12 March 1975 |
|Height||1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)|
|Current club||ASPTT Nice|
Valérie Nicolas (born 12 March 1975) is a French handball goalkeeper and former player of the French national team. She became World Champion in 2003 with the French team, and was also voted Most Valuable Player and Best Goalkeeper. She was voted into the All-Star Team in the 2007 World Championship. Among her other triumphs are a silver medal from the World Championships, two bronze medals from the European Championships, victories at the Champions League, the EHF Cup, the Cup Winners' Cup, and both French and Danish national championships.
Nicolas was born in Lampaul-Guimiliau, Finistère, and started her professional career in USM Gagny. From 1995 to 2003 she played for top club ES Besançon. With Besançon she won the French Championship in 1998 and in 2001, and the French Cup in 2001 and 2002. In 2003 she won the French Championship, the French Cup and the Cup Winners' Cup. After this successful season, she moved to Denmark to play for Viborg HK. She stayed at Viborg from 2003 to 2007, winning two Danish Championships (in 2004 and 2006), two Danish Cups, the Champions League in 2006 and the EHF Cup in 2004. She then played for Ikast/Bording EH one season, 2007/08, before returning to France to play for N2 (French fourth division) club ASPTT Nice.
Nicolas made her debut on the French national team in 1995. Until her retirement from the national team in 2008 (after the Summer Olympics), Valérie Nicolas played 234 international matches. In 1997 she finishted 10th at the World Championship. She won a silver medal at the 1999 World Championship, after an exciting final match between France and Norway in Lillehammer, which needed two overtimes to break the tie, ending 25-24 to Norway. In 2000 she finished 6th at the Olympics in Sydney, and 5th at the European Championship. She finished fifth at the 2001 World Championship with the French team, and won a bronze medal at the 2002 European Women's Handball Championship. She won a gold medal with the French team at the 2003 World Championship, and was voted Most Valuable Player and All-Star Team goalkeeper at the championship. At the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens she finished fourth with the national team. She finished 12th at the 2005 World Championship in Russia, and won a bronze medal at the 2006 European Women's Handball Championship. At the 2007 World Championship in France, where the French team placed fifth, her performance was recognized again, and she was selected a member of the All-Star Team together with her Ikast teammates Gro Hammerseng and Katja Nyberg. She competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where the French team finished fifth, and she ranked shared second on the Top Goalkeepers list with a 40% save rate.
- Champions League
- Winner: 2006
- EHF Cup
- Winner: 2004
- Cup Winners' Cup
- Winner: 2003
- French Championship
- Winner: 1998, 2001, 2003
- French Cup
- Winner: 2001, 2002, 2003
- Danish Championship
- Gold: 2004, 2006
- Silver: 2007, 2008
- Danish Cup
- Winner: 2004/05, 2006/07
- MVP and member of the All Star Team of the 2003 World Championship
- Member of the All Star Team of the 2007 World Championship
- "Valérie Nicolas Biography and Statistics". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
- "Equipe de France Féminine. 16 - NICOLAS Valérie - Gardienne de but (droitière)" (in French). French Handball Federation. Retrieved 27 April 2009.[dead link]
- "All Star csapatban" (in Hungarian). handball.hu. 16 December 2007. Retrieved 20 December 2007.
- "Spillerarkiv: Valerie Nicolas" (in Danish). Viborg HK. Retrieved 23 April 2009.[dead link]
- "World Championship 1999 official report" (PDF). International Handball Federation. Retrieved 27 April 2009.
- "Pokalvindere gennem tiden" (in Danish). Danish Handball Federation. 6 January 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2009.[dead link]
- "2003 World Championship". International Handball Federation. Retrieved 23 April 2009.