EURO 2012

Stranovsky for HP: “We expect a lot at the EHF EURO 2012”

During the preparations for the EHF EURO 2012 are undergoing, we spoke with Martin Stranovsky, Slovakia’s leader of this generation. We spoke with him about the club, the national team and expectations, and the rumours about a transfer to Barcelona…
Q1: You are third in the Spanish ASOBAL league, right behind the so-far undefeated Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. What is Ademar Leon’s goal this season in the ASOBAL League? Can you challenge Atletico and Barcelona?
Our biggest success in this season I think was the final game in League Cup, where we have won against Atletico Madrid. Another big goals were results at home against Kiel (draw) and win against Copenhagen, both of these were in Champions League. Since I am playing in Spain (7 years) it is the game between Atletico Madrid and Barcelona. Basically like in the football, Real Madrid – FC Barcelona. You cannot say ever who is the favorite. Both of them are very balanced teams and they belong to the top in Europe.

Q2: If you had to decide who would win the ASOBAL League this season, would you say Atletico or Barcelona?
I guess Barcelona. They won game in Madrid against Atletico. Anything could happen and Atletico could surprise in Barcelona as well.
Q3: In the Champions League it’s only in theory that Ademar Leon has not made it to the TOP16, but how far can you get there
this season ? Isquarter-finals realistic possibility, or maybe even we could see you inKoln?
Our goal was to proceed from the group, which I think has already been achieved. Everything else depends on playoff games and how the draw will end up. It depends if the first game will be at home or away from home. We have shown couple of times that we can be strong at home and we can win against anyone. Koln? We have to be realistic. There are better teams with biggers chances than we have, but I would love to be there for sure.
 National team
Q4: Slovakia shocked the handball world when you beat the French national team, unbeaten for about 2 years, how would you estimate
the potential of this Slovak squad at the Euro 2012 in Serbia ?
It was really a pleasant experience winning against the triple winners (World Champions, Europe Champions and Olympic Champions). But the truth is that in this game everything has worked for us and for Frenchs nothing. We are not going to the Championship full of pride and with huge expectations. We are in very hard group, where the favourites are. We will try not to fail our fans and show our best game. I would love to see us get some points, which would be the first ones in the history of Slovakia on European Championships.
Q5: You play in a group with Poland, Denmark and Serbia, which game do seeas the most important in order to qualify further to the
second phase ?
Serbia is playing at home, therefore they could and probably will be under huge pressure and this could work for and help us against them. Denmark is the favourite of the group. From my point of view the biggest chance is against the Poland. We have played many games against each other that were close and we have even won couple of times against them, when they were in full strength.
Q6: Who do you think is the favorite to win the Championship? (If France -Do you think it’s time for a change and end
of French domination at thepast few championships ?)
No doubts again it’s the France. They have very balanced team and in last year huge tournaments they were unbeaten. Then I think Denmark. Their game I like the most. And there is also chance for either Spain or Croatia.
Q7: Which team do you expect to be the biggest surprise? (except Slovakia )
Anyone could surprise. Even the best teams in the World have bad days. I am sure we will witness something like that in Serbia too. Like I was saying, our success would be some points on European Championship.
You  will be moving to Barcelona starting from the 2012/2013 season, many
rumours say. Do you see yourself as a leader of new Barcelona generation that should dominate in handball?
I would not like to talk about this question at the moment. I live in the presence and at the moment I am completely focused European Championship and then definitely on Ademar Leon where I would like to finish the season on the top in Asobal League, King Cup, which is due in April or in the games in Champions League.
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