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Date: 12/27/2018

Coach: Christian Prokop


Key players: Uwe Gensheimer (Left wing), Andreas Wolff (Goalkeeper)


Qualification information: Co-hosts


History in tournament: 1938: 1st, 1954: 2nd, 1958: 3rd, 1961: 4th, 1964: 4th, 1967: 6th, 1970: 5th, 1974: 9th, 1978: 1st, 1982: 7th, 1986: 7th, 1990: DNQ, 1993: 6th, 1995: 4th, 1997: DNQ, 1999: 5th, 2001: 8th, 2003: 2nd, 2005: 9th, 2007: 1st, 2009: 5th, 2011: 11th, 2013: 5th, 2015: 7th, 2017: 9th


Germany enter the home World Championship with a broad squad of experienced players who know what it takes to win a title and the motivation to repeat the feat of the national team in 2007, when they won the World Championship trophy on home ground.


“The anticipation is growing day by day,” says coach Christian Prokop. “Of course, the team of 2007, which became world champions on home ground, is something like a role model for us. We want to create the same atmosphere all over Germany as they did. We want to excite the whole county, no matter if the fans are in the arena or at home.”


Though Germany have not had the results they might have liked at the last two major international tournaments, the EHF EURO 2018 and the 2017 World Championship, the largely unchanged squad had a great year in 2016 when they won the European title followed by the bronze medal at the Olympic Games seven months later. The disappointment of being eliminated in the eighth-final stage at France 2017 and the main round exit at the EURO 2018 are far from forgotten, and the team will be determined to return to the form of 2016 come January.


“Despite the advantage of playing on home ground, we are not the major gold favourites, as the number of teams with the ambition to lift the trophy has grown enormously in the previous years. Our performances as the last two major events in France and Croatia were highly disappointing, but I am sure that we drew the right lessons in the meantime,” says Prokop.


“We can count on a huge pool of strong players and talents, but in contrast to other top nations, we do not have that one superstar. Therefore, we have to compensate this fact with team performance and fighting spirit.”


Prokop may be correct in saying the effort is spread throughout the squad with few individual stars, but no one who followed the EHF EURO 2016 can forget the impact of goalkeeper Andreas Wolff, who all but singlehandedly won the final against Spain with his incredible performance. The team can also count on other world-renowned players such as sharpshooting left wing Uwe Gensheimer, who makes regular appearances on top scorer lists in both international competitions and with his club PSG.


Gensheimer echoes the words of his coach when discussing the most recent international events in which Germany has participated:


“We came to terms with the past events, in which we did not get as far as we wanted to. We have analysed our mistakes and we are full of optimism for using the home advantage. By looking back on the EURO in Croatia we found those things which need to be changed, either in defence or in attack. The main thing is to act as team, to fight, to have this craving for success,” says the wing, who outlines the semi-finals as the standing goal for Germany at any event.


“I hope that we can grab this incredible chance to profit from playing on home ground and to fly on those wings of success. We want to spark this flame and then turn the excitement of the fans into the energy you need to finally fight for the medals. It is my dream and hope to play at Hamburg [the semi-final venue] – as then for sure we belong to the four best teams of the world. And if we make it to Hamburg, everything is possible.”


In Group A, Germany will open their campaign with an historic match against the unified Korea team, before meeting Brazil, Russia, defending world champions France and Serbia. Germany might have some scars remaining from recent meetings with some of these opponents: It was France who beat Germany in the Rio 2016 semi-final, sending them to the bronze-medal match. Also at Rio 2016, Germany unexpectedly lost to Brazil in the preliminary round. But coach Prokop is confident his team will rise to the challenges: 


“I am quite satisfied with the opponents we have to face in the preliminary round. France are extremely strong and they are definitely the favourites in our group, having not only physical advantages on their side. Korea and Brazil play a fast and quite unusual style, while we know this classic European handball of Russia and Serbia quite well. I am sure we have a good chance to make it to the main round in Cologne.”


It is clear this home World Championship will be something special for Germany – the team and their coach are ready to excite the nation and turn that excitement into their best chance for a medal, while the German Handball Federation are focused not only on the results but also on putting on an outstanding event.


“Of course, the first goal of a hosting federation is to be a good host, to create a great atmosphere and full arenas to have the ideal platform to excite people for handball,” says President of the German Handball Federation Andreas Michelmann. “I am sure all the fans will see highly attractive matches in Berlin [Germany’s group phase city]. But, of course, our hopes do not terminate at Cologne [the main round venue]. With the support of 20,000 fans, we want to make our dream come true to qualify for the semi-finals. If we are in Hamburg, we have reached our goal – and then everything is possible.”


Fans can follow Germany on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Group at Germany/Denmark 2019
Group A: Germany, France, Russia, Serbia, Brazil, Unified Korea


Games at Germany/Denmark 2019
All times local


Thursday 10 January       Korea vs Germany (18:15)
Saturday 12 January       Germany vs Brazil (18:15)
Monday 14 January        Russia vs Germany (18:00)
Tuesday 15 January        Germany vs France (20:30)
Thursday 17 January       Germany vs Serbia (18:00)


IHF & Germany/Denmark 2019 Official Channels

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Photo: German Handball Federation