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Debating with your friends who’s the best Handball coach?

Claude Onesta, Dagur Sigurdsson or Valero Rivera?

Here is our list of the best Handball coaches of all time.

Do you agree with our picks?

Best Handball Coaches:

  1. Claude Onesta
  2. Dagur Sigurdsson
  3. Valero Rivera
  4. Talant Dujshebaev
  5. Ivano Balić
  6. Ulrik Wilbek
  7. Veselin Vujović
  8. Christian Berge
  9. Dragan Adžić

#1 Claude Onesta

  • 🏆 Achievements: 2 Olympic Gold Medals, 3 World Championships, 3 European Championships
  • 📅 Years Active: 2001–2016
  • 👕 Teams Coached: France National Team
  • 🌐 Nationality: French

Claude Onesta is widely regarded as one of the best handball coaches in history, having led the French national team to unparalleled success on the international stage.

Under his guidance, France secured double Olympic gold medals in 2008 and 2012, making them the dominant force in world handball during his tenure.

Not only did he achieve considerable success in major tournaments, but Onesta also instilled a winning mentality in the team that led to triumphs in further World and European Championships, further cementing his legacy.

#2 Dagur Sigurdsson

  • 🏆 Achievements: 1 European Championship, Olympic Bronze
  • 📅 Years Active: 2000–Present
  • 👕 Teams Coached: Austria National Team, Germany National Team, Japan National Team, Füchse Berlin
  • 🌐 Nationality: Icelandic

Icelandic coach Dagur Sigurdsson is celebrated for his tactical intelligence and ability to elevate teams to new heights.

His most notable achievements include leading Germany to its European Championship title in 2016 and steering them to a Bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.

Sigurdsson’s coaching career is highlighted by his successful stint with Füchse Berlin, as well as reinvigorating the German national team during his management, fostering a strong and competitive squad.

#3 Valero Rivera

  • 🏆 Achievements: 1 World Championship, 5 European Cups (Club), Multiple Spanish Titles
  • 📅 Years Active: 1983–Present
  • 👕 Teams Coached: FC Barcelona, Spain National Team, Qatar National Team
  • 🌐 Nationality: Spanish

Valero Rivera has an exceptional record both in domestic and international handball coaching.

His time at FC Barcelona is particularly distinguished, where he won five European Cups and several domestic championships, establishing the team as a powerhouse in European handball.

Coaching the Spanish national team, Rivera achieved greatness by securing the World Championship in 2013, and he continued to demonstrate his coaching prowess with the Qatar national team, leading them to new heights on the international stage.

#4 Talant Dujshebaev

  • 🏆 Achievements: Multiple EHF Champions League Titles, Numerous Domestic Championships
  • 📅 Years Active: Late 1990s–Present
  • 👕 Teams Coached: Ciudad Real, Vive Targi Kielce, Hungary National Team, Poland National Team
  • 🌐 Nationality: Kyrgyzstani-Spanish

Talant Dujshebaev, a former handball player turned coach, transformed into one of the sport’s best strategic minds.

As a coach, he led Spanish club Ciudad Real to European success with multiple EHF Champions League titles, demonstrating his ability to create champions at the club level.

He continued his success with Polish club Vive Targi Kielce and expanded his influence internationally by taking the helm of both the Hungarian and Polish national teams, advancing their competitive status in the international arena.

#5 Lino Červar

  • 🏆 Achievements: 1 Olympic Gold Medal, 1 World Championship, 2 European Championships
  • 📅 Years Active: 1980–Present
  • 👕 Teams Coached: Croatia National Team, North Macedonia National Team, Various Club Teams
  • 🌐 Nationality: Croatian

Lino Červar is credited with leading the Croatian national team to some of their most glorious moments in handball history.

His coaching acumen was crucial in securing the Olympic gold medal at the 2004 Athens Games and also in Croatia’s World Championship victory in 2003.

Červar’s leadership was not confined to the national team alone; he also enjoyed success in club coaching and later took on the challenge of guiding the North Macedonian national team, showcasing his vast experience and adaptability in the sport.

#6 Ulrik Wilbek

  • 🏆 Achievements: 2 European Championships
  • 📅 Years Active: 1988–2014
  • 👕 Teams Coached: Denmark National Team, Various Club Teams
  • 🌐 Nationality: Danish

As the mastermind behind the Danish national team, Ulrik Wilbek shaped Denmark into one of the most consistent and respected teams in international handball.

Under his leadership, Denmark clinched European Championship titles in 2008 and 2012, reinforcing their status as a European powerhouse.

Wilbek’s skill in player management and tactical innovation is widely admired, and his contributions have left an indelible mark on Danish handball, inspiring future generations of coaches and players alike.

#7 Veselin Vujović

  • 🏆 Achievements: Multiple League Titles in Former Yugoslavia, Slovenia, and Middle East
  • 📅 Years Active: 2000–Present
  • 👕 Teams Coached: RK Zagreb, RK Vardar, Slovenia National Team, Kuwait National Team, etc.
  • 🌐 Nationality: Montenegrin

Veselin Vujović, admired for his spirited coaching style, has enjoyed a successful coaching career following his time as an esteemed handball player.

His coaching achievements are numerous, with league titles across different countries, further proving his versatility and capability to adapt to various teams and circumstances.

Vujović also brought his expertise to the national level, coaching teams like Slovenia and Kuwait, and continues to impact the sport with his extensive knowledge and passion for handball.

#8 Christian Berge

  • 🏆 Achievements: Multiple Norwegian Championships, EHF Cup
  • 📅 Years Active: 2009–Present
  • 👕 Teams Coached: Elverum Handball, Norway National Team
  • 🌐 Nationality: Norwegian

Christian Berge’s tenure as a handball coach characterized by achievements at both the club level and international stage with Norway.

His expertise and leadership have not only led to a dominant period for Elverum Handball in Norway but also under his guidance, the Norway national team has witnessed a renaissance and made significant strides in international competitions.

Berge’s emphasis on developing homegrown talent and creating a solid team cohesion serves as a testament to his coaching acumen, marking him as a key figure in the rise of Norwegian handball.

#9 Dragan Adžić

  • 🏆 Achievements: EHF Champions League, Multiple Montenegrin Championships
  • 📅 Years Active: 2010–Present
  • 👕 Teams Coached: ŽRK Budućnost, Montenegro Women’s National Team
  • 🌐 Nationality: Montenegrin

Dragan Adžić distinguishes himself as one of the premier coaches in women’s handball, particularly with his work at ŽRK Budućnost and the Montenegro national team.

His coaching brought unprecedented success to ŽRK Budućnost, including a momentous victory in the EHF Champions League, establishing the team as a formidable force in European women’s handball.

Adžić’s role in leading the Montenegro women’s national team to success on the international stage highlights his exceptional ability to build winning squads and nurture world-class handball talent.

The strategic minds behind the game’s greatest successes offer much to learn about, similar to how choosing handball team names can reflect a team’s spirit and aspirations.



Who is the greatest handball coach of all time?

Vladimir Maximov is often considered the greatest handball coach of all time, leading the Soviet Union and Russia to numerous victories, including Olympic gold.

Who was the most successful handball coach?

Vladimir Maximov is the most successful handball coach, with an illustrious career coaching Russia and winning multiple Olympic, World Championship, and European Championship titles.

Max is a sports enthusiast who loves all kinds of ball and water sports. He founded & runs stand-up-paddling.org (#1 German Paddleboarding Blog), played competitive Badminton and Mini Golf (competed on national level in Germany), started learning ‘real’ Golf and dabbled in dozens of other sports & activities.

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