After women’s and men’s Russian handball it was the turn of Handballfast to tell about the best European teams and handball players of the past year.
Handballfast calculated the victories of the teams from top-6 European leagues (Hungary, France, Russia, Denmark, Norway and Romania) in all the tournaments and the goals of the players from these clubs.
Here are the two ratings. The first one is the rating of the teams’ successfulness. The second and main one — is the rating of the best goalscorers of the calendar year.
Danish HC Odense Handbold became the leader in the amount of the matches played — 58 games in the Championship, Cup and Super Сup of Denmark and in the Champions League. Other representatives of the Danish League, played in the European Cups — Team Esbjerg, Ikast and Viborg HK — were able to overcome the mark of 50 matches.
The Norwegian HC Vipers Kristiansand is the first in this rating, having won the majority of victories — 48. HC Odense Handbold won 44 times, Metz Handball and CSM Bucharest— 43 times each.
European teams success rating (40+ matches in Leagues and European Cups)
Vipers Kristiansand (Norway) — 48 / 52 (92,3% of wins)
CSKA (Russia) — 41 / 45 (91,1%)
CSM Bucuresti (Romania) — 43 / 49 (87,8%)
Metz Handball (France) — 43 / 49 (87,8%)
Gyori Audi ETO KC (Hungary) — 42 /49 (85,7%)
Ferencvarosi TC (Hungary) — 34 / 44 (77,2%)
Odense Handbold (Denmark) — 44 / 58 (75,9%)
Rostov-Don (Russia) — 33 / 44 (75%)
Rapid Bucuresti (Romania) — 31 / 42 (73,8%)
Team Esbjerg (Denmark) — 42 / 57 (73,7%)
Ikast Handbold (Denmark) — 36 / 51 (70,6%)
Brest Bretagne (France) — 32 / 47 (68,1%)
SCM Ramnicu Valcea (Romania) — 28 / 42 (66,7%)
Sola HK (Norway) — 27 / 42 (64,3%)
Lada (Russia) — 23 / 40 (57,5%)
Storhamar (Norway) — 27 / 48 (56,3%)
Viborg HK (Denmark) — 28 / 50 (56%)
CS Minaur Baia Mare (Romania) — 18 / 40 (45%)
— During first three months of the year Vipers Kristiansand didn’t win only once in 20 matches. From March to October the Norwegian hegemon won in 32 meetings in a row.
— CSKA winning streak reached 22 matches from May till the end of the year.
— CMS Bucharest won 7 matches out of 7 in January, Sola HK — in February.
— Ikast Handbold succeeded in the beginning of the year — 16 wins in 17 matches.
— Undefeated till the end of October SG BBM Bietigheim won 45 times in 50 matches (90%), but the German Bundesliga descended to 9th place in the EHF rating before the start of the 2022/23 season (behind top-6 and Championships of Montenegro and Croatia as well).
The line player of Vipers Kristiansand and national team of Croatia Ana Debelic didn’t miss any match of her teams, having participated in all of the 62 meetings.
Her colleague in the position from Odense Handbold and the national team of Norway Maren Aardahl missed only one official game, she played in 69 matches of the year.
The season 2021/22 ended for Odense Handbold on 31 May, the first official match of the season 2022/23 was held on 23 August. The club played their first match after the European Championship 27 November, which had finished for the national team of Norway a week before that. Thus, without taking into account vacations Aardahl came out on the court every fourth day.
Kristina Jorgensen, a left back, playing for Viborg HK, Metz Handball and the Danish national team, also missed only one game last year — 64 matches out of 65 possible.
The left back of Gyori Audi ETO KC and the Danish national team Anne Mette Hansen missed 2 meetings last year — 59 out of 61.
Tamara Horacek, the left back of Metz Handball, didn’t play only in three matches of the club and the French national team last year — 58 of the 61.
The right back Mette Tranborg missed 4 games of Team Esbjerg and the Danish national team, having participated in 66 meetings of her teams, her club mates and left backs of the Norwegian national team Henny Reistad and Kristine Breistol didn’t play in 5 matches of the year — participated in 65 matches each.
Only two handball players hit the record of 400 goals, three players crossed the mark of 300 goals, 15 players scored more than 250 balls. 35 players managed to score 200 and more balls, including the leaders of the Russian rating — Ekaterina Nefedova and Natalia Nikitina.
The following players stopped in one or several steps from 200 Club: Mette Tranborg (Denmark, Team Esbjerg) — 199 goals in 66 matches, Simone Petersen (Denmark, Ikast Handbold) — 198 / 59, Tamara Horacek (France, Metz Handball) — 195 / 58, Elizabeth Omoregie (Slovenia, CSM Bucuresti) — 195 / 54, Anne Mette Hansen (Denmark, Gyori Audi ETO KC) — 194 / 59. Also two leaders of the best German teams and the German national team are not taken into account — 279 goals in 42 matches are in the asset of Alina Grijseels from Borussia Dortmund and Julia Maidhof from SG BBM Bietigheim scored 245 goals in 56 meetings.
The rating of European goalscorer of 2022 (in reverse order):
35. Crina Pintea (Romania, Gyori Audi ETO KC, CSM Bucuresti) — 200 goals / 53 matches
34. Estelle Nze Minko (France, Gyori Audi ETO KC) — 209 / 58
33. Linn Blohm (Sweden, Gyori Audi ETO KC) — 210 / 57
The best Gyori Audi ETO KC goalscorer among the handballers, who spent the whole season in the team.
32. Eliza Buceschi (Romania, Rapid Bucuresti) — 210 / 46
31. Ana Debelic (Croatia, Vipers Kristiansand) — 213 / 62
30. Ragnhild Valle Dahl (Norway, Vipers Kristiansand) — 214 / 49
29. Ana Gros (Slovenia, HC CSKA, Gyori Audi ETO KC) — 214 / 52
28. Asma Elghaoui (Tunis, SCM Ramnicu Valcea) — 215 / 41
27. Natalia Nikitina (Russia, HC Zvezda) — 217 / 39
26. Maja Jakobsen (Norway, Storhamar HE) — 218 / 34
25. Camilla Herrem (Norway, Sola HK) — 219 / 34
Herrem played only in several matches in the season 2022/23 and after that she went on maternity leave. It didn’t prevent her from being among the best goalscorers of the calendar year. She scored more than anyone else in the European handball in March — 58 balls in 9 matches.
24. Vilde Ingstad (Norway, Team Esbjerg) — 220 / 59
23. Ekaterina Nefedova (Russia, HC Stavropolye) — 226 / 37
6 goals by Cristina Neagu in the last match of the year of CSM Bucuresti didn’t allow Ekaterina, as well as Natalia Nikitina, to share the title of the best goalscorer of December in European handball — the Romanian player surpassed the Russians in 1 goal.
22. Emily Bolk (Germany, Ferencvarosi TC) — 228 / 52
21. Marilena Neagu (Romania, CS Magura Cisnadie) — 231 / 39
20. Anniken Obaidli (Norway, Storhamar HE) — 235 / 48
19. Mie Hojlund (Denmark, Odense Handbold) — 239 / 56
18. Mona Obaidli (Norway, Molde Elite) - 243 / 30
17. Angela Malestein (Netherlands, Ferencvarosi TC) — 245 / 50
16. Kristina Novak (Norway, Sola HK) — 245/45
15. Maren Aardahl (Norway, Odense Handbold) — 253 / 69
14. Nora Mork (Norway, Vipers Kristiansand, Team Esbjerg) — 258 / 54
Topscorer of the European Championship 2022.
13. Nathalie Hagman (Sweden, Neptunes de Nantes) — 259 / 44
The only representative of Championship of France in the rating, who played the whole calendar year.
12. Sorina Grozav (Tirca) (Romania, CS Rapid Bucuresti) — 261 / 49
11. Kristine Breistol (Norway, Team Esbjerg) — 262 / 65
10. Emma Friis (Denmark, Ikast Handbold) — 265 / 55
The nimble and not tall left wing had a score decline in the second half of the year. However, she played brightly in the European Championship — 40 goals in 8 matches and the 7th place in the goalscorer race.
9. Katrin Klujber (Hungary, Ferencvarosi TC) — 265 / 51
The Hungarian right back, on the contrary, has improved at the start of the season 2022/23. She shares with Cristina Neagu the first line of the Champions League top scorer list, and she became the third in average amount of goals per match in the European Championship. She became the European Top scorer of the month in October — 43 scored balls in 5 matches.
8. Emilie Hovden (Norway, Storhamar HE, Viborg HK) — 270 / 48
The loser of the year title can be awarded to Hovden. It’s clear, that she made the decision to change the club already in 2021, but it so happened in 2022 that Emilie traded the play in the Champions League for a team on the verge of bankruptcy. However, it didn’t affect on her efficiency — now she is the second goalscorer of Danish Championship.
7. Irina Glibko (Ukraine, SCM Ramnicu Valcea) — 270 / 44
Irina is the best goalscorer of her team in all the tournaments. Last season she helped SCM Valcea to win the bronze of the national championship and reach ¼ finals if the European League. She didn’t lose her goalscoring form in a new campaign, due to which her team won in 7 last matches.
6. Dione Housheer (Netherlands, Odense Handbold) — 284 / 60
The Dutch player started the year briskly, but then came a decline. After that there was an injury, which kept her off the play for a couple of months, and it prevented her from showing off at European championship. Still the goal spurt in the second half of the season 2021/2022 (the third scorer of the Danish Championship) was enough to finish near the top-5 best goalscorers of the year.
5. Csenge Kuczora (Hungary, Vaci NKSE) — 289 / 44
The only representative of non top-club of her country who is in top-10. The 22-year-old Hungarian brought her team to the 4th place of the national championship last season, having become the League’s top-scorer with a 27-goal difference with the nearest competitor. After Greta Kacsor left the team for Debreceni VSC Csenge, actually, remains the only strike force of Vaci NKSE.
4. Marketa Jerabkova (Czech Republic, Vipers Kristiansand) — 290 / 53
The MVP of the last Final Four of the Champions League and the two-time winner of the main European tournament unexpectedly for everyone decided to leave the strongest club in Europe. The fact that she leaves for Ikast Handbold, which may not get to the Champions League, is even more surprising.
Despite the evidently relocation vibes, the Czech player remains the team’s top scorer and is in top-3 scorers of the Champions League. By the way, the most probable replacement in Vipers Kristiansand, her compatriot Charlotte Cholevova from DHK Banik Most is 4 steps behind Marketa.
3. Kristina Jorgensen (Denmark, Viborg HK, Metz Handball) — 320 / 64
The second place in goalscorer race, according to the last year results of the most resultative European championship, allowed the Danish player to go through the joining the closed French league smoothly.
Jorgensen didn’t need much time for adaptation — she is the team’s third goalscorer of the Champions League and the second in the Championship. She threw 70 balls for Metz Handball during only 18 matches (3,9 on average per game), while in Viborg HK it was 6,1 (209 in 34).
2. Cristina Neagu (Romania, CSM Bucuresti) — 408 / 55
No matter how Cristina is treated, she keeps giving her teams the most important — goals. And there is a coach to integrate this goal machine into the game. This summer Adrian Vasile wasn’t bored and invented new steps, due to which CSM Bucuresti recorded the best start in the Champions League in its history of playing in European competitions.
In some matches Neagu even went into the shadows, but it didn’t have any impact on her overall efficiency. She is 10,5 years older than the leader of the European ranking, but Cristina is still the first in European top-level in goals-per-game average. As an added bonus, the title of top scorer of the Champions League 2021/2022 and leading position in the current season are on her account.
1. Henny Reistad (Norway, Team Esbjerg) — 446 / 65
The top scorer not just of the year, but, quite possibly, of the coming decade. The 23-year-old Norwegian threw most of all in the Championship of Denmark last season, became the best goalscorer of the European season 2021/2022, and also she scored more than anyone else in Europe in January, February and May-June and she was the second in 3 competing months out of 10.
Reistad didn’t reach the mark of 40 goals per month only in September, because she missed several matches due to an injury.
Henny became the MVP of the victorious for the national team of Norway European Championship. Her amazing stability led her to the title of the absolutely best goalscorer of 2022 year in Europe.
— Katarina Krpez Slezak, the former HC Rostov-Don player, became the topscorer (national league + European Cups + national team) in average goals per match. During the year the Serbian right wing changed Slovenian RK Krim Ljubljana for Romanian SCM Craiova and she scored 145 goals in 17 matches of the Champions League and Championship of Romania, that is 8,5 goals per game on average. December (12,3 goals per each of thee games on average) and September (10,4) turned out to be the most resultative.
Next comes Cristina Neagu with 7,4 goals per games. Henny Restad scored 6,9 balls per match, Csenge Kucsora — 6,6, Camilla Herrem — 6,4, Anna Vyakhireva (Russia, HC Rostov-Don, Vipers Kristiansand) — 6,2, Irina Glibko — 6,1.
The left back of Norwegian Molde HK Mona Obaidli in the matches of Norway Championship and Cup scored 8,1 goals on average. And in five matches of February she threw 10,4 balls per meeting.
— The leaders of the rating — Henny Reistad and Cristina Neagu 14 times scored 10 and more goals per match, Mona Obaidli reached that mark 9 times, Emilie Hovden — 8 times. 7 such matches are in the active of Katarina Krpez Slezak, Csenge Kuczora and Camilla Herrem played 6 games with 10+ scored goals, Tamara Pal (Hungary, MTK Budapest), Ragnhild Valle Dahl, Marilena Neagu, Irina Glibko, Nathalie Hagman and Ekaterina Nefedova — 5 games. Anna Vyakhireva, Kristina Jorgensen and Katrin Klujber 4 times left the court with 10+ goals.
— Performance of the year — 19 goals by Ryu Eun-hee, the right back of Gyori Audi ETO KC and the Southern Korean national team in the final of the Asian Championship!
Photo: eurohandball.com, HC Stavropolye press