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Germany at the Handball World Cup: the one with the rubber joints

  • Uwe Gensheimer leads the German national team as Kapitan.
  • At Paris Saint-Germain, the ex-Mannheim has improved even further – he is considered the best left wing in the world.
  • But he lacks a big international title. When winning the 2007 World Cup, he sat only as a spectator in the hall.


By Joachim Mölter, Berlin

One of the tasks of a captain is to set the course, and Uwe Gensheimer is doing so impressively at this handball world championship as never before in the five years when he is now leading the selection of the German federation (DHB) as captain. Not only because he was the top scorer in each of the opening matches against Korea (30:19) and Brazil (34:21), first with seven, then ten goals. What was more important was that Gensheimer always steered his team with its goals on the right path in the initial stages; that he gave him security by turning all eight seven-yard meters he has come up to now. On top of that, he fueled the mood in the crowded with 13 500 spectators Berlin Arena: Especially on Saturday against Brazil, he spurred the audience to even more cheers, bustle, enthusiasm. "I've always wanted to feel like a pop star who only raises his arm, and everyone is screaming," Gensheimer said afterwards.

It is striking how self-confidently the generally reserved Gensheimer appears at this home World Cup, quite unlike the European Championships one year ago, when he collapsed in Croatia in the midst of general insecurity with his team; when even he got shaky on the seven-meter line and one-third of his penalty rolls went wrong. National coach Christian Prokop has also noticed how determined his captain is: "This was already felt at the turn of the year in which form he is, he is not only very effective, but also brings in emotions, he pushes the spectators and the team . " Goalkeeper Andreas Wolff, who did not think himself bad until now, also found Gensheimer's achievements to be "outstanding".

"So, what did you want to play?"

Handball national coach Christian Prokop has changed his style striking. This is particularly clear in a speech at the great success against Brazil.From Saskia Aleythe


The man has a mission too.

Uwe Gensheimer, 1.88 meters tall, 88 kilos heavy, has been regarded as the best left wing in the world for years; Even Stefan Kretzschmar, one of his predecessors in this position and third-best scorer of DHB history, regularly raves about Gensheimers Gummigelenken, which allow him to twirl the ball from seemingly impossible angles past the goalkeepers. The only flaw: He still lacks a great international title to round off his career.

In his CV, Gensheimer has so far been the German championship title 2016 with the Rhein-Neckar Löwen and the second-ranking EHF Cup of 2013; the intended Champions League win with his new club Paris-St. Germain has been denied him so far. He has once won bronze with the national team, at the 2016 Olympics in Rio; in the surprising European Championship win a few months earlier in Poland he was not there because of a calf injury. Just as in the home World Cup 2007, when he belonged to the extended 28-squad, but was ultimately found to be too young by the then coach Heiner Brand. After all, Gensheimer experienced the final as a spectator in the hall, just behind a goal. "I have really absorbed this unique atmosphere, which still lingers today, when I think about it" – so he knows what chance he now has at this home World Cup.

That he has raised his game again to a new level, he refers back to his move to Paris in the summer of 2016, "a step out of the comfort zone," as he says. Gensheimer was born in the Neckarau district of Mannheim, he started playing handball in the district club TV 1892 Friedrichsfeld, became a professional in the suburban club SG Kronau / Östringen, the later Rhein-Neckar Löwen. In Mannheim he was already the hero, then at Paris-St. To reassert Germain, in a world selection compiled thanks to financial contributions from Qatar, "gave me even more confidence," said Gensheimer before the groundbreaking duels against Russia at this World Cup on Monday (6 pm / ARD) and France on Tuesday (8:30 pm / ZDF). Above all, he learned from his club colleagues at PSG "to stay calm in critical situations," he says.

Uwe Gensheimer feels comfortable with PSG, he has become top scorer of the French league and the Champions League and darling of the Parisian audience, despite sidelinees such as the Frenchman Nikola Karabatic, the Dane Mikkel Hansen, the Norwegian Sander Sagosen, the best of the best in the backcourt , Gensheimer also enjoys that he can stroll in the cosmopolitan city of Paris undetected and unmolested despite everything, which he never could in Mannheim. Nevertheless, his return after the expiration of his contract in the coming summer has been decided, though not finally sealed. Gensheimer's son will soon be in kindergarten, and he should do that in Mannheim.

After the impressive success over Brazil, Gensheimer happily drew a first interim result: "So far, the World Cup feels good." The defense is already "really good", the attacking game was "easier of the hand, with much speed". But what can be deduced from the victories over the probably easiest group opponents for the rest of the tournament, he did not want to judge. "I am happy that I'm doing well and that I can help the team," he said after the first euphoria came to an end. "And on," he added. The captain is on course, but still far from the goal.

Germany gets the first adrenaline rush

After the victory against Brazil, the German handball players are impressed by their performance and the mood. Christian Prokop looks like transformed and speaks of his most beautiful game as a national coach.From Saskia Aleythe


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