Tuesday, May 24

Solberg cried for Swedish gold: – I am incredibly proud

(Sweden-Spain 27-26) With a penalty score in the very last second, Sweden secured the European Championship gold. Glenn Solberg is the first Norwegian to lead a men’s team to an international gold in men’s handball. He cried for the gold.

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– It’s completely insane. I am incredibly proud and moved, says Solberg to TV3 while the tears flow and the words are difficult to find.

The 48-year-old from Lier led Sweden to the World Cup final on the first attempt a year ago. In Budapest, Sweden won its first European Championship gold in 20 years after an insane drama in the last minutes and seconds. Niclas Ekberg decided on a penalty at the very last second, just as the Swedes did against Norway in the decisive match in the main round.

– Glenn is a fantastic coach, says superkeeper Andreas Palicka after the gold.

– He has given us a very good value base that we need when it goes against, the goalkeeper believes after the European Championships where Sweden was about to be knocked out of Norway last Tuesday.

But the Swedes reversed the adversity after all the positive corona tests. Just like they did after the group game that ended with a draw against the Czech Republic.

– He deserves all the praise he can get. It has been adventurous what he has experienced since he came in as a Swedish coach, says TV3 expert Kristian Kjelling and is followed up by colleague Joachim Boldsen:

– The best Norwegian men’s coach of all time. Results count, titles count. I do not think that discussion is that difficult.

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Sweden led by two goals five minutes before the end after two goals by left winger Hampus Wanne. But after 58 minutes, veteran Joan Cañellas equalized for Spain before the Swedish midfielder Jim Gottfridsson shot in the Spanish defensive block.

At the last minute, Spain coach Jordi Ribera “time out” and made a plan that led to a weak Canellas finish. Thus, Gottfridsson made a hot plan in the final last stop in the game.

– Hey, listen here now. 19 seconds. We’re gonna be European champions! Now we drive German right, Danish left. Come board, Gottfridsson reported according to Aftonbladet and then Oscar Bergendahl into his eyes: – If I do not let it… for your whole fucking life hold him in the back, and you will get it between your legs.

It all ended with Albin Lagergren being fouled by Canellas. Swedish penalty throw.

– A fantastic last attack. Absolutely raw, says Glenn Solberg and calls Gottfridsson’s “closing speech” “fantastic”.

Ice-cold Niclas Ekberg gave Sweden the European Championship title at the very last second. The Kiel star has twice been out with positive corona tests in the European Championships, but won the match.

– I just thought the ball would go in, says Ekberg.

GOLD JOY: Swedish cheers for European Championship gold in Budapest.

– It’s indescribable. I have been “100 days in quarantine”. It has been pure hell, he describes after his first gold after losing both the Olympic final and the European Championship final.

Ekberg was not present when Glenn Solberg debuted with World Cup silver last year. In the Olympics, it was 5th place before the Norwegian led Sweden to the first triumph since the legendary “Bengan Boys” finished with Sweden’s third straight European Championship gold in 2002.

Glenn Solberg once played 122 international matches for Norway and was the Norwegian national team captain. 10 years ago, he started working with the Norwegian recruiting national team and many of today’s national team players. He eventually became Christian Berge’s assistant and was part of the breakthrough with 4th place in the European Championships six years ago. But Solberg withdrew from the national team when he was refused by the Handball Association to combine the national team job with coaching the club team St. Hallvard in his hometown Lier outside Drammen.

The final started with Gottfridsson – newly named MVP in the European Championships – hammering the ball up in the Spanish net. Sweden immediately took the initiative. Not least because Andreas Palicka was the first goalkeeper’s best goalkeeper.

The goalkeeper phenomenon from Redbergslid in Gothenburg saved seven shots – and scored again from his own goal yard – until Sweden led 11-9 eight minutes before the break.

– It is difficult to put into words this, says Pallicka after the gold.

But then the Swedish attacking game almost stopped. Spain’s dominant striker Adrian Figueras screwed in the Spaniards’ first lead a minute before the break before the European Championship’s best right winger, Abelló Gómez, scored on an insane counterattack.

Spain clearly had the most finishes. But Sweden had Palicka’s crazy saves on so-called 100 percent chances. Thus, Spain did not lead more than 13-12 at the break.

KEEPER HERO: Andreas Palicka again central when Sweden won gold.

The second half started with a mistake by Jim Gottfridsson. Thus, the Swedes led the negative statistics 5-1. Sweden did better than in the group game where they smoked on 13 errors in the 32-28 loss to Spain.

But the Swedes were still very much involved. After 40 minutes, it was 18-18 after three quick goals from striker Oscar Bergendahl – before the final was named the European Championship’s best defender.

Halfway through the half, Daniel Pettersson sent Sweden back into the lead twice before Gottfridsson put in the 22-21 quarter before the end.

The Swedes were back in the initiative. Then came the dramatic final minutes.

GOAL: The penalty score that at the last second made Sweden win.


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