16 players in handball coach Christian Prokop’s World Cup squad. This Friday, they can reach the final with a win in the semifinals against Norway in Hamburg. But what makes the players tick??
Andreas WOLFF: Tall, athletic, a bit crazy: national coach Prokop made him number one for the World Cup weeks before the tournament. Wolff justified the trust with partly outstanding performances.
Silvio HEINEVETTER: At 34, the oldest player on the team is also known outside of handball because he is dating actress Simone Thomalla. Has recently discovered Instagram for himself and seems to enjoy fun photos and videos. The goalkeeper is always there when needed.
Uwe GENSHEIMER: The captain. And: “The best left winger in the world,” thinks not only ex-professional Stefan Kretzschmar. With his extraordinary wrist, the Paris Saint-Germain player sinks practically every shot on a good day. Also the German team’s most reliable seven-metre shooter.
Patrick WIENCEK: His nickname is “Bamm Bamm. The 2.01-meter-tall, 116-kilogram defender is probably the best defender so far at this World Cup. The 29-year-old takes great pleasure in clearing away everything in his path.
Hendrik PEKELER: The 27-year-old forms a congenial inside block duo with Wiencek, not only at THW Kiel but also in the national team. Like his defensive partner, Pekeler is also a rather quiet timekeeper on the outside.
Fabian BoHM: Experiencing the best time of his career at the age of 29. And the back-row player already has clear plans for the time after that. First he wants to play a little handball and then work in his father’s company in Potsdam.
Patrick GROETZKI: The slim one. Compared to the sometimes massive German players, Groetzki stands out because of his comparatively slender figure. Not playing his best tournament yet.
Jannik KOHLBACHER: Next to Wiencek and Pekeler the third circle runner in the German team – and probably the best offensively. Opposing defenses rarely get a hold of his brawny body.
Paul DRUX: “Darling of all mothers-in-law,” DHB Vice President Bob Hanning said about Drux before the World Cup. The 23-year-old is of great importance for the DHB selection. Because when nothing works on the pitch, Drux often goes. At 1.92 meters, the back-row player can burrow his way through even the tightest of defenses.
Finn LEMKE: 2.10 meters tall – Lemke is the tallest player in the German team. Incredibly important for the internal climate, constantly cheering on his teammates even from the sidelines and cheering every successful action like a victory.
Fabian WIEDE: The left-hander for special moments. What is in the left arm of Wiede, he showed impressively in the nerve thriller against the Croats, when he was the best German player.
Steffen WEINHOLD: The veteran at the back. The 32-year-old doesn’t usually stand out much on or off the floor – but is enormously important for the team, especially because of his experience.
Matthias MUSCHE: The man with the blond beard. With 162 goals, the SC Magdeburg left wing is currently the Bundesliga’s top scorer. In the national team, he is number two behind captain Gensheimer.
Kai HaFNER: Hafner was bitterly disappointed before the World Cup when Prokop did not include him in the final squad. Instead of getting frustrated, the 2016 European champion kept fit – and was recently rewarded with a subsequent nomination.
Steffen FaTH: A man of calm words. And one with extraordinary skills. When Fath comes with speed from the back, he is almost unstoppable. Like hardly any other player, the 28-year-old is dependent on the confidence of the coach – and he gets that from Prokop.
Tim SUTON: The Steering Man. After Martin Strobel’s injury, Suton is expected to lift the German team’s game. The 22-year-old is considered a great playmaking talent. Got straight into the tournament with a strong performance against Spain.