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Handball, as we know it today, is a sport that has evolved significantly since its first forms were played on the streets of Denmark at the end of the 19th century. Transformed from a rudimentary game to an Olympic discipline, the sport has captured the imagination of millions and played host to the best female handball players of all time. The modern version of the game was carved out in Germany in the 1910s and quickly became popular in Europe.

However, it is in women’s handball that we have seen some of the most exciting pages in the history of this sport being written. The best female handball players of all time have stood out, showing that the dynamism and strategy of women’s handball are constantly evolving. With two Olympic versions since 1972 for men and 1976 for women, the sport has been the scene of memorable performances that inspire generations.

Against this backdrop of exceptional talent, the best female handball players of all time stand out, each of them leaving an indelible mark on the history of the sport;

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Shall we get to know some of the best female handball players of all time and their inspiring stories? Come with us!

Best female handball players of all time: complete list!

  1. Duda Amorim
  2. Amandine Leynaud
  3. Anna Vyakhireva
  4. Crina Elena Pintea
  5. Cristina Neagu
  6. Bojana Radulovic
  7. Stine Bredal Oftedal
  8. Lim O-Kyeong
  9. Jovanka Radicevic
  10. Lois Abbingh
  11. Majda Mehmedovic
  12. Sandra Toft
  13. Alexandra Nascimento
  14. Heidi Loke
  15. Bruna de Paula

The best female handball players of all time: discover the history of the stars

  1. Duda Amorim

Main Titles: Pan American Games (2007, 2011 and 2019), World Champion (2013);

History: Born in Blumenau, Brazil, Duda started out in handball in her hometown before becoming an international star. She has been playing handball in Europe since 2005, having played in Macedonia before arriving in Hungary.

Curiosity: Duda was voted one of the best female handball players of all time by the IHF in 2014.

  1. Amandine Leynaud

Main Titles: German World Cup (2017), French Euro (2018).

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History: Amandine, from France, is known for her extraordinary skills as a goalkeeper, a crucial position in handball. She is currently with the Hungarian team Gÿori.

Curiosity: In addition to her skills on the court, Leynaud is also known for her work promoting handball among young girls.

  1.  Anna Vyakhireva

Main Titles: Olympic Games (2016), World Championships (2019).

History: Born in Russia, Anna is famous for her agility and impeccable technique, which have made her one of the most feared players in her position.

Curiosity: She has a sister, Polina Kuznetsova, who is also a renowned handball player. In addition, Annna was voted the best player of the 2016 Olympic tournament.

  1. Crina Elena Pintea

Main Titles: Romanian Super Cup (2011), EHF Cup (2012), EHF Champions League (2019), Hungarian Championship (2019, 2022).

History: Originally from Romania, Crina is known for her strength and ability in the pivot, being a centerpiece for any team she plays for. She currently plays for CSM Bucuresti.

Curiosity: Pintea began his career in athletics before dedicating himself to handball.

  1. Cristina Neagu

Main Titles: EHF Champions League (2015), Romanian National League (2009/10/11/12/13/18/21/23), Romanian Cup (2011/18/19/22/23).

History: Neagu is one of Romania’s great stars, known for being one of the best handball players of all time thanks to her ability to score from any position on the court. Cristina currently plays for CSM Bucuresti.

Curiosity: Cristina had to overcome several serious injuries to return to the top of world handball.

  1. Bojana Radulovic

Main Titles: EHF Champions League (1999), EHF Cup (1999), Magyar Kupa (1998/99/00/02/07).

History: Of Hungarian nationality, Bojana is remembered for her incredible playing ability and leadership on the court.

Curiosity: She opted for Hungarian sporting nationality after starting her career in Yugoslavia. In 2004 she was awarded the SportStars Award, given to the best athletes in their respective sports.

  1. Stine Bredal Oftedal

Mainstays Titles: EHF Champions League (2018,2019), IHF World Championship (2011, 2015, 2021), EHF Euro (2010/14/16/20/22).

History: A Norwegian, Stine is renowned for her command in midfield and her exceptional vision of the game.

Curiosity: Stine is part of a family where everyone plays handball, including her two sisters. She was voted player of the year in the French league three times (2014, 2016 and 2017).

  1. Lim O-Kyeong

Main Titles: Olympic Games (1992)

History: Lim is an icon of South Korean handball, known for her speed and precision in attack.

Curiosity: The athlete is active in South Korean politics and was voted one of the best handball players of all time in 1996.

  1. Jovanka Radicevic

Major titles: EHF Champions League (2013), EHF Euro (2012)

History: A Montenegrin, Jovanka is famous for her agility and ability to score goals at crucial moments, playing as a right winger. She currently plays in the Macedonian league for ŽRK Vardar and is also a member of the Montenegrin Women’s Handball Team.

Curiosity: Radicevic is known for her contagious energy on the court and is part of the 800 Club, having scored more than 800 goals in her career.

  1. Lois Abbingh

Main Titles: IHF World Championship (2019), DHB-Pokal (2012), Santander Cup (2020).

History: A native of the Netherlands, Lois is notable for her powerful shooting ability, which is crucial in the decisive moments of major tournaments. She was one of the key players in the Dutch team that reached the final of the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship.

Curiosity: In 2017, she became a member of the All-Star team (as the best left back) and was among the top scorers, in second place, with her 58 goals scored.

  1. Majda Mehmedovic

Main Titles: Olympic Games (2012), EHF Champions League (2012, 2015).

History: Also from Montenegro, Majda is known for her speed and precision and is a key player in her team’s attack.

Curiosity: Majda was part of the squad for the Montenegrin team’s unprecedented silver medal at London 2012

  1. Sandra Toft

Main Titles: Hungarian Championship (2022)

History: A native of Denmark, Sandra is known for her spectacular saves and imposing presence in goal.

Curiosity: In 2009, Toft suffered a serious car accident in which she had problems with her neck vertebra. She was able to return to the court five months after the accident. She won the title of best goalkeeper in the EHF 2014/15.

  1. Alexandra Nascimento

Main titles: IHF World Player of the Year in 2012.

History: Brazilian Alexandra began her career in São Paulo and is one of the world’s great handball wings.

Curiosity: She was the first Brazilian to be voted the best female handball players in the world by the IHF.

  1. Heidi Loke

Main Titles: Olympic Games (2012)

History: Heidi, from Norway, is one of the most dominant pivots in handball, known for her defensive and offensive skills.

Curiosity: Voted the best player in the world in 2011, when she won the World Cup in São Paulo.

  1. Bruna de Paula

Main Titles: South American Games (2018), Pan American Games (2019).

History: Born in Minas Gerais, Bruna quickly made a name for herself on the international stage, being known for her technical ability and vision of the game. She is currently a member of the Győri Audi ETO KC team in Hungary.

Curiosity: From a humble background, Bruna helped her mother harvest coffee, as well as selling popsicles and working in a mechanic’s shop.

Women’s handball not only provides a spectacle of skill and emotion, but also serves as a powerful example of how sport can transform lives and inspire future generations. The best female handball players of all time have not only achieved personal success, but have also taken women’s handball to a new level, demonstrating the importance and impact of inclusion and equality in sport.

These athletes, truly some of the best female handball players of all time, continue to inspire young people all over the world to pursue their dreams in sport and in life.

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