Croatia (CRO)

Croatia is returning to the EHF EURO after a surprising bronze medal two years ago. The 'Queens of Shock' did almost the impossible when they ended their 11th EHF EURO participation with a historic bronze medal for women's handball in Croatia.

Head coach Nenad Sostaric now has a somewhat changed team due to injuries. Sostaric has realistic goals for the EHF EURO 2022, though he dreams of repeating the success. One thing is certain: even if the bronze medal was a one-off, Croatia is rising again in women's handball.

The main concern is injuries that have put a few important players in doubt. The most significant absent player is Camila Micijevic, one of the team's top scorers from the EHF EURO 2020. After her third ACL injury, she will miss the competition. Her absence will definitely be visible in their style of play, as the sharpshooter has often been unstoppable in crucial moments.

However, Sostaric will use his expertise to help Croatia adjust. Larissa Kalaus is already well known and has been playing at a high level. Dejana Milosavljevic is an important part of Croatia's attack, but her participation is still doubtful due to a hand injury. Sostaric's biggest problem might be Croatia’s attack and their easy flow of play.

Croatia had been underachievers in the past decade, but the EHF EURO 2020 changed everything as the team surpassed expectations and returned home as heroes. The 'Queens of Shock', who only lost to France and Norway, sealed the bronze medal when they defeated Denmark 25:19. The result boosted their confidence as they qualified for the IHF Women's World Championship for the first time in 10 years.

The team will play in Ljubljana against Norway, Hungary and Switzerland. Apart from Norway, the clear favourites in group A, Croatia can hope for wins against the two other opponents. Progressing to the main round would already be a great success for Croatia.

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Player Cumulative Statistics Roster
# Player MP Goals Shots % 7m YC RC 2 Min TP
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EHF competition history

Top Results

ECh Beach Handball
2022 - 3rd place

European Championship
2020 - 3rd place

ECh Beach Handball
2011 - Champion

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Key Players

Ivana Kapitanovic


Current club: CS Rapid Bucuresti since 2022

  • Croatian international who joined Rapid Bucuresti in the summer of 2022 for their debut CL season
  • Previously spent four years at Metz, where she arrived from Podravka Vegeta
  • Was Croatian handball player of the year in 2019
  • Missed Croatia’s surprise bronze medal at the EHF EURO 2020 due to a knee injury
  • Made her EHF EURO debut in 2018; first appearance for the senior national team came in 2014
Ana Debelic
Line Player

Line player

Current club: Vipers Kristiansand since 2021

  • Played for Croatian powerhouses Lokomotiva Zagreb and Podravka Vegeta, and Russian club Astrakhanochka
  • Signed for Vipers in the summer of 2021 and won the CL 2021/22 title with the Norwegian club
  • An excellent defender, Debelic was named the All-star line player at the EHF EURO 2020, where Croatia won the bronze medal
  • Started playing handball aged six when she was still playing tennis and dancing. Chose handball as her sole sport when she was 14
  • Loves cooking and has a degree in forestry from Zagreb University

EHF EURO: B 2020

All-star Line Player: EHF EURO 2020

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Head Coach

Nenad Šoštaric


Current club: HC Lokomotiva Zagreb since 2013

  • A 63-year-old former player for Zagreb and Yugoslavia’s U18, U20 and senior national teams
  • Coached Croatia’s women’s youth teams and the senior national team; returned to the helm in 2017 and won the bronze medal at the EHF EURO 2020
  • Coached numerous clubs in Croatia and internationally
  • Has been the coach of Lokomotiva Zagreb since 2013
  • Also coached Jordan’s men’s and women’s national teams
  • In 2021 received ‘Franjo Bučar’ State Award for Sport in Croatia, the highest recognition for extraordinary achievements and contributions in sport

International medals as a coach: EHF EURO: B 2020

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