On Friday evening in Hamburg something remarkable was observed. The Danish keeper Niklas Landin held in the World Cup semi-final against France the first litter - and the second. As far as nothing new, but what followed, it was already: Landin parried no more ball and was eventually replaced by Jannick Green. Despite the Hanger of Landin pulled Denmark safely into the final (Sunday, 17.30 clock, live ticker SPIEGEL ONLINE, TV: ZDF).
Landin is one of the stars of this World Cup finals, you will connect this tournament with him for a long time. The 30-year-old has held 38 percent of all litters before the final. An outstanding value - despite its below-average performance against France. Landin has come up to 72 saves so far. And that not much more came against France, could also have been due to the fact that the keeper lacked due to the early clear leadership of his team some tension.
But what makes his game? Often Landin waits for the enemy attack almost impassively, the big show is not his. Sometimes he takes a step aside and offers a corner, often it's the short one, only to lift one leg or one arm up. Lightning fast, that's what many players are desperate for.
Brilliant, as #Landin opens the short corner, then always close on time. #DENNOR- Niklas Wieczorek (@NiklasWieczorek) 17 January 2019
Once, during Denmark's preliminary round game against Norway, he parried four throws within five minutes that few others would have held. It was a lesson for goalkeepers. Sander Sagosen, Norway's best player, failed only with a precise throw from the left back and then with a powerful seven-meter. Landin only briefly clenched his fist as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened. A few feet away, Sagosen saw him shake his head in disbelief.
Landin has been holding so well for years that it takes a long time to find a better handball goalkeeper. With the national team was the Dane European champion 2012 and Olympic champion 2016, twice World Cup runner-up and once vice-European champion. Twice he was called to the final round in the Allstar team.
In the first few months of this season Landin played so well that they were very worried in Germany. Because when it becomes important and the big games are pending, Kiel's coach Alfred Gislason usually sends Landin to the plate and not the second goalkeeper: Andreas Wolff, Germany's number one. He is also good, there are many experts who certify Wolff world-class format. Why, you could watch that again and again at the current World Cup.
"The perfect goalkeeper game"
When Wolff moved to Kiel in the summer of 2016, he had won the European Championship half a year earlier with Germany and convinced him with strong performances. This time Wolff was elected to the Allstar team at the end of the tournament. He was the man of the hour.
However, at the THW he only got the number 33, Landin kept the jersey with the one - a first indication of what Wolff should expect in Kiel. It is said that Wolff has never really come to terms with his role in the shadow of Landin. In the summer he leaves Kiel, he will then play for the Polish series champion KS Kielce.
At the end of December, Landin and Wolff gave the "world" a joint interview. It was about the goals at the World Cup finals and, of course, the relationship between the two top goalkeepers. When Wolff was asked what made Landin a goalkeeper, he said, "Anyone who wants to write a book about the perfect goalkeeper game just has to crack through a Niklas game, text it, and publish it."