Ivano Balic: “I can concentrate on handball in Pamplona”Article
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Portland star talks to Eurohandball.com about the upcoming Flensburg game and also about playing in Pamplona.

Ivano Balic: “I can concentrate on handball in Pamplona”

Anytime when an MVP is chosen at big championships, the name of Ivano Balic is always on the shortlist – at least. The 28-year old Croatian player received this title seven times so far at various Olympic Games, world- and European championships. In addition, Balic was World Player of the Year in 2003 and 2006.

Portland's greatest treasure, Ivano BalicEurohandball.com: You will meet your friend Blazenko Lackovic twice in the Champions League. Are you looking forward to it? Have you ever played together apart from the national team?

Ivano Balic: I’m very happy that I can play against my friend. He is a good player. We played together in Metkovic. We will soon see who plays better, or which team will be more successful.

Eurohandball.com: Many believe that you are the best playmaker in the World. Which colleagues do you think are outstanding players?

Ivano Balic: There are many good players nowadays, I could not single out one player. From SG Flensburg-Handewitt the best players – apart from Blazenko Lackovic – are Lars Christiansen and Dan Beutler.

Eurohandball.com: You have been playing for Portland since 2004. What do you especially appreciate in the club or the city of Pamplona?

Ivano Balic: I enjoy living in Pamplona. It is a beautiful city, a lot similar to my home town, Split. I like the old town a lot. I also like to play for the club and be part of this team. I can concentrate here on handball without a lot of tension.

Eurohandball.com: What do you think about your chances in the Main Round of the CL ?

Ivano Balic: This group is very equal. All four teams can reach the semi-final. I think that the team that will be able to win an away game will reach the semi-final.

Eurohandball.com: What do you know about SG Flensburg-Handewitt?

Ivano Balic: I know everything about Flensburg (he laughs). I have seen many of their games in TV.

TEXT: Jan Kirschner