Jim Gottfridsson’s speech in the European Championship final’s last “time out” is already called a classic. It culminated in Sweden’s European Championship triumph in the very last second of the match against Spain. The star’s powerful words touched his Norwegian teammates in Flensburg.
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– I got goosebumps, says Gøran Johannessen who plays daily alongside Gottfridsson in the German club.
“Gotte” stared string player Oscar Bergendahl in the eyes and announced to the entire Swedish team:
«Hey! Listen now here. 19 seconds. We’re gonna be European champions! Now we drive German right, Danish left. Come board. If I do not let it go … FOR ALL YOUR FUCKING LIFE, hold him in the back, and you will get it between your legs “, he shouted according to Aftonbladet and reported afterwards to right wing Daniel Pettersson:
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It all ended with the player between Gottfridsson and Pettersson, Albin Lagergren, breaking through the Spanish defense. The judges sentenced punishments. Niclas Ekberg scored the 27-26 goal for Glenn Solberg’s Swedish team in the very last second. Sweden secured European Championship gold for the first time in 20 years.
– We’m used to Jim being like that. He is a guy who loves to take on this role and lead the way. He only shows what a world-class player he is, says Magnus Abelvik Rød, also his teammate in Flensburg.
The two Norwegians have both won the German Bundesliga together with the Swedish playmaker in Flensburg.
– Jim manages the entire “time out” and will manage the shop. He has a different leadership role purely vocabulary than in Flensburg, where he is more of an attack strategist. That is the difference, says Gøran Johannessen.
– He is probably even more dominant for Sweden. Glenn (Solberg) lets him manage more on Sweden’s national team than Maik (Machulla) allows on our club team. But I know that Maik and Jim talk a lot together with us as well, he says.
– He gets a lot of trust from Glenn and is allowed to control what he wants. Jim has a handball head that not many people have. He watches handball in a very simple – but at the same time clear – way and knows what he wants. He finds the one who is available almost every time, describes Magnus Abelvik Rød.
The two Norwegians have struggled with injuries throughout the autumn. A sparsely populated Flensburg is number three in the Bundesliga, but ended the autumn season strongly by beating league leader Magdeburg on Christmas Day.
In the European Championships, the 29-year-old from Ystad has played up, up and up. Before the European Championship final, he was named the European Championship’s most valuable player (MVP).
– Spin game, ingenious and deserved, describes Gøran Johannessen in three words.
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– There is great respect for what Jim has delivered throughout the European Championships, says Magnus Abelvik Rød and adds:
– He shows who the boss is.
Magnus Abelvik Rød is clear that he likes the Swedish European Championship triumph. Flensburg’s left winger Hampus Wanne was also central with his two goals at the end of the final. He scored four in total after being out with the corona.
– I’m happy that my teammates are winning. I treat Jim and Hampus to this gold. It is special. They have been around a lot lately, says Magnus Abelvik Rød.
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Sweden beat Norway on Tuesday after leading the match only twice and for a total of 43 seconds.
– The Swedish gold shows that margins decide. Sweden was a counterattack away from breaking out against the Czech Republic in the group stage and was behind Norway with four goals after 55 minutes, before they managed to turn it around. There has been a lot of injury joy about how Norway has delivered, but there are such small margins that define success or disappointment, says Magnus Abelvik Rød.
Both the Norwegian players have been through operations, had to stand over the European Championships, but are betting on a comeback for Flensburg in the spring season.