CELEBRATING THE BEST PLAYERS OF THE SEASON
The inaugural EHF Excellence Awards 2022/23 celebrated the best players of the season during a gala night in Vienna on 26 June 2023, moderated by handball legends Anja Althaus and Victor Tomas.
EHF EXCELLENCE AWARDS
The ceremony honoured – for both genders – the best goalkeeper, left wing, left back, centre back, right back, right wing, and line player, plus best defender and rookie of the season. Out of those players, a season MVP was selected for both genders. Beach handball also got their female and male players of the season awarded the MVP title.
THE BEST OF THE BEST
From left to right:
Timur Dibirov (Left wing, RUS)
Domen Makuc (Rookie of the season, SLO)
Ana Gros (Right back, SLO)
Simon Pytlick (Left back, DEN)
Angela Malestein (Right wing, NED)
Thiagus Petrus (Defender, BRA)
Gabriel Conceição (Beach handball MVP, POR)
Asun Batista (Beach handball MVP, ESP)
Hans Lindberg (Right wing, DEN)
BEST 7 AND THE MVP OF THE SEASON
MVP Simon Pytlick
Goalkeeper: Niklas Landin (DEN)
Just failed to make it to the TruckScout24 EHF FINAL4 2023 with THW Kiel, but did win a third straight world title with Denmark.
Left wing Timur Dibirov (RUS)
Evergreen who keeps producing the goods year after year, also for HC PPD Zagreb in what was the last season in his thirties.
Left back: Simon Pytlick (DEN)
Instrumental player for both GOG, who reached their first Machineseeker EHF Champions League quarter-final, and the Danish national team.
Centre back Luc Steins (NED)
Once ‘just’ a replacement for injured Nikola Karabatic, meanwhile a leading player for both PSG and the Dutch national team.
Right back Mathias Gidsel (DEN)
One of the frontrunners of a new generation of outstanding Danish talents, helped Denmark win a third straight world title.
Right wing Hans Lindberg (DEN)
Keeps peaking and reaching for new heights well into his forties, key player for EHF European League winners Füchse.
Line player Ludovic Fabregas (FRA)
Remains one of the very best in his position, even though he didn’t win an international trophy with neither Barça nor France in the 2022/23 season.
Defender Thiagus Petrus (BRA)
Rock-solid defender since many years for Barça, and the only non-European member of the team of the season.
MVP Katrine Lunde
Goalkeeper: Katrine Lunde (NOR)
Vipers and Norway legend entered the history books winning her sixth EHF EURO crown and seventh EHF Champions League title.
Left wing: Emma Friis (DEN)
Quickly developed into a dazzling wing player for EHF EURO runners-up Denmark and EHF European League winners Ikast Handbold.
Left back: Cristina Neagu (ROU)
The superstar doesn’t consider slowing down, became all-time EHF EURO top scorer across both genders in 2022.
Centre back: Henny Reistad (NOR)
Driving force behind Norway’s run to yet another European title in 2022, was named MVP of EHF EURO 2022.
Right back: Nora Mørk (NOR) & Ana Gros (SLO)
Hard to choose between those two greats of the game, who both received the exact same amount of votes.
Right wing Angela Malestein (NED)
Truly peaked in a season that saw her club FTC-Rail Cargo Hungaria reach the EHF FINAL4 for the first time.
Line player Vilde Ingstad (NOR)
Unmissable piece in the puzzle called Norway, which again no opposing team managed to solve at the EHF EURO 2022.
Defender: Kathrine Heindahl (DEN)
Contributing class and experience, a leading player in Denmark’s run to the EHF EURO 2022 final.
ROOKIES OF THE SEASON
Domen Makuc (SLO)
With Barça since 2020, it has only been a matter of time until his true potential was going to shine – as it did in 2022/23.
Pauletta Foppa (FRA)
Already a European and Olympic champion with France, the Brest line player is still in the early years of her career.
BEACH HANDBALL MVPs
Gabriel Conceição (POR)
Still a teenager and one of the young guns that impressed for Portugal at their home EHF Beach Handball EURO, where he was named MVP.
Asun Batista (ESP)
One of the all-time greats of beach handball, who starred for Spain at the EURO in Portugal by becoming both top scorer and MVP.
HALL OF FAME
One of the highlights of the inaugural EHF Excellence Awards gala was the induction of 60 legendary players of the game to the Hall of Fame. The 60 stars were honoured for their outstanding performances on and off the court and their overall contribution to European handball in the last 30 years.
The illustrious list of the first inductees included seven-time EHF Champions League winner Andrei Xepkin, French Olympic, world and European champion Thierry Omeyer, Macedonian legend Kiril Lazarov, six-time EHF Champions League winner Bojana Popovic, and three-time EHF EURO champion Gro Hammerseng-Edin.