French handball players ended their Euro 2024 qualifying campaign in vain against Italy 41-27 on Sunday in Rouen before celebrating hand legends Luc Abalo, Michaël Guigou and Cédric Sorhaindo at a ceremony. Although they had made sure to finish top of their group since their victory against Poland last month, the vice-world champions signed a sixth victory in as many days.
As during the easy success in Latvia last Wednesday (38-19), Guillaume Gille had chosen to keep many executives for the reception of Italy in this dense period in the club, including the pivots Luka Karabatic and Ludovic Fabregas. In their absence, the young Nantes player Théo Monar, 21, scored a 7/7 against the cages, for his eleventh appearance in blue.
“Hall of Fame” of the Blues
Failing to play, Fabregas like Karabatic were present in Normandy, like all the gold medalists of the Tokyo Games in 2021, to celebrate the triple Olympic champions Michaël Guigou, retired since last year, and Luc Abalo, who has put away the resin in March at the end of his season with the Zeekstar Tokyo. But also Cédric Sorhaindo: at 38, the quadruple world champion was crowned champion again this year with Dinamo Bucharest.
The French Handball Federation also deemed necessary on this occasion its brand new “Hall of Fame” of the Blues, a club with high access conditions: at least 200 selections and the three major handball titles (Olympic, world and European) or, failing that, an election as the best player in the world. From Jackson Richardson to Daniel Narcisse via Claude Onesta, they are currently twelve to meet these criteria.