|Full name||Ivano Balić|
1 April 1979 |
|Height||1.89 m (6 ft 2 1⁄2 in)|
|Playing position||Center back|
Portland San Antonio
Atlético Madrid BM
|National team 1|
|1 National team caps and goals correct
as of January 2009 (UTC)
Ivano Balić (born 1 April 1979 in Split) is a former Croatian handballer, world and Olympic champion. Balić is widely considered by experts and fans to be the best handball player of all time. He was voted 5 times in a row as the most valuable player in major international competitions, and is one of only two handball players who received the IHF World Player of the Year award on two occasions (2003, 2006). He played the 2014/15 season at the German team HSG Wetzlar but announced his retirement at the end of the season.
- 1 Career
- 2 Honours
- 3 See also
- 4 References
Before playing handball, Balić trained with the basketball club KK Split. He began his handball career with RK Split. Balić was a member of the Croatian national team that won the 2003 World Men's Handball Championship in Portugal. He won a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and silver at the 2005 World Championship in Tunisia.
Balić was declared the IHF World Player of the Year in 2003 and 2006 as well as the best player in Croatia 2003. After playing for RK Metković he moved to Portland San Antonio. At the 2006 European Championship in Switzerland he was declared the tournament MVP. Even though Croatia won the 5th place on the 2007 World Men's Handball Championship in Germany, he was declared the tournament's MVP. In the 2008 European Men's Handball Championship he was the equal top scorer with 44 goals as he led Croatia to a silver medal and was also voted to the All-Star Team of the tournament. His playing position is centre back.
- Runner-up: 2005-06
- 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- Gold: 2001
- IHF World Player of the Year: 2003, 2006
- Croatian Sportsman of the year: 2007
- Best Male Handball Player Ever – fans poll
- "Ivano Balic voted best male player ever". ihf.info. August 12, 2010. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
- "World Handball Players of the Year 2006: Nadine Krause (GER) and Ivano Balic (CRO)". International Handball Federation. June 14, 2007. Retrieved 2010-05-13.
To make a long story short: an all-rounder you may not have seen before in handball. Balic is a real star. The handball director, who fully deserved the award as Most Valuable Player of the 2007 World Championship, knows that. He knows the ritual since 2003, at least every second year. Given these facts, it seems to be a little bit surprising that this is only the second time after 2003 that the exceptional player has been elected World Handball Player of the Year.
- "Ivano Balic, the MVP of all MVPs". European Handball Federation. November 6, 2013. Retrieved December 4, 2013.
No other handball player to date has been awarded 'Most Valuable Player' more often than Ivano Balic, making him - figuratively speaking - the MVP of all MVPs. The 34-year-old playmaker received the honour at five consecutive major events, first at the EHF EURO 2004 in Slovenia followed by the 2004 Olympic Games, the World Championship 2005, the EHF EURO 2006 and the World Championship 2007.
|Flagbearer for Croatia
|IHF World Player of the Year
|IHF World Player of the Year