Six names who can make a splash at M20 EHF EURO 2022

20221106 AH 3577 2 EHF / Adrian Costeiu

What do Dika Mem, Daniel Dujshebaev, Alex Dujshebaev, Nikola Bilyk and Blaz Janc have in common?

Not only are they all bona-fide superstars in handball, but they all made their mark first at the Men’s 20 EHF EURO. All of them made the All-star Team in past editions of the competition, with Bilyk taking the MVP award in 2014.

With the M20 EHF EURO 2022, which will take place in Portugal between 7 and 17 July, just around the corner, we identify some of the players who could succeed the likes of Mem, Janc and the Dujshebaev brothers in the future.

Mitja Janc (Slovenia)

Eight years ago, at the M20 EHF EURO 2014 in Austria, Blaz Janc was named the All-star right back of the competition, helping Slovenia finish fifth in the standings. With Janc slowly becoming one of the top players in the world due to his versatility and handball IQ, it looks like handball runs in the family and his younger brother, Mitja, is following in his footsteps.

One year ago, at the M19 EHF EURO, Janc became both the top scorer and the MVP of the competition, after scoring 61 goals to lead Slovenia to the fourth place in the final standings. A centre back tailor-made for the modern game, who poses a dual threat with great passing skills and a strong shot, Janc is expected to be one of the stars at the M20 EHF EURO 2022.

Slovenia won gold in 2018, making them reigning champions, and Janc will be crucial as they seek to retain the title. The 19-year-old centre back is also due to make his debut in the EHF Champions League Men in September, as his club team, RK Celje Pivovarna Lasko, returns to the European premium competition.

20220705 M20 Six Stars Mitja Janc

Francisco Mota da Costa and Martim Mota da Costa (Portugal)

Portugal have been on the rise in the past years, sealing their first-ever qualification to the Olympic Games at Tokyo 2020, while also finishing sixth at the EHF EURO 2020. The M20 EHF EURO 2022 hosts have a strong plan in place, trying to develop their team further with a strong eye on the future.

There is where the two Mota da Costa brothers – Martim and Francisco – come into the picture. The two brothers, who made their debut for Portugal’s senior team in the European qualification phase 2 for the 2023 IHF Men’s World Championship, are surely among the players to watch in this competition.

Martim scored 50 goals for Sporting CP in the EHF European League Men 2021/22, including 15 in the double-header against German champions SC Magdeburg. But he was bested by his brother, Francesco, who scored 62 times in the competition, at only 17 years of age.

Portugal will hope both Mota da Costas are in top form come the start of the competition. They will definitely be key for the hosts, as they are trying to emulate the silver medal won 12 years ago in Slovakia.

20220705 M20 Six Stars Martim Costa

Antonio Martinez Llamazares (Spain)

Wings do not always grab the limelight, but Spain’s tradition of putting superb talents in that position is just too hard to overlook – especially when taking into account how important Aleix Gómez was for Barça in their last two wins in the EHF FINAL4 in Cologne.

While 19-year-old right wing Antonio Martinez Llamazares is still developing, his scoring prowess, displayed for the national team in the recent friendly matches and in the Spanish domestic league can be crucial in this competition.

If Spain want to become only the third team in history after Germany and Denmark with three gold medals at the M20 EHF EURO, they will surely need something special from Martinez Llamazares.

Renars Uscins (Germany)

One year ago, Renars Uscins was selected at the All-star right back at the M19 EHF EURO 2021. He was Germany’s top scorer, with 44 goals, leading his team to gold. He was nothing short of superb, but will that form continue into the M20 EHF EURO 2022?

Despite not boasting the experience of other players, as he only played 24 games in the German Bundesliga in his career, Uscins has an innate talent, inherited from his father, Armands, who was also a player and now works as a coach.

Named the captain of the side travelling to Portugal, Uscins recovered from injury just in time to join his team in the friendly tournament played in Switzerland, the Airport Trophy, where the right back scored five goals against the hosts, France and Spain.

20220705 M20 Six Stars Renars Uscins

Gueric Vincent (France)

Another contender and another wing to keep an eye on. The 19-year-old has already played in the European second-tier competition for three seasons, once for Chambery Savoie and twice for USAM Nimes Gard, where he scored 11 goals in the last season.

Vincent was the understudy of legendary French wing Michael Guigou and it is hard to think that he did not learn a thing or two from the former ‘Expert’.

20220705 M20 Six Stars Gueric Vincent

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