The winger of the Spanish handball team, Kauldi Odriozola, is clear that they are “very happy” to be in the semifinals of the World Cup, especially “seeing the level there is”, but now that they have two games left to get a medal they want “more “in a championship where he knew that his role was going to be “different” from that of the European and with the “difficult” task of making Aleix Gómez forget.

“In the end, seeing the level that there is in this World Cup and the path we have had, we are very happy with what we have achieved, but once we are here in the semifinals, you want more,” Odriozola admitted to Europa Press from Gdansk (Poland). ).

The Basque player recalled that now they have “two more games” left to get a new medal. “We all really want to win against Denmark, it’s a World Cup semi-final and many of us here haven’t played a game like this yet and it’s incredible. We’re all extremely motivated for this game and to get a good result,” he said.

Odriozola confesses that it was difficult for him to “sleep” after the quarterfinal match against Norway on Wednesday. “In the end, with all the tension and everything, it’s hard to relax, but much better that way, having won,” he said, acknowledging that “rarely” had he seen “a match so, so to the limit” go ahead.

“It was minute 59:41, we lost by one and they had the ball and we had one less, the chances that we would pass were not great, but the end was very crazy. They lost the ball, Dani (Dujshebaev) scored at the last second , we had two extensions and then Gonzalo (Pérez de Vargas) saved. The game was impressive”, remarked the winger.

And, despite the difficulty, they never gave up. “At that moment, with the tension you have and that there is little left, you have to die until the end and no one gives it up. That’s what we did, keep fighting and luckily we had a prize,” he celebrated.

Then came two overtimes, and in the second, it was Spain that had to hold off the last Norwegian attack at 35-34, where there was a ball that reached their zone with an advantage for the winger who was scoring. “He hesitated a lot and didn’t go in, I had done two against one to close the winger. I thought he was going to shoot and he hesitated, and the ball went the other way and Gonzalo made a save at the other end. I thought one hundred percent that The one on my side was going to shoot,” he said.

Now, it’s their turn to face Denmark, which they beat last year in the European semifinals and when they came “very strong”. “It was the favorite team, but we had a ‘great game’ and we were able to beat them. It was a surprise for many people and this year we will see. They are having a great World Cup, they have won almost all the games well except for the draw against Croatia and 17 goals in the quarterfinals It’s going to be a complicated game, but we’ll go out to compete one hundred percent,” he said.


Odriozola knows that the Danish is “a piece of the national team” and that she is “playing very well”, so they will need to defend very well as against Norway. “We were very good in defense and Gonzalo helped us with his saves. We left them with a low score considering that he runs a lot and scores a lot of counterattack and second wave goals,” he explained.

On a personal level, and after being in the European past without excessive prominence, the Nantes player was clear that in this World Cup, due to the injury to Aleix Gómez, everything was going to change. “I knew I was going to have a different role. I’m playing more minutes and I feel comfortable, confident and hopefully these two games continue like this,” he highlighted.

“That’s difficult,” he replied when asked to fill the gap of a very important player in recent successes. “It is difficult to make Aleix forget, he is one of the best, if not the best, winger in the world”, he assured the FC Barcelona player.

Odriozola also does not hide how positive it has been to land in the French league. “It helps you a lot to grow as a player. In Irún I was very happy and we had a very good team, but I think that in Nantes there is another level, you play in the French league and the Champions League, against the best players on the planet and that in the end helps you to improve and continue growing as a player”, he explained.

“In France they don’t know how we do it so that we are always there. Spain is never a favourite, whenever it reaches a championship, but since 2011 we have been in almost all the tournaments in the semifinals. In the championships we know how to compete very well and that is the secret of getting good results every year”, continued the Basque winger.

Finally, he refers to the good atmosphere and union that exists in the national team. “The track reflects the good relationship we have, we get along very well, we spend many days together and it’s important to have good vibes. It’s a pleasure to be able to share so many days with these people and to be able to achieve these results,” he said.