20220111 Mvps Feature Hansen
EHF EURO

The best of the European best

Who is the top of the top at Men’s EHF EURO events? If you ever wanted to know which players have shone at the European championships as top scorers and MVPs throughout history, here is your chance.

When it comes to the players who have made their mark at the EHF EURO over the years, there are plenty of recognisable names. Big stars such as Nikola Karabatic, Ivano Balic, Mikkel Hansen or Sander Sagosen are there, as well as players from the start of the EURO events.

Top scorers

The Czech Republic has generated the most top scorers, with Jan Filip (1998), Filip Jicha (2010) and Ondrej Zdrahla (2018) all making the list. Below the Czech Republic is Spain, with Joan Canellas (2014) and Valero Rivera (2016), and Croatia with Mirza Dzomba in 2004 and Ivano Balic in 2008.

The latter tournament was the only one with three top scorers: Lars Christiansen and Nikola Karabatic equalled Balic’s total of 44 goals.

In the whole history of the EHF EURO final tournaments, Christiansen is the only top scorer to have won gold. His fellow top scorers in 2008 also reached the podium, with Balic winning silver and Karabatic bronze.

Many thought that Kiril Lazarov’s 61 goals at the EHF EURO 2012 at Serbia would be a record for eternity, before Norwegian Sander Sagosen scored 65 goals at the EHF EURO 2020.

Top scorers of all Men’s EHF EURO events

1994 in Portugal: Vassili Kudinov (Russia), 50 goals
1996 in Spain: Thomas Knorr (Germany), 41 goals
1998 in Italy: Jan Filip (Czech Republic), 48 goals
2000 in Croatia: Oleg Velyky (Ukraine), 46 goals
2002 in Sweden: Olafur Stefansson (Iceland), 58 goals
2004 in Slovenia: Mirza Dzomba (Croatia), 46 goals
2006 in Switzerland: Siarhei Rutenka (Slovenia), 51 goals
2008 in Norway: Ivano Balic (Croatia), Lars Christiansen (Denmark) and Nikola Karabatic (France), all 44 goals
2010 in Austria: Filip Jicha (Czech Republic), 53 goals
2012 in Serbia: Kiril Lazarov (North Macedonia), 61 goals
2014 in Denmark: Joan Canellas (Spain), 50 goals
2016 in Poland: Valero Rivera (Spain), 48 goals
2018: Ondrej Zdrahala (Czech Republic), 55 goals
2020: Sander Sagosen (Norway), 65 goals

20220111 Mvps Feature Sagosen

Most Valuable Players

Only three MVPs were also crowned EHF EURO champions: Magnus Andersson (Sweden) in 1994, his compatriot and later-on Handball Player of the Century Magnus Wislander in 2002, and Frenchman Nikola Karabatic in 2014. In 2008 and 2010 the MVP was also the top scorer: Nikola Karabatic and Filip Jicha.

The 14 MVPs represent seven different countries: Sweden (three), France (three), Croatia (three), Spain (two), Germany, the Czech Republic and Serbia.

Balic and Karabatic are the only players to have received the MVP award twice. Balic won it twice in a row (2004 and 2006).


For five players, the MVP award was something of a consolation prize, as they received the trophy right after losing the EHF EURO finals. The first was Talant Dujshebaev (Spain) in 1996, the second Serb Momir Ilic in 2012. Since 2016, every MVP has shared their fate: Raul Entrerrios (Spain), Jim Gottfridsson (Sweden) and Domagoj Duvnjak (Croatia).

MVPs at Men’s EHF EURO events

1994: Magnus Andersson (Sweden)
1996: Talant Dujshebaev (Spain) 
1998: Daniel Stephan (Germany)
2000: Jackson Richardson (France)
2002 Magnus Wislander (Sweden)
2004: Ivano Balic (Croatia)
2006: Ivano Balic (Croatia)
2008: Nikola Karabatic (France)
2010: Filip Jicha (Czech Republic)
2012: Momir Ilic (Serbia)
2014: Nikola Karabatic (France)
2016: Raul Entrerrios (Spain)
2018: Jim Gottfridsson (Sweden)
2020: Domagoj Duvnjak (Croatia)

20220111 Mvps Feature Duvnjak

All-star Team members

Record winners Sweden are the top nation in terms of All-star Team nominations: 15 Swedish players have been named among the best of the tournament, as well as winning three MVP awards. Second-ranked is Spain (14 All-star nominations, plus two MVPs) ahead of Croatia (13 and three MVPs), Denmark (11), France (9 and three MVPs), Germany (10 and one MVP), Russia (six), Iceland, Norway (five), Slovenia and Poland (three), Czech Republic, Serbia (one All-star member and one MVP each), Hungary and Portugal (one). This means the All-star Teams have included players from 15 nations.

At the EHF EURO 1998 there was no All-star Team, but individual trophies were awarded. Since 2010, the best defender of the tournament is included in the All-star Team.

Looking at the biggest number of nominations, again Ivano Balic is on top. Including the MVP awards in 2004 and 2006, he was selected five times for EHF EURO All-star Teams (2004, 2006, 2008). Several players have three nominations, including Swedish goalkeeper Peter Gentzel, Olafur Stefansson, Mikkel Hansen and Sander Sagosen. Norwegian star Sagosen is the only player to have been part of the last three EHF EURO All-star Teams.


All-star Teams of all Men’s EHF EURO events

1994:
Goalkeeper: Thomas Svensson (SWE)
Left wing: Eric Hajas (SWE)
Left back: Vasiliy Kudinov (RUS)
Centre back: Magnus Anderson (SWE)
Right back: Jan Jorgensen (DEN)
Right wing: Pierre Thorsson (SWE)
Line player: Dimitry Torgovanov (RUS)

1996 (no All-star Team awarded, only MVP and best goalkeeper):
Best goalkeeper: Jaume Fort Mauri (ESP)
Best player: Talant Dushebaev (ESP)

1998:
Goalkeeper: Peter Gentzel (SWE)
Left wing: Stephan Kretzschmar (GER)
Right wing: Johan Petterson (SWE)
Line player: Andrey Tschepkin (ESP)
Left back: Daniel Stephan (GER)
Centre back: Talant Dujshebaev (ESP)
Right back: Serguei Pogorelov (RUS)

2000:
Goalkeeper: Peter Gentzel (SWE)
Left wing: Castillo Guijosa (ESP)
Left back: Carlos Resende (POR)
Centre back: Jackson Richardson (FRA)
Line player: Andrij Tschepkin (ESP)
Right back: Patrick Cazal (FRA)
Right wing: Irfan Smajlagic (CRO)

2002:
Goalkeeper: Peter Gentzel (SWE)
Left wing: Lars Christiansen (DEN)
Left back: Stefan Lövgren (SWE)
Centre back: Daniel Stefan (GER)
Line player: Magnus Wislander (SWE)
Right back: Olafur Stefansson (ISL)
Right wing: Denis Krivoshlykov (RUS)

2004:
Goalkeeper: Henning Fritz (GER)
Left wing: Eduard Koksharov (RUS)
Left back: Nikola Karabatic (FRA)
Centre back: Ivano Balic (CRO)
Line player: Michael Knudsen (DEN)
Right back: Volker Zerbe (GER)
Right wing: Vid Kavticnik (SLO)

2006:
Goalkeeper: Thierry Omeyer (FRA)
Left wing: Eduard Koksharov (RUS)
Left back: Iker Romero (ESP)
Centre back: Ivano Balic (CRO)
Line player: Rolando Urios (ESP)
Right back: Olafur Stefansson (ISL)
Right wing: Sören Stryger (DEN)

2008:
Goalkeeper: Kasper Hvidt (DEN)
Left wing: Lars Christiansen (DEN)
Left back: Daniel Narcisse (FRA)
Centre back: Ivano Balic (CRO)
Line player: Frank Loke (NOR)
Right back: Kim Andersson (SWE)
Right wing: Florian Kehrmann (GER)

2010:
Goalkeeper: Slavomir Szmal (POL)
Left wing: Manuel Strlek (CRO)
Left back: Filip Jicha (CZE)
Centre back: Nikola Karabatic (FRA)
Line player: Igor Vori (CRO)
Right back: Olafur Stefansson (ISL)
Right wing: Luc Abalo (FRA)
Best defence player: Jakov Gojun (CRO)

2012:
Goalkeeper: Darko Stanic (Serbia)
Left wing: Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson (Iceland)
Left back: Mikkel Hansen (Denmark)
Centre back: Uros Zorman (Slovenia)
Line player: Rene Toft Hansen (Denmark)
Right back: Marko Kopljar (Croatia)
Right wing: Christian Sprenger (Germany)
Best defender: Virán Morros (Spain)

2014:
Goalkeeper: Niklas Landin (DEN)
Left wing: Gudjon Valur Sigurdsson (ISL)
Left back: Mikkel Hansen (DEN)
Centre back: Domagoj Duvnjak (CRO)
Line player: Julen Aguinagalde (ESP)
Right back: Krzysztof Lijewski (POL)
Right wing: Luc Abalo (FRA)
Best defender: Tobias Karlsson (SWE)

2016:
Goalkeeper: Andreas Wolff (GER)
Left wing: Manuel Strlek (CRO)
Left back: Michal Jurecki (POL)
Centre back: Sander Sagosen (NOR)
Right back: Johan Jakobsson (SWE)
Right wing: Tobias Reichmann (GER)
Line player: Julen Aguinagalde (ESP)
Best defender: Henrik Mollgaard (DEN)

2018:
Goalkeeper: Vincent Gerard (FRA)
Left wing: Manuel Strlek (CRO)
Left back: Mikkel Hansen (DEN)
Centre back: Sander Sagosen (NOR)
Line player: Jesper Nielsen (SWE)
Right back: Alex Dujshebaev (ESP)
Right wing: Ferran Sole (ESP)
Best defender: Jakov Gojun (Croatia)

2020:
Goalkeeper: Gonzalo Perez de Vargas (Spain)
Left wing: Magnus Jøndal (Norway)
Left back: Sander Sagosen (Norway)
Centre back: Igor Karacic (Croatia)
Line player: Bence Bánhidi (Hungary)
Right back: Jorge Maqueda (Spain)
Right wing: Blaz Janc (Slovenia)
Best defender: Hendrik Pekeler (Germany)

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