Tuesday, May 24

Swedish legend believes in Norway: – Plays more attractive handball

BRATISLAVA (VG) He is Swedish handball’s greatest legend. But Magnus Wislander keeps Norway as the favorite in the battle of fate on Tuesday. He is supported by Sweden’s key player Jim Gottfridsson.

AT WORK: Magnus Wislander is an expert for Swedish Radio in Bratislava.

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– It is a small advantage Norway, says Wislander as in his time was named the handball player of the century in the world. He was in front of Sweden’s best national team of all time which took six championship golds and a total of 13 medals from 1990 to 2002.

Tuesday’s duel with Sweden will be a battle of destiny of dimensions. Norway wins the main round with a victory, also advances to the semifinals with a draw, but will most likely be knocked out of the medal match with a loss.

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– Norway plays more attractive handball. Sweden is a bit “more boring” to look at in the attacking game, but is perhaps better in defense. There is no big difference. But I think maybe Norway has a slightly more positive attitude to meet Sweden than Sweden has to meet Norway, says the 57-year-old who is an expert commentator for Swedish Radio in Bratislava.

Sweden must also do without Andreas Palicka and Felix Claar in the battle for destiny. On Monday came the news that the duo has tested positive for the coronavirus.

Two years ago, Norway beat Sweden away during the European Championships in Malmö. The last six official international matches have given Norway victory.

– It is based on the latest results and because Norway plays at a pace I like to see, Wislander explains.

SWEDISH CENTER: Jim Gottfridsson ruled when Germany was beaten on Sunday.

– In addition, Sander Sagosen in top form is a special player. He is both a goal scorer and a passer – and perhaps sharper than Jim Gottfridsson in the Swedish team, Wislander believes.

That is exactly what Gottfridsson completely agrees with.

– Two very even teams. But Norway has the best player in the world and that is a bit to Norway’s advantage, Gottfridsson says to VG.

Sweden’s Norwegian national team manager Glenn Solberg smiles when he hears the assessments of Wislander and Gottfridsson.

– They mean it yes, chuckles Solberg from Drammen.

– Do you also think that Norway are favorites?

– Yes, Norway is probably that, he says and loads the favorite stamp on Sander Sagosen & co.

– We give it a go. Sweden has played the best handball throughout the tournament. We have played in better and better shape now. We are starting to look like a good handball team, says Sagosen. He believes the battle of destiny “will be a war for 60 minutes with a fantastic semi-final ticket in the pot”.

Sagosen himself has delivered a varied European Championship. But contributed well to Norway’s historic victory over Spain on Sunday. Gottfridsson has great respect for Trøndelag.

– I will not compare myself with him. He is the best player in the world. He has been very good for many years, but still young and world class. It’s really cool to see, says Gottfridsson.


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