Croatia and France will be meeting at the Rio 2016 Olympics in what is best described as the “Group of Death”. Both teams that have dominated men’s Olympic handball in the last 20 years, France and Croatia, will go head-to-head in the group stages of Rio 2016.
The handball draw at the Future Arena on Friday April 29, put both countries, each with two Olympic gold medals to their name, in the same pool. France emerged as champions at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, and they have a historic rivalry with Croatia.
Croatia won the gold at Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004. The French broke Croatian hearts in the final of the 2009 world championships held in Croatia and then defeated them again at the semi-final stage of London 2012; Croatia went on to pick up the bronze medal in the tournament.
It will be recalled that the meeting of both sides was once described as the “El Classico of Handball” in 2014, when both teams clashed in the EHF Euro 2014 semi-final stage.