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Date: 12/20/2016

Coach: Veselin Vujovic


Key Players: Vid Kavticnik (Right back), Jure Dolenec (Right back), Blaz Janc (Right wing), Matej Gaber (Line player)


Qualification for France 2017: Qualification Europe Phase 2 Play-Off – Winner versus Norway


History in Tournament: 1954-1990: as part of Yugoslavia, 1993: DNQ, 1995: 18th, 1997-1999: DNQ, 2001: 17th, 2003: 11th, 2005: 12th, 2007: 10th, 2009-2011: DNQ, 2013: 4th, 2015: 8th




Since they became an independent country in 1991, the first time Slovenia took part in a World Championship was in 1995 in Iceland, when they ranked 18th. The European country’s biggest achievements in handball were the silver medal at the EHF EURO they hosted in 2004, the 4th place at the Spain 2013 World Championship and the 6th rank at the Rio 2016 Olympics.


Montenegrin-born Slovenia head coach Veselin Vujovic is a handball legend. As a Yugoslavia player he won the gold medal at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics and claimed bronze four years later in Seoul. He was the first player to be awarded IHF World Player of the Year – in 1988.


Vujovic definitely knows how it feels to be successful, as he also won EHF Champions League three times – two with RK Metaloplastika and one with FC Barcelona. As a coach, he guided FR Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) to finish 4th at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.


“I think the team is ready for the next step. Slovenia has a plethora of talent, and a chance to work with those players is a compliment for any coach,” said Vujovic in 2015, when he assumed as Slovenia’s coach. “I have recently admitted my jealousy of the players Slovenian coaches had at their disposal. However, I believe I can achieve more with those players,” he added. Therefore, now his goal is to definitely make of Slovenia a top team.


His first big tournament leading the European side was the 2016 EHF EURO in Poland, but he was not proud of their 14th rank. However, at the Rio Olympics Slovenia showed their real potential to finish in a historic 6th place – they lost in the quarter-finals to the now Olympic champions Denmark 37:30.


The team’s top scorer in Rio was 19-year old Blaz Janc, the youngest player on court in the competition. RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko’s Janc scored 28 goals, most of them from the right wing. He soon came from being one of the biggest Slovenian promises to turn into a real danger for any defence in the world.


Right back Vid Kavticnik is Montpellier HB’s right back and one of the leaders for Slovenia on the court – he scored 20 goals in Rio de Janeiro. His teammate at the French club team Jure Dolenec is also a key player for Vujovic. Dolenec accumulated 17 goals in Rio, 33 at Qatar 2015 and was the team’s highest scorer at Spain 2013 with 39 goals.


25-year old line player Matej Gaber is also a member of the squad worth seeing. He now plays his club handball for Hungary’s MOL-Pick Szeged. He played 95 international matches for Slovenia, scoring 114 goals.


Slovenia cannot count on right wing Dragan Gajic, the top scorer of the 2015 World Championship with 71 goals, who decided to retire from the national team last January. Gajic’s marvellous performance in Qatar helped his side reach the quarter-finals stage in which they lost to the World Champions France 23:32.


The Slovenians will get together to train for France 2017 on December 21. They will play a friendly match versus Croatia (December 30) and two against the World Championship hosts (January 6 and 8).


Group at France 2017:

Group B: Spain, Slovenia, FYR Macedonia, Iceland, Tunisia, Angola


Games at France 2017:
All times local

Thursday 12 January: SLO-ANG (14:00)
Saturday 14 January: ISL-SLO (14:45)
Monday 16 January: SLO-MKD (17:45)
Tuesday 17 January: SLO-TUN (17:45)
Thursday 19 January: ESP-SLO (20:45)


IHF Social Media during France 2017

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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


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