Denmark will host a Men's EHF EURO event for the first time and the Danes will be among the favourites, but not only because of their home advantage. They have proven their credentials by winning the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia and consecutive silver medals at the last two World Championships.
However, the surprisingly clear defeat against Spain in January’s World Championship Final has given Ulrik Wilbek’s team even more motivation to defend their EHF EURO crown at home, in what will be Wilbek’s final tournament as the national team coach.
The Danish team can count on a quality goalkeeper in Niklas Landin, backing up a rock solid defence, brilliant wingers (Eggert, Svan Hansen and Lindberg, top scorer of the VELUX EHF Champions League season 2012/13 and winner with Hamburg) as well as the back court brilliance of 2011 World Handball Player of the Year, Mikkel Hansen.
If Wilbek can manage to integrate his young talents like Rasmus Lauge into the team, then another podium finish could be on the cards.
Niklas Landin Jacobsen
Although he is just 24 years old, Niklas Landin has established himself long ago as one of the best goalkeepers in the world.
A combination of an extraordinary range, an impressive flexibility and rapid reactions makes him a very hard man to pass for the opposing team.
Off the court Landin is highly respected for his personality and he is therefore the natural captain of the Danish team.
On the club level Landin plays for past season's German EHF Cup winners Rhein-Neckar Löwen.
Since his first professional contract (with Viborg), Hans Lindberg fans have called him ‘His Majesty’; it is his speed, the spectacular goals and combined with the elegance of his performances that has earned him this title.
In the past season he enjoyed tremendous success, becoming top scorer of the German Bundesliga, top scorer of the VELUX EHF Champions League and above all winner of Europe's premier club handball competition with HSV Hamburg.
He is one of the key players in the Danish national team - not only indoors, but also on the beach as he has been a member of the Danish beach handball national team for many years. At the 2013 European Beach Handball Championship he won bronze with Denmark.
At the age of 25, Hansen is among the strongest players in the world. The 2011 World Handball Player of the Year is returning to full strength after an injury-ridden 2012/13 season that culminated in a knee operation in May 2013.
At the 2011 World Championship he led Denmark to the silver medal and just one year later to gold at the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia.
Hansen has enormous throwing power: just look back to the winning goal against Russia at the 2008 Olympic Games when Hansen scored from a distance of 13 metres. He plays for new French handball powerhouse PSG Handball.
First the women, then the men – so reads the story of success for this 55-year-old. Ulrik Wilbek took over the Danish women’s junior national team and in 1991 took on the role as the women's national coach.
Wilbek also became the ‘father’ of the Danish women’s wonder, which culminated among other things in three consecutive Olympic victories (1996, 2000, 2004).
He has won all important gold medals: Olympic Gold (1996), World Championship Gold (1995,1997) and European Gold (1996).
In 1998, Wilbek passed the reigns to Jan Pytlick as he faced new challenges by taking the position of coach at Viborg HK, who he led to the EHF Women’s Champions League Final in 2001.
Later he became the coach of the Viborg men’s team. Just as he was about to say goodbye to the handball world to take up a position in politics, Wilbek answered the call of the Danish Handball Federation.
In 2005, he became trainer of the men’s national team and since then is the person responsible for all their successes.
In 2008 and 2012 Denmark celebrated a European Championship title. Twice he won silver at World Championships (in 2011 and 2013) and three times he had to be satiesfied with winning the bronze medal three times (EHF EURO 2004, EHF EURO 2006 and World Championship 2007).