Landin, Omeyer pay respect to each other

FEATURE: The EHF EURO 2014 Final between France and Denmark might very well be decided between the goalposts

Photo: Uros Hocevar / Thierry Omeyer

When the final of the EHF EURO 2014 throws off in Jyske Bank Boxen in Herning on Sunday (17.30 hrs), the match may very well be decided on the goalkeeper position, as both Denmark and France have been boosted by impressive goalkeeping performances throughout the tournament.

However, the situation has not been the same for the two world class goalkeepers who are likely to man their respective end of the court Sunday.

In the Danish team Niklas Landin has been first-choice keeper during the entire competition, while France's Thierry Omeyer missed his side's first two matches as he was still recovering from an elbow injury.

Both goalkeepers, who are charismatic in their own individual ways, have played an important part on their respective teams' road to the final.

Differences in more than one way

Still, there are obvious differences between Landin and Omeyer in several areas.

One difference is their age, of course. While Omeyer is 37 years old, Landin is 25.

This fact also has the quite natural consequence that Omeyer has considerably more titles to show than his Danish colleague. Quite a few, actually.

Three times has Omeyer won the World Championship with France, twice the EHF EURO and twice Olympic gold.

So far Landin has the victory at the EHF EURO 2012 as the only international title under his belt, but he obviously has lots of time to catch up with Omeyer in that area.

The two goalkeepers are also far apart in the goalkeeper statistics of the EHF EURO 2014 - but here the difference is in Landin's favour.

While Niklas Landin is no.2 in the ranking with a saving percentage of 38, Thierry Omeyer finds himself in 17th position, having saved 32% of the shots that have been fired against him.

Great respect for the opponent

When you ask the two top goalkeepers about their opinion for the respective counterpart, a lot of mutual respect becomes visible at once.

"He is a young goalkeeper, but very, very good already.

"He has been playing at a very high level for several years already, and here he has played an extremely good tournament so far.

"All in all he is a super goalkeeper," Thierry Omeyer says about Niklas Landin.

"Omeyer is one of the best goalkeepers at all.

"He has been out with an injury, but we have seen that he is getting back at his normal level and I only hope he will not have one of those terrifyingly fine days which he has had year after year in deciding matches.

"He is definitely one of the best goalkeepers, also at the moment," are the respectful words from Niklas Landin about his 12 year older colleague and opponent.

written by Peter Bruun / ts