Who will be our Nati pillars in the future?
Most successful handball teams are built on a strong axis of goalkeeper, head of cover and playmaker. Nati goalie Nikola Portner (26) has proven in two of three European Championship games that he is up to the task. Defense chief Samuel Röthlisberger (23) is predicted a great Bundesliga career. Due to his calm nature and unspectacular role, the Stuttgart professional is probably the most underrated Swiss at this European Championship. It looks different in the attack: Who will one day assume Andy Schmid’s huge legacy in the back area is not yet foreseeable.
His contract with the Rhein-Neckar Löwen runs until 2022. Until then, the 36-year-old also wants to remain loyal to Nati. What follows is open. Schmid has always emphasized that he wants to give something back to Swiss handball. He will almost certainly not do this as a player in two years after the European Championship.
What are we missing up to the top of the world?
A whole lot. This was shown by the European Championship games against Sweden (21:34) and Slovenia (25:29). Slovenia coach Ljubomir Vranjes says the difference between the Swiss and his team: «All my players make important decisions for top clubs like Kiel or Veszprem. That makes life as a coach easy. »Switzerland does not have this breadth. In addition, the Nati lacks cleverness and precision at this level. The matter of course before the tournament was suddenly gone at the EM.
When will we be able to achieve a result like the fourth World Cup place in 1993?
Maybe never. Anyone who still compares today’s Nati with the team around Marc Baumgartner has not understood the development of sport since then. With semi-professionals like in the 90s, flower pots can no longer be won today. Switzerland would need 20 professionals abroad to ever come close to such a result.
What are the next dates for Nati?
The first of two playoff rounds for the 2021 World Cup in Egypt is on the program for Switzerland in mid-April. The pairings will only be drawn after the European Championship final. Since only 13 European teams are going to the World Cup, there is a real chunk of opponents in the second playoff round in June. Qualifying for the EM 2022 in Hungary and Slovakia is therefore more realistic than participating in the World Cup.