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Ever wondered who rules the court in the electrifying world of handball?

From acrobatic saves to bullet-speed shots, these 15 icons have taken handball to legendary heights.

Buckle up as we unveil the titans of the game, one epic story at a time.

Best Handball Players:

  1. Mikkel Hansen
  2. Ivano Balić
  3. Niklas Landin Jacobsen
  4. Magnus Wislander
  5. Talant Dujshebaev
  6. Jackson Richardson
  7. Veselin Vujović
  8. Thierry Omeyer
  9. Cristina Neagu
  10. Anita Görbicz
  11. Daniel Narcisse
  12. Heiner Brand
  13. Gudmundur Gudmundsson
  14. Andrei Xepkin
  15. Valero Rivera López
Handball

#1 Mikkel Hansen

  • 🌍 Nationality: Danish
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: October 22, 1987
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Left Back
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 3× IHF World Player of the Year (2011, 2015, 2018), Olympic Gold Medalist (2016), Multiple European Championships and World Championships gold medals

Affectionately known as “Bison,” Mikkel Hansen is recognized for his thunderous shooting power and exceptional tactical understanding of the game. His ability to read defenses and score from long-range has made him a vital player for both his club and the Danish national team.

Hansen’s achievements and dominant playing style have placed him among handball’s greatest players. As an advocate for mental health, particularly in sports, he has also contributed to the conversation beyond the court. His role as a father has been central to his personal life, balancing his professional commitments with his family.

#2 Ivano Balić

  • 🌍 Nationality: Croatian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: April 1, 1979
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Center Back
  • Career Highlights: 2× IHF World Player of the Year (2003, 2006), Olympic Gold Medalist (2004), World Championship Gold Medalist (2003)

Ivano Balić, known as “The Wizard” for his skillful play and incredible creativity on the handball court, is considered by many as one of the most talented players in the history of the sport. His ability to anticipate plays and deliver unexpected passes established new standards of excellence.

Despite challenges such as injuries, Balić’s influence remains strong. His legacy in handball is characterized by his game-changing vision and flair. Off the pitch, his modesty and dedication to young athletes through coaching showcase a mentor determined to give back to the sport that made him a legend.

#3 Niklas Landin Jacobsen

  • 🌍 Nationality: Danish
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: December 19, 1988
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Goalkeeper
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: IHF World Player of the Year (2019), Olympic Gold Medalist (2016), European Championship winner

Niklas Landin Jacobsen is known for his exceptional goalkeeping skills, standing as a formidable barrier between the posts for his opponents. His reflexes, anticipation, and ability to save penalties have garnered him recognition as one of the world’s best goalkeepers.

Landin’s calm demeanor and leadership qualities have been pivotal in clutch moments for both club and country. Off the court, he maintains a private personal life but is a role model for aspiring athletes and exemplifies professionalism within the sport of handball.

#4 Magnus Wislander

  • 🌍 Nationality: Swedish
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: February 22, 1964
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Centre Back / Left Back
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: IHF World Player of the Year (1990), 4× World Championship medalist, European Championship (1994, 1998, 2000)

Magnus Wislander, often referred to as the “Handball Giant,” was renowned for his all-around ability and intelligence on the handball court. His versatility in both offensive and defensive aspects made him an invaluable player throughout his career.

As the first ever IHF World Player of the Year, Wislander set a high bar for future athletes. After retirement, his influence persisted as he transitioned into coaching roles, demonstrating his ongoing passion for handball. His personal life, kept out of the spotlight, emphasizes his low-key demeanor and focus on his professional legacy.

#5 Talant Dujshebaev

  • 🌍 Nationality: Russian-Spanish
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: June 2, 1968
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Back Player
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 2× IHF World Player of the Year (1994, 1996), Olympic Gold Medalist (1992), World Championship Gold Medalist (1993)

Talant Dujshebaev, a player celebrated for his deft handling and superb gameplay, combines strategic vision with a powerful shot. His on-court intelligence and leadership have left a lasting mark in handball history.

Despite facing injuries and the daunting task of transitioning from the Soviet Union collapse, Dujshebaev’s resilience shone through. He later became an esteemed handball coach, further influencing the sport. His commitment extends to his personal life, instilling sports values in his sons Alex and Daniel, who also became professional handball players.

#6 Jackson Richardson

  • 🌍 Nationality: French
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: June 14, 1969
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Centre Back
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: World Championship Gold Medalist (1995, 2001), Olympic Bronze Medalist (1992), European Championship Gold Medalist (2006)

Jackson Richardson, nicknamed “Jack,” is a handball legend, admired for his remarkable technical skills and flamboyant playing style. His dribbling and passing capabilities enriched French handball and inspired a generation of players.

Richardson, a figurehead in achieving world prominence for French handball, faced his fair share of challenges but always played with indomitable spirit and joy. His post-playing career saw him impart his wisdom as a coach. A family man, Jackson also dedicates his time to charitable initiatives, influencing lives both on and off the handball court.

#7 Veselin Vujović

  • 🌍 Nationality: Serbian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: January 18, 1961
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Left Back
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: Olympic Gold Medalist (1984), World Championship Gold Medalist (1986), IHF World Player of the Year (1988)

Veselin Vujović, renowned for his powerful shots and aggressive defensive play, is often hailed as one of the handball greats of his era. His commanding presence on court made him a nightmare for the opposition and a pillar for his team.

Vujović’s impact on the game remains through his transition into coaching, where his fiery competitiveness and deep knowledge of the sport continue to shape the next wave of talent. Outside of handball, he tends to keep his personal life private but is respected for his contribution to the sport within his nation.

#8 Thierry Omeyer

  • 🌍 Nationality: French
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: November 2, 1976
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Goalkeeper
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 2× Olympic Gold Medalist (2008, 2012), 4× World Championship winner, 3× European Championship winner, 2× IHF World Player of the Year (2008, 2010)

Thierry Omeyer, also known as “Titi,” is one of handball’s most decorated goalkeepers. His reflexes, positioning, and shot-stopping abilities have set the standard for excellence in the goalkeeping position. Omeyer’s contributions have been pivotal in the golden era of French handball.

His leadership and experience were crucial in securing numerous titles for his national team and various clubs. Following retirement, Omeyer’s legacy lives on as he commits himself to developing future goalkeepers. Renowned for his charitable work, he also dedicates time to various causes, demonstrating his commitment to giving back to the community.

#9 Cristina Neagu

  • 🌍 Nationality: Romanian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: August 26, 1988
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Left back
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 4× IHF World Player of the Year (2010, 2015, 2016, 2018), 1× EHF Champions League winner, Multiple-time Romanian League champion

A powerhouse in women’s handball, Cristina Neagu has consistently showcased her adept scoring abilities and exceptional ball-handling skills. Her role as a left back is pivotal in constructing offensive plays and piercing through defenses with precision shots. Despite suffering a severe knee injury, Neagu’s resilience led her to an admirable comeback, securing her legacy in handball history.

Off the court, Neagu is known for her modesty and is a role model for young athletes. Her contributions extend to promoting the sport, advocating for women athletes, and engaging in various community and charitable activities. Her presence in handball has been instrumental in elevating the profile of the women’s game internationally.

#10 Anita Görbicz

  • 🌍 Nationality: Hungarian
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: May 13, 1983
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Centre back / Playmaker
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 1× EHF Champions League winner, Multiple Hungarian championships, EHF Champions League top scorer (2007)

Anita Görbicz is widely recognized as one of the most skillful playmakers in women’s handball. Her vision and creativity form the core of her gameplay, enabling her to set up teammates with pinpoint passes. Renowned for her finesse and intelligent movement, Görbicz has spent her career mesmerizing fans with her tactical acumen.

Görbicz’s impact extends beyond the handball court; her commitment to youth development within the sport is evident through her work with handball camps and clinics. As a mother, she has been a vocal advocate for work-life balance in the sports industry, and her personal life’s dedication to her family and sport inspires many aspiring athletes.

#11 Daniel Narcisse

  • 🌍 Nationality: French
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: December 16, 1979
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Centre back
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: 2× Olympic Gold Medalist (2008, 2012), 4× World Champion, 3× European Champion, 2× EHF Champions League winner

Nicknamed “Air France” for his incredible leaping ability, Daniel Narcisse’s athletic prowess has been a major asset for the French national team and his club sides. His explosive power and dynamic style have enabled him to execute spectacular in-flight goals, contributing to his legendary status in the sport.

Narcisse’s exemplary sportsmanship and positive attitude have earned him admiration both on and off the court. As a retired professional handball player, he continues to engage with handball through training camps and ambassadorial roles, sharing his experience and passion with the next generation of athletes.

#12 Heiner Brand

  • 🌍 Nationality: German
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: July 26, 1952
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Pivot (former player), Coach (post-playing career)
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: World Champion as both player (1978) and coach (2007), European Championship (2004) as coach, Bundesliga winner

Known for his distinct mustache and leadership qualities, Heiner Brand made his mark as an exceptional player-turned-coach. During his management, the German national team secured its place as a dominant force in international handball, underscoring his tactical expertise and motivational skills.

Post-retirement, Brand’s involvement in the development of handball remains strong, contributing to various projects intended to disseminate and grow the game. The respect he garners from the handball community is a testament to his enduring influence and the legacy he left as one of the most accomplished figures in the sport’s history.

#13 Guðmundur Guðmundsson

  • 🌍 Nationality: Icelandic
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: September 23, 1960
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Left back (former player), Coach (post-playing career)
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: Olympic Silver Medalist as coach (2008), European Championship winner as coach (2012), Multiple Icelandic championships as player and coach

Guðmundur Guðmundsson has been a pivotal figure in Icelandic handball, both as a prolific left back during his playing days and later as a coach. He is recognized for his strategic mind and motivational leadership, guiding teams to success on the international stage, including the historic silver medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Guðmundsson’s legacy extends into his efforts to amplify the profile of handball within Iceland and abroad. His dedication as both a coach and mentor to upcoming talents has been integral in shaping the careers of many players, signaling his commitment to fostering the sport’s perpetual growth.

#14 Andrei Xepkin

  • 🌍 Nationality: Ukrainian (naturalized Spanish)
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: may 1, 1965
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Pivot
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: Multiple EHF Champions League winner, 6× Spanish Leagues winner, Several national cups and super cups with FC Barcelona

Andrei Xepkin is celebrated for his stalwart defense and commanding presence at the pivot position, integral to his clubs’ commanding international and domestic performances. His robust playing style and tactical intelligence made him one of the top defenders of his time, earning him a formidable reputation on the European handball circuit.

Beyond his athletic contributions, Xepkin’s influence in fostering sporting excellence has been evident in his post-retirement endeavors. His transition into coaching and sports development has allowed him to pass on his extensive knowledge and passion for handball to others.

#15 Valero Rivera López

  • 🌍 Nationality: Spanish
  • 🎂 Date of Birth: February 14, 1955
  • 🤾‍♂️ Position/Role: Former player, Renowned Coach
  • 🏆 Career Highlights: World Handball Championship winner as coach (2013), Multiple Spanish League titles, EHF Champions League titles as both player and coach

Valero Rivera López comes from a storied family in handball, becoming a distinguished figure in the sport as a player and even more so as a coach. His leadership and expertise have brought numerous trophies and have had a profound impact on how the game is played strategically. Notably, his tenure as the head coach of the Spanish national team culminated in a World Championship victory in 2013.

Rivera López also dedicates himself to advancing handball at the grassroots level, encouraging youth participation and coaching education. His ongoing influence in handball development efforts cements his role as an ambassador for the sport worldwide, as he continues to inspire new generations of handball enthusiasts.

Celebrating the legends of the sport provides inspiration, akin to the way listening to the best handball podcasts can deepen fans’ knowledge and appreciation for handball.

Handball

FAQ

Who is the best Handball player of all time?

Mikkel Hansen is the best Handball player of all time. Here’s a link to our article on why we think Mikkel Hansen is the best Handball player of all time. His exceptional skills and achievements have set him apart as a phenomenal athlete in the sport.

Who are the top 10 greatest Handball players of all time?

Mikkel Hansen, Ivano Balić, Niklas Landin Jacobsen, Magnus Wislander, Talant Dujshebaev, Jackson Richardson, Veselin Vujović, Thierry Omeyer, Cristina Neagu, and Anita Görbicz are the top 10 greatest Handball players of all time. Each has left an indelible mark on the sport with their remarkable performances.

Who is the most famous female Handball player?

Cristina Neagu is the most famous female Handball player. Known for her outstanding play, she has earned multiple IHF World Player of the Year awards and has become a prominent figure in women’s Handball.

Meet Rev, one of our dedicated team members who embodies the essence of sports passion. When he’s not immersed in the world of sports content creation, Rev is busy honing his skills in esports and exploring the great outdoors through activities like hiking and basketball.

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