After the very last in a total of 84 qualification matches, the Macedonians could jump for joy to celebrate their third EHF EURO participation. They were under big pressure ahead of their must win match against Portugal. Trailing Portugal by a point after losing the reverse fixture, they secured qualification at home with a 26:19 win.
With their unsuccessful start in the qualification campaign and after missing out on the quarter-finals at the 2013 World Championship in Spain, the Federation sacked coach Zvonko Shundovski and named Croat Ivica Obrvan as his successor, who started by two clear qualification defeats against Spain. But thanks to the victories against Switzerland and Portugal they finally made it to Denmark.
FYR Macedonia will be hoping for a strong tournament from Kiril Lazarov, the best scorer ever at a single EHF EURO event and a single World Championship and who just had transferred from Madrid to FC Barcelona. Besides Lazarov, Metalurg Skopje’s stars, like Naumce Mojsovski, will be in focus, after they reached the quarter-final of the VELUX EHF Champions League for the first time in April.
In 2012 the Macedonians finished the EHF EURO in Serbia ranked fifth – their best ever international result in all competitions.
For many years now Macedonian handball and Kiril Lazarov have been inseparably linked to each other.
The FC Barcelona right back is the key player in the Macedonian attack. His powerful as well as precise shots many a times have been vital for his teams’ victories – whether it was for the national team or on club level.
He is the most experienced player with participations at two World Championships and two EHF EURO events. He has won more than 30 trophies in club handball, but a tournament triumph with the national team is still missing.
Lazarov was the top scorer at the 2012 EHF EURO in Serbia with 61 goals.However, he is not just a goal scorer but also a great team player for whom it is more important to win than to score as often as possible.
There is a very easy formula for the Macedonian game: If Borko Ristovski plays well, FYR Macedonia play well.
The goalkeeper’s saves often initiate attacks; his game is an inspiration for his teammates.Ristovski’s outstanding performances were one of the key factors why FYR Macedonia finished fifth at the EHF EURO 2012 in Serbia.
The 30-year-old is regarded as a specialist for starting counter attacks and many opponents fear him when they face Ristovski from the penalty line.
He is one of the most experienced players in the Macedonian squad, having been part of the team at the 2009 and 2013 World Championships and the EHF EURO 2012.
On a club level he plays in his third season for German side VfL Gummersbach.
THE COACH - Ivica Obrvan
When Ivica Obrvan became head coach of the Macedonian national team early in 2013 as the successor of Zvonko Shundovski, he lost his first two qualification encounters against world champions Spain.
But the Croat quickly brought success to the team and by winning against Switzerland and Portugal, FYR Macedonia qualified for the EHF EURO in Denmark.
It is the first time that Obrvan, whose contract has recently been extended until 2015, coaches a team at an EHF EURO Final Tournament.
As a player he played for the national teams from Yugoslavia and Croatia. As club handball coach, he won the EHF Cup with RK Metkovic Jambo in 2000 and reached the final in the same event in 2009 with VfL Gummersbach.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events