All-star Team nominees profiles - part 1Article
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ALL-STAR TEAM: Profiles of the nominees for the Women's EHF Champions League 2018/19 All-star Team in the categories: goalkeepers, left wings, left backs, centre backs and line players.

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All-star Team nominees profiles - part 1

Before voting, take a closer look at the nominees in the categories: goalkeepers, left wings, left backs, centre backs and line players.


Blanka Biro (HUN) - FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

• born and raised in Vác, where she played for eight years

• played internationally in the EHF Cup and the Cup Winners’ Cup, and was first called up for the national team at age 18 - for the home EHF EURO 2014

• one of her saves at EHF EURO 2014 was elected ’Save of the Round’

• the 1.86-m tall goalkeeper is an up-and-comer in Hungarian handball and is expected to be the first choice for the national team


Katrine Lunde (NOR) - Vipers Kristiansand

•  one of the best goalkeepers in the world, with a huge collection of trophies won with both her clubs and the Norwegian national team

•  her move to Rostov-Don after five years at Hungary’s Györ was one of the biggest transfers in 2015

•  joined Vipers two years later to be reunited with her twin sister, Kristine



Amandine Leynaud (FRA) - Györi Audi ETO KC

joined Györ from Vardar in the summer of 2018

was one of the crucial players for Vardar in five seasons since 2013

CL All-star Team nominee in 2015/16, 2016/17 and 2017/18

came close, but never won the CL with Vardar: they finished runners-up twice and placed third three times



Laura Glauser (FRA) - Metz Handball

joined in 2011, she is the longest-serving Metz player alongside Jurswailly Luciano

a fan favourite thanks to her never-ending good mood

a very important player in the national team

back playing after a year off to give birth to her daughter



Mayssa Pessoa (BRA) - Rostov-Don

• played in Brazil until she was 27, when she transferred to Issy Paris

• Has changed clubs a lot: After one year in France, she moved to Dinamo Volgograd before signing with Bucuresti for 2015/16, then joining Vardar for 2016/17

• her nickname is “Taffarel” after her idol, one of Brazil’s greatest football goalkeepers

• loves tattoos and has 32 on her body. Her favourite ones are the names of her elatives in Chinese and the Olympic rings inked in London



Itana Grbic (MNE) - Buducnost

joined Buducnost from Vardar in 2016 and previously played for RK Danilovgrad, Buducnost’s second team

made CL debut with Vardar in 2014/15 in a match against Krim

was part of All-star Team at Youth WCh 2014, and is member of Montenegrin senior national team since 2015

her brother, Petar Grbic, is a professional football player, also for the national team


Manon Houette (FRA) - Metz Handball

returned to France in the summer of 2017 after a season with Thüringer HC

before the stint in Germany, she had only played for Fleury Loiret Handball

was elected best left wing in the Bundesliga in 2016/17

made her national team debut in 2014 and is now a regular, sharing the left wing position with captain Siraba Dembele


Majda Mehmedovic (MNE) - CSM Bucuresti

• joined CSM in the summer of 2016 from Buducnost and will return at the end of this season

• her mother played handball as a goalkeeper; started handball in Bar at the age of 12 with her brother Musa and immediately loved it

• it took her two years to get into the first team after being signed by Buducnost

• voted for the 2013/14 CL All-star team as the best left wing

Nadine Schatzl (HUN) - FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

joined FTC in 2015 after three seasons with Erd

had her first CL experience as an 18-year-old with Györ in 2010/11, and she reached the CL Final with that club the following season

born in Munich, Germany, but started playing handball in Mohács at the age of 10

member of Hungarian national team, and was CL All-star Team nominee in 2016/17

Freja Cohrt (DEN) - Odense HC

joined from league rivals Silkeborg Voel in the summer of 2017

was part of the Danish team that won the under 18 WCh 2013 in Montenegro

a fast and technically skilled winger with a god variety of shots





Tjasa Stanko (SLO) - RK Krim Mercator

technically very skilled Slovenian player, who was raised in Zagorje, where she also won a championship title

leading national team player, scored 38 goals in qualification for the EHF EURO 2018

at her best on the left side but can play as a centre back as well



Anne Mette Hansen (DEN) - Györi Audi ETO KC

• joined Györ in the summer of 2017 from Danish runners-up København Håndbold, where she spent three seasons

• got her international break-through in the Danish national team at the EHF EURO 2014

• had large parts of her first season in Györ ruined by injuries, but is back at full strength now

• hard and effectively shooting backcourt player in the attack and just as valuable in defence due to her uncompromising style

Djurdjina Jaukovic (MNE) - Buducnost

started with handball at age nine in her home town Niksic, thanks to her father Jovo, former president of Sutjeska

joined Buducnost in 2013 at age 15, but was on loan in Danilovgrad for two years

named best young player in Montenegro twice (2014, 2015)

scored four goals on her CL debut against Sävehof in 2015/16


Emilie Hegh Arntzen (NOR) - Vipers Kristiansand

joined Vipers from league rivals Byasen ahead of the 2017/18 season

daughter of former Norwegian international Hanne Hegh and former assistant coach of Norway’s female national team, Ketil Arntzen

started playing handball at age eight and started her senior career in Gjerpen, the club she reached the Norwegian top flight with


Lois Abbingh (NED) - Rostov-Don

first Dutch player in Russian handball, joined Rostov in 2018 from Issy Paris

previously played for Emmen, Oldenburg (both NED) and Baia Mare (ROU)

gained CL experience with Baia Mare in 2014/15 and 2015/16, scoring 60 times in the latter season

her parents, grandparents and aunt also played handball

is a key player of the Dutch national team, and contributed a lot to its successes in recent years



Nerea Pena (ESP) - FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria

Spanish international, a clutch player for FTC since being signed from Itxako in 2012

injury-prone sharp shooter, has been through difficult times after injuring the same knee twice 

finished runner-up in the CL with Itxako in 2011; voted to the All-star Team of EHF EURO 2010



Stine Oftedal (NOR) - Györi Audi ETO KC

 • the star playmaker has won three EHF EUROs and a duo of World Championships since making her debut for Norway in 2010

• joined Györ last season after spending four seasons at Issy Paris Hand

• individual accolades include: MVP of the World Championship 2017 and French league MVP in 2014, in addition to various other recognitions


Grace Zaadi (FRA) - Metz Handball

one of the products of the local handball school in Metz

plays at centre back but is also able to help on the left side

big social media fan, often seen on Twitter sporting outlandish hats and original outfits

has extended her contract with Metz until 2020


Nycke Groot (NED) - Györi Audi ETO KC

Dutch playmaker, who made an immediate impact after arriving in Györ in 2015

moved to Denmark at a young age to play for Holstebro and later FC Midtjylland, which she led to the FINAL4 in 2014 as she become the event’s top scorer (20 goals)

CL All-star centre back 2015/16, player of the year in the Danish league in 2014, EHF Player of the Month for December 2016, EHF EURO 2016 All-star centre back and MVP


Andrea Lekic (SRB) - CSM Bucuresti

one of the main transfers in the summer of 2018, joining from Vardar

competed in karate and reached the blue belt before moving on to ball sports, including volleyball, basketball, football and tennis

voted World Player of the Year in 2013, made All-star Team at EHF EURO 2012

won the CL with Györ in 2012/13, finished runner-up once, and finished third three straight times




Beatrice Edwige (FRA) - Metz Handball

mainly a defensive specialist but also valuable player in attack

branded by France national team coach Olivier Krumbholz as one of the five best defenders in the world, was crowned best defender at EHF EURO 2016

shares the same passion for social media as Grace Zaadi

Crina Pintea (ROU) - Györi Audi ETO KC

tall, strong line player who is very difficult to defend and works well with the back-court 

• selected as the best line player of the French league in 2017/18

• started her professional career with HC Zalau before moving to Thuringer HC in Germany in 2015, then transferring to Issy Paris Hand in 2017

• joined Györ at the beginning of 2019

Kseniya Makeeva (RUS) - Rostov-Don

2018/19 will be her fifth season with Rostov-Don

began career at Dinamo Volgograd, where she won six Russian championships

was also a teammate of Lois Abbingh at Romanian side Baia Mare in 2014/15

plays for the Russian national team but missed the golden 2016 Olympic tournament due to injury


Sladjana Pop-Lazic (SRB) - Brest Bretagne Handball

 • joined Brest in 2017, like fellow Serbian player Jovana Stoiljkovic

she first arrived in France in 2012, played in Besançon for three seasons before joining Metz in 2015, and played in the CL for the first time in 2016/17

scored 39 goals in Metz’s 2016/17 European campaign

regarded as one of the best line players in the French league

Meike Schmelzer (GER) - Thüringer HC

n her fifth CL season with Thüringer HC

successfully stepped in to replace captain Danick Snelder after the Dutch line player joined FTC in 2017

became German national team player at the age of 20, and played her first major event at EHF EURO 2016

studies sports and English to become a teacher after her handball career


TEXT: EHF / cor