Croatia Handball Prepares for HEP Croatia Cup in Poreč Ahead of World Cup

Daniela Rogulj

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As part of the final preparations for the World Cup, which will be held from January 10 to 27, 2019, in Denmark and Germany, the Croatia handball team will perform in Poreč at the HEP Croatia Cup tournament, against the national teams of Montenegro and Italy, reports HRT on January 2, 2019. 

“Our goal was to select these opponents. They are teams that do not belong at the very top of the world and European handball, and they will not be at the upcoming World Cup, but they can still serve us well for these extra games, especially for the players from the Bundesliga who only joined us in the final stage of preparations,” Croatia national team coach Lino Červar said at a press conference held in Poreč on Wednesday. Červar added that at this stage, he would not let the players put too much of a burden on themselves or wear themselves out, to ensure they are at their best when he needs them most. 

“Montenegro is a team that is always ready to compete, while Italy has changed the leadership of the Federation and started to work hard, as confirmed by their juniors who are in Group A of World handball. The Italians began sending their prospective players to France to develop them further and will surely be a good rival for us,” said Červar, who thanked the city of Poreč for the excellent conditions.

“The hotel offers a fantastic gym, which is ideal for our preparations, provides us with intimacy and the ability to train without any harassment. We always find peace and tranquility in Poreč, which is very important for these big competitions,” added Červar, noting that the Croatia national team has held their preparations in Poreč for many major competitions, and always came back with good results.

“We hope that it will be this way this time too, although we are aware that it will not be easy,” concluded Červar.

Poreč mayor Loris Peršurić thanked the Croatian Handball Federation, for recognizing Poreč as an excellent host which urged them to bring the team to the Istrian city to prepare for the upcoming World Cup. 

The Croatia team will stay in Poreč until January 8, when they leave for Zagreb. From January 9, Croatia will fight in Munich for the World Cup. 

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