Today, one of the greatest players in handball history, Nikola Karabatic, turns thirty. Handball-magazine team wishes him all the best.
Nikola was born on April 11, 1984 in Niš, SR Serbia, SFR Yugoslavia, to a Croatian father and Serbian mother. Nikola’s father Branko Karabatić is originally from Vrsine, a village between Trogir and Marina (maritime Croatia), also was a professional handball player. In his career, Branko played for handball team from Niš, Železničar, which is where he met his wife Radmila who is from Aleksinac, Serbia. The family moved to France when Nikola was 3 and a half years old after Branko got a coaching job there. Nikola has a younger brother Luka, born on 19 April 1988. With the French national handball team, he won two gold medals in Summer Olympics (2008 and 2012), two gold medals in World Championship (2009 and 2011) and also three gold medals in European Championship (2006, 2010 and 2014). In 2011, he won L’Équipe Champion of Champions.
Karabatić began his professional carrier in French top club Montpellier HB. There, he became French champion in 2002, 2003, 2004 and 2005 and also won the Champions League in 2003. He then played for the German club THW Kiel, becoming German champions in 2006, 2007 and 2008, and winning the EHF Champions League in 2007. The summer 2009 he left Germany and came back to Montpellier HB, winning three other French champion title in 2010, 2011 and 2012. After a quick stay in Pays d’Aix Université Club handball (Aix-en-Provence) between February and June 2013, he currently plays for FC Barcelona.