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Happy Birthday Ivano!

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35 years ago, one of the greatest handball players of all time, came to this world. Ivano Balic, happy birthday! PXL_120729_793

Ivano Balić  (born April 1, 1979 in Split) is a Croatian handball player, World and Olympic champion. Balić is widely considered by experts and fans to be one of the best handball players 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).Currently he plays for the German team HSG Wetzlar.

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[2]as well as the best player in Croatia 2003. After playing for RK Metković he moved toPortland 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 middle back.

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Club

Liga ASOBAL

  • 2004/05

Spanish Cup

  • 2012/13

Spanish Supercup

  • 2005/06

EHF Champions League

  • Runner-up: 2005/06

Croatian Cup

  • 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

Croatian League

  • 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

IHF Super Globe

  • 2012

National

Olympic Games

  • Gold: 2004
  • Bronze: 2012

World Championship

  • Gold: 2003
  • Silver: 2005, 2009

European Championship

  • Silver: 2008, 2010
  • Bronze: 2012

Mediterranean Games

  • Gold: 2001

Individual

  • IHF World Player of the Year: 2003, 2006
  • Croatian Sportsman of the year: 2007
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