Three years ago at the European Championships they were called the Bad Boys, now the German handball players have given the World Cup a new label. They are "a great team". After the 31:23 victory over Serbia, with which the DHB selection left the group stage of the World Cup and the venue Berlin, it was heard everywhere and by all involved, whether by player or coach. They are now "an awesome team".

Back space player Paul Drux emphasized this several times in the subsequent press conference, his coach Christian Prokop took the ball on. "Everyone in the squad has their role in this squad," says Prokop, "the draw against Russia, where the safe victory was still playful," "only welded us closer together," said Drux. At the latest after completing this group stage, it is quite clear with what pounds this team wants to proliferate: team spirit and the tailwind of the home advantage.

Both the team has worn through the tournament so far, against the Serbs in athletically insignificant final game were allowed to fill up any longer game time that have come up short in the tournament: From defensive director Finn Lemke on the outside Matthias Musche and Franz Semper to runner Yannick Kohlbacher. The second half belonged to them almost completely, but one noticed the difference to the first guard.

See here a conclusion to the preliminary round in the video:



If the so far towering Hünen in the defense, Patrick Wiencek and Hendrik Pekeler pause, do more holes in the German coverage. The ordering hand of playmaker Martin Strobel is all the more noticeable when it is missing. And Silvio Heinevetter also delivered a good to very good match in the German goal, but he does not have the intimidating presence of Andreas Wolff.

Nevertheless, there was only praise from the national coach for the players from the second row to hear, the new harmony should not be disturbed in any case. Not before such important games as the upcoming main round games against Iceland, Spain and Croatia. "There are no easy games anymore," says Prokop, who started to analyze the upcoming opponents right after the match. The respect, especially in front of the current European champion Spain, was to be heard.

Help against the fancier Spaniards, against the hot-blooded Croats, against the fast Icelanders, especially the audience. The German delegation has not missed any opportunity this week to rave about the atmosphere in the Berlin Arena, and in fact, the DHB team can not complain about lack of support.

Put your hands in the air

On Thursday against Serbia prevailed in part but already Ballermann mood, the venue spokesman would certainly have on the Hamburg fish market good career prospects as a market crier. The longer the tournament lasts, the more the hall management in the German games increases into a "put-your-hands-in-the-air" DJ-Ötzi euphoria.

If before a seven-meter Serbian DHB goalkeeper Heinevetter loudly celebrated by the hall spokesman and on the opposite side of Germany penalty specialist Uwe Gensheimer before the throw with "Uwe, Uwe" is fired, that goes into the limit of fairness. "I have the advantage that I'm used to such a mood," said Serbia coach Nenad Perunicic then shrugged. He did not mean the hall atmosphere in his homeland, which is not exactly known as cool. He referred to his time as a player in Kiel and Magdeburg. "Handball in Germany - that's very special."

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Germany at the Handball World Cup: This is the DHB squad

Calling for the La Ola wave and "Helping our boys, you have to get up" when the Prokop Six have outnumbered them, in all honor - such an international high-caliber tournament as a World Cup might well be an international one tolerated neutral hall speaker. The German viewers would then even enough for the own team put in the stuff and beat the hands with the gossips, they do not need the emotional accelerator.

Now it's off to Cologne, where there are 6,000 more spectators in the hall than in Berlin - "you'll notice that," Drux assumes. The games of the 2007 home World Cup in Cologne finally have almost legendary status. The opponents will have to adjust to it. The gossip folders are ready.