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In Ancient Greece, there was a game called “Urania,” mentioned by Homer in the “Odyssey,” which involved a ball the size of an apple and was played with the hands, although without defined goals. The Romans also had a similar game, known as “Hasparton,” described by Claudius Galen (130-200 AD), which also used the hands. Handball and the biggest names in handball today are our subject!

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Read on to find out who the biggest names in handball today are!

biggest names in handball today

Handball’s biggest names today: historical context

Although it only became official as a sport in the 1920s, handball has its roots in many ancient practices.

In Ancient Greece, Rome and even the Middle Ages, there were games similar to handball.

At the beginning of the last century, the Danes played haaddbold, the Czechs practiced hazena, the Uruguayans played salon and the Irish had a game similar to today’s handball.

Read on to find out who the biggest names in handball today are!

These activities served as references, but the biggest influence on the creation of handball was raftball, a game created by German gymnastics teacher Max Heiser, who was also influenced by torball, another German sport.

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It is therefore difficult to determine exactly where modern handball originated. Basketball and soccer have even been mentioned as possible influences.

The sport began to be played on soccer pitches with 11 players on each team, following the rules made official by the German Gymnastics Federation.

Read on to find out who the biggest names in handball today are!

This began to change in 1920, when a decree from the director of the German School of Physical Education made the sport official.

In 1924, the Swedes began playing in gymnasiums due to the cold weather, with teams made up of seven players.

However, indoor handball took a while to become popular, with matches played on grass pitches being the tradition.

Read on to find out who the biggest names in handball are today!

The indoor format only gained momentum after the 1938 World Cup in Germany.

After the Second World War and with the creation of the International Handball Federation (IHF), the World Indoor Handball Championships were held in 1954 for men and 1957 for women.

From then on, field handball was gradually forgotten and was excluded from the world championships in 1966.

Biggest names in Handball today: competition rules

Handball competitions follow the rules laid down by the International Handball Federation (IHF).

The game is played between two teams of seven players each (six field players and a goalkeeper), on a 40×20 meter court, with a goal at each end.

The aim is to score more goals than the opposition by throwing the ball into the opposing goal. Each match consists of two 30-minute halves, with a 10-minute break.

If the game is tied in knockout competitions, there can be extra time and, if necessary, a penalty shootout.

Read on to find out who the biggest names in handball today are!

Biggest names in Handball today (Male – World)

Mikkel Hansen (Denmark)

Considered one of the best players of all time, Hansen has been a key member of the Danish national team, helping his country win world and Olympic titles.

Nikola Karabatić (France)

A three-time world champion and two-time Olympic champion, Karabatić is known for his versatility and ability in both defense and attack.

Sander Sagosen (Norway)

Sagosen is a rising star, known for his attacking skills and leadership abilities on the court.

Read on to find out who the biggest names in handball today are!

Biggest names in Handball today (Women – World)

Cristina Neagu (Romania)

Considered one of the best players in history, Neagu is known for her powerful shooting ability and vision.

Nora Mørk (Norway)

Mørk has been key to Norway’s success in international competitions, standing out as a top scorer and leader in assists.

Anna Vyakhireva (Russia)

Vyakhireva is known for her speed and creativity and is one of the main players in the Russian national team.

Biggest names in Handball today (Male – Brazil)

Thiagus Petrus

A defensive specialist, Petrus is known for his interception and blocking skills and is a key player for both the Brazilian national team and his club.

Haniel Langaro

Langaro is one of the top scorers in the Brazilian national team, known for his powerful long-range shot.

Read on to find out who the biggest names in handball today are!

Biggest names in Handball today (Female – Brazil)

Duda Amorim

Considered one of the best defenders in the world, Duda has been a central figure in Brazilian handball, with several international achievements.

Ana Paula Rodrigues

A talented midfielder, Ana Paula is known for her vision and playmaking skills, and is a leader on the court.

Which countries have the best chance of medaling at Paris 2024

The first time handball appeared at the Olympic Games was in Berlin in 1936. With great favoritism, the Germans won the gold medal after an impressive campaign.

During the tournament, the home team beat the United States 29-1 and defeated Hungary twice 22-0.

In the final, they faced Austria, who gave them a hard time but couldn’t prevent a German 8-6 victory, securing the title for the hosts.

In the last two editions of the Olympic Games, France in the men’s and Norway in the women’s have dominated.

The French and Norwegians won the gold medals at both Beijing 2008 and London 2012, making them stand out as powerhouses in the sport.

At the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, the teams with the best chances of winning medals in handball are:


  • Denmark: reigning Olympic and world champions, Denmark continue to be a powerhouse in men’s handball.
  • France: with a rich tradition in sport, France is always a strong contender for medals.
  • Norway: with talents like Sander Sagosen, Norway are a team on the rise.


  • Norway: traditionally one of the strongest teams, Norway is favored to win medals.
  • France: reigning Olympic champions France have a talented and well-trained team.
  • Russia: with players like Anna Vyakhireva, Russia is always a strong contender.

So, did you enjoy getting to know the biggest names in Handball today? Read more about the sport here!

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