representations in the broader expert vote.
Fans will decide the award winner between the five finalists (more information below). The winners will be announced at the end of International Handball Week on 18 July. And the nominees are…
Presenting the 2019 IHF Male World Player of the Year nominees! Be ready for voting to open on Friday on https://t.co/lYxJ8E2S0G ? #bestofhandball #handballweek #staystrong @dhf_haandbold @NORhandball @HRStwitt pic.twitter.com/HtstiF3ixQ— IHF (@ihf_info) July 1, 2020
Mikkel Hansen – Denmark / Paris Saint-Germain HB
Left back/centre back
Hansen was one of the stand-out players as Denmark clinched their first ever world title on home soil in January 2019. Hansen’s position as the top scorer – 72 goals – and MVP of the 2019 IHF Men’s World Championship reflect his particular importance in the historic victory. He also ranked among the top in terms of assists at Germany/Denmark 2019, in fifth with 37 assists during the World Championship.
Later in 2019, although Hansen’s club Paris Saint-Germain did not reach the Champions League finals, he was named the All-star Team left back for that competition. Hansen was also named the All-star Team left back in the French championship, where PSG took the title for the fifth season running.
Sander Sagosen – Norway / Paris Saint-Germain HB
Left back/centre back
In January 2019, Sagosen led Norway back to the World Championship final, where they played for the title against the event hosts for the second consecutive time. Norway finished with the silver medal, and Sagosen was named the All-star Team left back. Sagosen’s Germany/Denmark 2019 statistics are an inverse of Hansen’s – the Norwegian back led the competition with 47 assists and was the fifth top scorer with 51 goals.
Playing alongside Hansen at PSG, Sagosen also won the French championship and was named the best centre back in the domestic league.
Niklas Landin Jacobsen – Denmark / THW Kiel
Landin was another key to Denmark’s world title win in 2019, and was named the All-star Team goalkeeper after his stellar performance at the 2019 IHF Men’s World Championship. Alongside two other goalkeepers, Landin recorded the top save rate of 38% over the course of the competition and came in just two saves shy of making the most stops overall. Landin also ranked among the top three penalty-saving goalkeepers at Germany/Denmark 2019.
Landin clinched two club titles with his German team THW Kiel in 2019, winning the EHF Cup and the German Cup, while finishing as runner-up in both the German league and the IHF Super Globe. At the Super Globe, he was clearly the top goalkeeper with 45 saves – 14 ahead of his nearest rival.
Luka Cindric – Croatia / PGE Vive Kielce / Barça
Cindric started 2019 with a sixth-place finish with Croatia at the 2019 IHF Men’s World Championship. The centre back went on to reach the Champions League finals, the VELUX EHF FINAL4, with his club PGE Vive Kielce, ultimately ranking fourth. He contributed 59 goals towards the club’s Champions League effort during the season and was also part of Kielce claiming their 16th Polish championship title. He was voted best centre back of the Polish championship 2018/19.
Over the summer of 2019, Cindric transferred to Barcelona. With Barça, the Croatian playmaker celebrated titles immediately, including the 2019 IHF Super Globe trophy. Cindric was instrumental in Barça taking their record fifth Super Globe title, leading the Spanish side with 22 goals in the competition, including 11 in the final.
Rasmus Lauge Schmidt – Denmark / SG Flensburg-Handewitt / Telekom Veszprém HC
Lauge rounds out the list of Danish nominees, as another of the most important factors that led to his nation’s World Championship win in January. Lauge was named the All-star Team centre back at Germany/Denmark 2019, after contributing 44 goals and 35 assists.
On a club level, Lauge ended the 2018/19 season by winning the German championship with his club SG Flensburg-Handewitt, before transferring to Hungarian club Telekom Veszprém HC over the summer. He was named in the All-star Team for the Bundesliga as left back prior to his departure from Flensburg. In total, for both clubs, Lauge scored 78 Champions League goals in 2019 (36 for Flensburg and 42 for Veszprém).
This year, the IHF will incorporate the voting and announcement of the 2019 IHF World Player of the Year and 2019 IHF World Coach of the Year awards into the celebration of the first annual International Handball Week from 12 to 18 July. Fan voting for players and coach of the year will run from Friday, 3 July until 00:00 CET on 18 July. The IHF will announce the winners on 18 July.