We use cookies

By continuing to browse ihf.info, you agree to our terms of use , privacy policy and the use of cookies. For more information, please review our cookie policy.



Date: 12/28/2018

Coach: Nenad Perunicic


Key Players: Nemanja Ilic (left wing), Vladimir Cupara (goalkeeper), Nemanja Zelenovic (right back), Bogdan Radivojevic (right wing)


Qualification Information: Winner of European qualification play-off versus Portugal


History in Tournament: 1954-1990: as part of Yugoslavia, 1993-2005: DNQ (as Serbia & Montenegro), 2007: DNQ (as Serbia), 2009: 8th, 2011: 10th, 2013: 10th, 2015: DNQ, 2017: DNQ


Under previous coach Ljubomir Obradovic, Serbia qualified for Germany/Denmark 2019 thanks to a 53:46 aggregate win over Portugal back in June. Their seven-goal (28:21) win in the first leg in Nis made it a near-impossible task for the Portuguese to come back in the second leg four days later – that game finished in a 25:25 draw to seal Serbia’s first appearance at the top global tournament since their 10th place back in Spain, in 2013. As an independent nation, Serbia have appeared just three times at this level previously, with a high of eighth spot, back at Croatia 2009.


In the Portugal match-ups, left wing Nemanja Ilic and right wing Bogdan Radivojevic both scored 10 times each to end as top scorers and they will be two key players in Berlin as Serbia start in the preliminary round against Russia before facing other group A rivals, France, Brazil, Korea and hosts Germany.


“In the qualification matches against Portugal we played surprisingly good and we hope that our level of performance from then can be repeated in Germany,” said captain Nemanja Ilic. “Our group in Berlin is tough and there are no teams which can be beaten ‘on paper’. It is tough to say anything about our ambitions, but we will go match-by-match, day-by-day.”


47-year-old coach Nenad Perunicic took over the job back in September and the former player who won titles across the world with a variety of clubs including Al-Ahli, SC Magdeburg, THW Kiel, Pick Szeged and FC Barcelona, has been coaching RK Red Star Belgrade since 2011.


He already has experience of winning a medal at a World Championship, having won bronze at the 1999 edition, held in Egypt and is relishing the opportunity to participate at another one.


Berlin will be a huge challenge for us,” said Perunicic. “There are no outsiders in not only our group, but the championship as a whole and there is no space to underestimate anyone. Our approach will be like we are playing against Olympic champions every day.


“Korea will cause problems to all the teams, while Brazil have a fantastic team with most of the players playing in Europe, in France and Spain.


“When you see that Diego Simonet from Argentina is one of the best in the world of handball, people may look at you and think that you made mistake and changed it with football,” continued the Serbia coach. “But that is the power of handball and is a real challenge for old traditional handball nations – the only thing I would like to have is healthy and motivated group of players at the end of December.”



Follow Serbia at Germany/Denmark 2019 through their website, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube.


Group at Germany/Denmark 2019

Group A: France, Russia, Germany, Serbia, Brazil, Korea


Games at Germany/Denmark 2019

All times local


Friday 11 January            Serbia vs Russia

Saturday 12 January       France vs Serbia

Monday 14 January        Serbia vs Brazil

Tuesday 15 January        Korea vs Serbia

Thursday 17 January       Germany vs Serbia


IHF & Germany/Denmark 2019 Official Channels

Follow the 2019 IHF Men’s Handball World Championship on our website as well as on our Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. And make sure you don’t miss anything on the World Championship’s official Facebook and Instagram channels.


Photo: Handball Federation of Serbia