When France won gold at the 2012 Olympic Games in London, it seemed this success might be the last for the nation's golden handball generation as long-term key players such as Didier Dinart and Guillaume Gille retired and the team played a disappointing World Championship 2013.
However, the glory days for French handball are far from over. At the EHF EURO 2014 they remained unbeaten and won their third European title in style when they demolished hosts Denmark 41:32 in the final. And it did not stop there - a year later France topped another podium, this time at the World Championship.
The team is led by the outstanding current World Handball Player Nikola Karabatic, but new players such as Valentin Porte, Luka Karabatic and Alix Nyokas have shown they have all the potential it takes to become world-class athletes.
At the age of 31, Nikola Karabatic has won all major titles that can be won in handball. The current World Handball Player, who joined French champions Paris Saint-Germain Handball at the start of the 2015/16 season, is one of the most versatile players the game has ever seen. In attack he is a danger for any goalkeeper and a feint expert in creating gaps for his fellow teammates.
Karabatic is a triple World (2009, 2011, 2013), European champion (2006, 2010, 2014) as well as a double Olympic champion (2008, 2012). Since 2006, his name can be found on nearly every All-Star Team roster or MVP list at major championships.
Karabatic was born in Niš, Serbia but moved to France as a child. His younger brother Luka also plays handball.
Thierry Omeyer is currently the most successful goalkeeper in the world. There is no goalkeeper that is as motivated or prepared for the goal attempts than the Frenchman who moved back to his home country France at the 2013/14 season after having played for German champions THW Kiel for seven years. He currently plays for Paris Saint-Germain Handball.
In the most important matches, he always seems to be on top form, successfully saving numerous shots per match and leading the offensive actions of the team. Omeyer is clearly the no.1 goalie in the most successful handball team in the world.
His impressive title collection includes gold at the EHF EURO events in 2006, 2010 and 2014, gold at the World Championships in 2001, 2009, 2011 and 2015 and gold again at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
He was furthermore voted 2008 World Handball Player of the Year and won the EHF Champions League four times (in 2003 with Montpellier, and in 2007, 2010, 2012 with THW Kiel).
Nobody has managed to win so many titles with a national team as the 58-year-old Claude Onesta.
After the 2001 World Championship, held in France, the former player and coach from HB Toulouse took over coaching responsibilities for the French men’s national team from Daniel Costantini. Many felt that Costantini’s shoes were impossible to fill, but the absolute opposite was true.
It took five years before Onesta triumphed and was able to record his first major victory at the European Championship 2006 in Switzerland. With this, he began to write history with the team.
At the 2007 World Championship, France missed out on winning a medal after being defeated by Denmark, but since the 2008 Olympics, the team has been simply unbeatable at major tournaments. Two Olympic victories, three World Championship titles and three European Championship gold medals fall into this period.
For his successes in 2009 and 2010, Onesta was honoured with the title of IHF World Handball Coach of the Year.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events