Three-peat for Spain or end of 20-year wait for Sweden?
The EHF EURO 2022 final will see a rematch of the 2018 edition in Croatia, when Spain clinched their first title in the competition by beating record champions Sweden. And some history is sure to be made — either Sweden will extend their own record for most trophies won to five, or Spain will equal the Scandinavian team’s success of three consecutive titles.
Sweden vs Spain
Sunday 30 January, 18:00 CET, live on EHFTV
- the finalists have already met once at the EHF EURO 2022, when Spain took a 32:28 win in the preliminary round
- both teams overthrew current title-holders to reach the final — Spain beat world champions Denmark 29:25; Sweden defeated Olympic champions France 34:33
- Spain are aiming for their fifth major title overall, following the two EHF EURO wins in 2018 and 2020, and two world titles, in 2005 and 2013
- Sweden target their ninth major title although they hope to end a much longer wait — the Scandinavian team have won four trophies apiece at the EHF EURO and World Championship, with the last coming in 2002 and 1999, respectively
- Spain and Sweden have met in eight knockout or medal matches — most recently at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, when Spain won by one goal, 34:33, in the quarter-final
- there have been 26 direct duels between Spain and Sweden at major championships, with Sweden winning 14 and Spain 12. At the EHF EURO, Sweden won five times while Spain won four
- Sweden’s last victory against Spain was in 2009. All eight clashes since then have ended in favour of the defending EURO champions
- Sweden’s top scorer is left wing Hampus Wanne, with 41 goals - despite missing the semi-final - while Jim Gottfridsson has the second-highest assists in the competition, with 47
- Spain’s leading scorers are back Agustín Casado and wing Aleix Gómez, who have netted 34 and 35 respectively
- Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Palicka became the first ever in his position to score three goals in an EHF EURO match during the semi-final. He has made the most saves for his side, with 54
- Spain goalkeeper Gonzalo Perez de Vargas has stopped the most shots for his team — 57
- Perez de Vargas and Jorge Maqueda are the only finalists who were named in the 2020 All-star Team, while Sweden centre back Jim Gottfridsson was MVP of the 2018 edition
Joan Cañellas, Spain left back: “We are so proud of what we did throughout the whole event. Four finals in a row proves how strong Spanish handball is, when you take into consideration that the EHF EURO is the toughest of all tournaments. I do not know how we made it to the finals, but now we are here.”
Andreas Palicka, Sweden goalkeeper: "It’s a final. It’s 0:0 and it’s 60 minutes and it’s two great teams and the two best teams of the tournament are going to play the final. I think both teams are going to do everything to win it."