212 stars from European top clubs shine in Egypt
The World Championship 2021, which threw off with hosts Egypt beating Chile 35:29 on Wednesday, will be the focal point in men’s international handball over the coming weeks.
For the first time 32 national teams are competing, and they rely for a large part on players from European top clubs.
No less than 117 players from clubs in this season’s EHF Champions League and 95 players in the EHF European League are part of the 13-31 January tournament in Egypt.
Barça lead the way, as the record Champions League winners and 2020 finalists have 14 players at the World Championship, divided over seven different nations.
Lomza Vive Kielce (13 players) and FC Porto (12) closely follow, but reigning Champions League winners THW Kiel have only six players in action in Egypt, as some of them - including all Germans - refrained from participating for various reasons.
Barça, Kielce and Telekom Veszprém HC are the clubs who provide the most nations with their players: seven each.
The biggest number of players from one country at one club is the combination of FC Porto and Portugal: 11.
Each of the 16 group phase participants have at least two players in the various squads at the World Championship, which include 18 to 20 players.
The overview below is based on the delegation lists of the national federations before the teams departed for Egypt.
Number of World Championship players per EHF Champions League club:
14 players from 7 nations: Barça (4 ESP, 3 FRA, 3 SLO, 1 BRA, 1 CRO, 1 DEN, 1 POR)
13/7: Lomza Vive Kielce (5 POL, 3 ESP, 1 GER, 1 CRO, 1 FRA, 1 ISL, 1 BLR)
12/2: FC Porto (11 POR, 1 MKD)
10/7: Telekom Veszprém HC (3 HUN, 2 ESP, 1 BRA, 1 CRO, 1 FRA, 1 NOR, 1 SLO)
10/4: MOL-Pick Szeged (4 HUN, 4 SLO, 1 ESP, 1 RUS)
9/4: SG Flensburg-Handewitt (3 NOR, 3 DEN, 2 SWE, 1 GER)
9/3: Paris Saint-Germain Handball (5 FRA, 2 ESP, 2 DEN)
6/4: THW Kiel (2 DEN, 2 NOR, 1 SLO, 1 CRO)
6/3: HC Meshkov Brest (4 BLR, 1 SLO, 1 CRO)
6/3: HC Vardar 1961 (4 MKD, 1 POL, 1 CRO)
6/2: Aalborg Håndbold (3 DEN, 3 SWE)
5/3: Elverum Handball (3 NOR, 1 FRA, 1 HUN)
4/4: HBC Nantes (1 ESP, 1 DEN, 1 MKD, 1 SLO)
3/2: RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko (2 SLO, 1 CRO)
2/1: HC PPD Zagreb (2 CRO)
2/1: HC Motor (2 BLR)
EHF EURO 2020 champions Spain and fourth-ranked side Slovenia have the highest number of EHF Champions League players in their squads: 13, one more than defending world champions Denmark and Portugal.
While Brazil is the only non-European country with Champions League players, two European nations have no Champions League player in their squads: Austria and Switzerland.
Number of EHF Champions League players per World Championship team:
13 players from 7 clubs: Slovenia
6/3: North Macedonia
0: Austria, Switzerland, Cape Verde, Uruguay, Tunisia, Angola, Japan, Qatar; Argentina, Bahrain, DR Congo, Algeria, Morocco, Egypt, Chile, Korea
However, it is not all about the Champions League. In its inaugural season, the 24 teams in the European League are also huge providers of players at the World Championship.
A total of 95 World Championship players from 24 countries are active in Europe’s second-tier club competition this season.
Four countries - Russia, Switzerland, Iceland and Germany - even have more European League players in their squads than Champions League players.
Russia top this ranking with 11 players, mainly thanks to the contributions from Chekhovskie Medvedi and CSKA. Also, seven non-European countries at the World Championship can rely on European League players.
Number of EHF European League players per World Championship team:
6: Denmark, France, Iceland, North Macedonia, Sweden
5: Croatia, Poland
4: Austria, Germany
3: Egypt, Norway, Portugal
2: Belarus, Brazil, Chile
1: Argentina, Cape Verde, Qatar, Slovenia, Spain, Tunisia
0: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, DR Congo, Japan, Korea, Morocco, Uruguay
In total, 212 players from Champions League and European League clubs are part of the World Championship.
Denmark, with 18, have the most players from Europe’s top two club competitions, followed by France with 17.
Number of players from the top two European club competitions per World Championship team:
15: Hungary, Portugal
14: Croatia, Slovenia, Spain
12: North Macedonia, Norway, Russia
11: Poland, Sweden
8: Iceland, Switzerland
4: Austria, Brazil
1: Argentina, Cape Verde, Qatar, Tunisia
0: Algeria, Angola, Bahrain, DR Congo, Japan, Korea, Morocco