if life Tamara Horacek is a piece of clothing, and it is inevitably one of Croatia’s backup shirts. Red and white chessboard superimposed on a blue background. Born in Pozega, about 170 km east of Zagreb, in 1995, naturalized before the World Youth Group in 2014, daughter of Wiesner (returned to Metz from 2004 to 2010 and Sergi- Pontoise) grew up in a dual culture, Slavic and French.
International A Since June 2016, the midfield playmaker from Metz has had a non-consecutive history in terms of selection. She made a total of 33 appearances due to injuries (the 2018 Crusader break, weeks away from the continental title) and the acute density of her position (Zaadi, Pino, Candi). But this season, the counters are ticking a little faster. The 2016 Olympics and the 2021 world vice-championship were also part of the third at the first two rallies after Tokyo. Thanks to the good service of the club, the LBE (3.6 goals on average) is the same as the C1 (47 goals in the group stage).
As we shall see, the return to family roots that has made Tamara Horacek coveted has not made her lose sight of her sporting interests this week: ensuring the Frenchman is in the next European Championship as soon as possible.
Emotionally, Croatian Tamara – France will never be neutral…
“It will be a special match. It will be the first time I face my country as a French woman. There will be a lot of emotions, especially since my family will be there. The heart will be beating wildly! »
The last meeting was in the semi-finals of Euro 2020, when the Blues halved 30-19. Wouldn’t it be this time, and on the opposite side?
“It won’t be the same. It won’t be easy. Despite some Covid cases in the World Championships (18th, eliminated in the main round), Croatia is still a good handball team. Her European Championships in Denmark It was proven on the 3rd place. We still know the players who played or played at Metz, such as Kapitanovic and Pievic (goalkeepers). »
Aside from qualifying for the European finals (November 4-20 in Slovenia, North Macedonia and Montenegro), what are you looking forward to this week?
“We will have to take advantage of what we do every day. Can also take advantage, because we won the first two games against the Czech Republic (38-22) and Ukraine (25-28). We have to continue and integrate the ‘new’, Just like Sarah Buktitt and Emma Jacques (his club mates). Turn around, have fun and most importantly show that we are not vice world champions for no reason. »
How is Tamara Horacek, who has returned to Metz this season, different from Tamara Horacek, who left four and a half years ago?
“This Tamara has grown up. She’s been through a few things and played a lot more than she did in 2017. She’s gained confidence, she’s become a woman who isn’t afraid to take responsibility, simple. The new Tamara isn’t worried either. Practice badly or miss a ball in the game. That’s the game, it can happen, we move on. »
Does this evolution mean you are mature at 26?
“Considering my previous playing time at the club, especially in Paris (2017-20), I think yes. In Siofok (last season, Hungary), I found myself playing almost 60 minutes in every game , and it wasn’t planned… I’m very happy with the maturity I’ve been able to build over the years, even though I think we can always improve. I’m more than that, and I’m not happy with that.»
“Of course! After a rather complicated year abroad, mentally and physically tough, and a tough end to the season. But I rediscovered the joy of playing. I’m so happy to wear this yellow jersey and This blue jersey because I had a chance to find it. »
Finally, let’s talk about the 7-meter jet. You’ve been Metz’s first-choice striker in multiple league and Champions League games. What’s your relationship with the fine?
“It’s a sport I’ve been playing since I was young. I try to trap the goalie without putting any pressure on myself to score. It’s more of a game, it’s easy. It takes work to have this top-ranked shooter in shape. …and that will change soon. »
Euro 2022 (Qualifying, Group 4)
Thursday, March 3 at 6pm in Koprivnica: Croatia – France (live on beIN Sports 1 and lequipe.fr). referee: Ms. Ilieva and Karbeska (MCD).
French team: 2 Nocandy (Metz), 3 Toublanc (Brest), 6 Valentini (Metz), 8 C. Lassource (Captain, Brest), 10 Zaadi (Rostov, Russia), 19 Sercien-Ugolin ( Krem Ljubljana, SLV), 21 O. Kanor (Metz), 22 Horacek (Metz), 23 D. Lassource (Paris 92), 24 Edwige (Ferencvaros, HON), 25 E. Jacques (Metz) Sri Lanka), 27 Nze Minko (Györ, HON), 31 Granier (Besançon), 32 Buktitt (Metz). nanny: 1 Glauser (Gyor, HON), 16 Darleux (Brest). coach: O. Krumbholz. Nantes players Florian Andre (left) and Orion Ondono remain in France and will join the group at the next match.
Sunday, March 6 at 5.30pm, Toulouse: France – Croatia (live on beIN Sports 2 and L’Equipe channels).
Two games between Ukraine and Czech Republic are suspended.
Already played: France – Czech Republic 38-22; Croatia – Ukraine 22-23; Ukraine – France 25-28; Czech Republic – Croatia 24-26. ranking: 1. France 4 points; 2. Ukraine and Croatia 2; 4. Czech Republic 0. The top two advance to the final stage.