Spain reach the EHF EURO 2018 in full transition mode, with young players beginning to take the main stage. It is a time of rebuilding for the ‘Guerreras’, after achieving their biggest international successes with the former generation: silver medals at the EHF EUROs in 2008 and 2014; and bronze medals at the World Championship 2011 and the 2012 Olympic Games.
This is the first EHF EURO for coach Carlos Viver, who has the difficult task of integrating promising new players with established stars such as Nerea Pena, Carmen Martin, Alexandrina Cabral Barbosa and Silvia Navarro. The Spanish league is well represented in the squad, with 11 players that took part in the final EURO 2018 qualification rounds in June belonging to clubs from their own nation.
After being eliminated in the main round at the EHF EURO 2016 and the eighth-finals at the World Championship 2017, the Guerreras aim to improve their results at major competitions, as well as develop a group that allows them to aspire to the top positions and fight amongst the best teams at international events.
Powerful and with the ability to unbalance the opposition, Nerea Pena has consistently proven herself a star in the national team. The importance of the FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria player in coach Viver’s attacking system cannot be overstated. Her main weapons are her scoring ability and efficient organisation of the playing strategy.
Knee injuries halted her progression some seasons ago, but Pena came back stronger and is at her best ever in the Hungarian league, European club competitions and with the Spain national team. She can play in the centre back as well as at the left and right back positions, making her one of the most complete players in handball.
The OGC Nice Handball player reaches the EHF EURO 2018 in the peak form of her career. At age 30, the right wing is still among the best players in her position in the world, thanks to her lethal counter attacks and high shooting accuracy from both the wing and the penalty line.
In 207 matches for Spain, Martin has scored more than 700 goals. She has been a key part of Spain’s attack for many years and played a crucial role as the team won medal after medal.
Martin debuted for Spain at only 17 years old and won the Women’s EHF Champions League with CSM Bucuresti in 2015/16. Her experience and influence in Spain’s dressing room are critical.
Carlos Viver assumed the role of head coach for Spain in February 2017, facing the challenging task of replacing Jorge Duenas. Duenas led the team to medals at EHF EUROs, World Championships and the Olympic Games during his time at the helm, and now it is Viver’s job to rebuild the squad with the hope of reaching those heights once more.
With Duenas’ departure, a complete generational change took place. The rejuvenated team have already enjoyed some success, including qualification for the EHF EURO 2018 and reaching the knock-out round at the World Championship 2017.
A former player for Spain and BM Granollers, for whom he played more than 15 seasons, 45-year-old Viver had his first coaching experience with both the men’s and women’s teams in that club. The positive results and level of performance in those sides were enough to take Viver to the national team bench.
Past Performance at EHF EURO Events