BRATISLAVA (VG) They make their debut for Norway in the championship. But Sebastian Barthold (30), Erik Toft (29) and Vetle Eck Aga (28) put the Spanish stars in place in turn.
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– I’m missing words. Words become poor when one has fought hard for this for a long time, been close, and been disappointed in the past. Now everything culminates and I just want to show myself from my best side all the time, says Sebastian Barthold to VG after The “fiesta” in Bratislava that gave Norway a 27-23 victory.
He set six new European Championship goals and was a cross-shot from the time his seventh and final attempt also ended in the Spanish net.
– Do you have enough energy for the last week?
– It is amazing how much power it gives to win matches and play good handball. We experienced the opposite against Russia. But now we have a lot of self-confidence and great faith in ourselves. Now just recharge your batteries before another match. Now we will show ourselves from our best side against Sweden, he says.
Earlier in the championship, Barthold lost in card games:
Barthold believes the defensive game is the key to both beating Sweden. And to be able to win a possible semi-final that right now is likely to be against Iceland.
– We are tough defensively and have fought the opponents out of composure in the last three games, he says.
Vetle Eck Aga fights like a lion against the Spain stars. The fast bodøværingen hit in the tackles and was one step ahead of the Spaniards when he got the chance in both rounds.
– There is no doubt that this is one of the biggest things I have been involved in, he answers VG’s questions. He fought for the victory and got his third two minutes and thus red in the final minutes. He did not protest. Rarely has a red card been met with multiple smiles.
– It is fantastic fun to be able to contribute to the Norwegian national team. I’m proud, super proud, of the team. We won a fully deserved victory, says Eck Aga.
He has been in Sweden for five years and spoke Swedish in the interviews with the brother country’s journalists after the victory.
– We know them and they know us. It’s going to be a dogfight. The team that is most careful and manages to small “disputes” that will win, he predicts.
Erik Toft scored on just one of his first five shots. But did not give up despite the problems against Barcelona goalkeeper Gonzalo Pérez de Vargas. In the second half, he put three straight goals from distance and again contributed strongly to victory.
– Then you have to have balls, Toft describes humorously to VG. Then the fire alarm goes off in the arena, the shooter has to run in the locker room and the short interview is over.
However, the alarm was false.