Macedonian handball supporters are known as Makedonska Falanga or Macedonian Phalanx. They are one of the best national handball supporters in the world and travel everywhere with the team. In 2009, at the World Handball Championship they supported the team in large numbers especially in Varaždin where they helped Macedonia defeat Poland and Russia, to reach the Main Round of the tournament. They followed that up with an even bigger showing at the European Handball Championship in Serbia. The massive show of support by the Makedonska Falanga helped the Macedonian team achieve its highest placing to date, when they finished in 5th place. The team started as one of the biggest outsiders, playing with heart and never giving up, supported by thousands of Macedonian fans it was able to upset a lot of opponents and missed a chance for semi-finals by only losing 2 games by 1 point in the last seconds. In April 2012, the head of the IHF sent out a letter to the Macedonian handball federation to applaud the fans' support during the Olympic qualification matches in Sweden. Although Macedonia didn't qualify for the Olympics, its fans are widely acknowledged as the best handball fans in the world.