The Most Famous

HANDBALL PLAYERS from Croatia

Icon of occuation in country

This page contains a list of the greatest Croatian Handball Players. The pantheon dataset contains 305 Handball Players, 27 of which were born in Croatia. This makes Croatia the birth place of the 4th most number of Handball Players behind France and Norway.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Croatian Handball Players of all time. This list of famous Croatian Handball Players is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Croatian Handball Players.

Photo of Ivano Balić

1. Ivano Balić (1979 - )

With an HPI of 57.88, Ivano Balić is the most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages on wikipedia.

Ivano Balić (pronounced [ǐʋano bǎːlitɕ, - bǎ-]; born 1 April 1979) is a Croatian former professional handballer who is currently working as assistant coach of the Croatia national handball team. He was voted five times in a row as the most valuable player in major international competitions, and is one of only four male handball players who received the IHF World Player of the Year award on two occasions (2003, 2006). He was voted the best handball player in history in an online poll organized by the International Handball Federation (IHF).Balić was a 2003 World and 2004 Olympic champion with Croatia.

Photo of Albin Vidović

2. Albin Vidović (1943 - 2018)

With an HPI of 55.32, Albin Vidović is the 2nd most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Albin Vidović (11 February 1943 – 8 March 2018) was a Croatian handball player who competed in the 1972 Summer Olympics. He was part of the Yugoslav team which won the gold medal. He played one match.

Photo of Mirza Džomba

3. Mirza Džomba (1977 - )

With an HPI of 52.39, Mirza Džomba is the 3rd most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Mirza Džomba (born 28 February 1977) is a Croatian former professional handball player, World champion in 2003 and Olympic champion in 2004. He played for RK Zamet, Badel 1862 Zagreb, Fotex Veszprém, BM Ciudad Real and Vive Targi Kielce before retiring in 2011.He was also a member of the Croatia national team from 1997 to 2008. He holds the national team's top goal scorer record with 719 goals. He was part of the golden generation that won the 2003 World Championship and 2004 Summer Olympics. He is noted by many critics as one of the best right wings ever. In 2013 Džomba was awarded the best right wing in the history of the EHF Champions League by the European Handball Federation.Džomba has also played in six EHF Champions League finals while winning one with Ciudad Real. Among other awards, he was nominated three times for the IHF World Player of the Year award reaching third place in 2004 and 2005 and second place in 2006. He is currently a handball pundit on RTL Television usually with former teammate Goran Šprem.

Photo of Mirko Bašić

4. Mirko Bašić (1960 - )

With an HPI of 51.97, Mirko Bašić is the 4th most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 15 different languages.

Mirko Bašić (born 14 September 1960 in Bjelovar, SFR Yugoslavia) is a former Croatian handball player who competed in the 1984 Summer Olympics and in the 1988 Summer Olympics. He has also played six EHF Champions League finals winning two in 1984–85 and 1985–86 as part of the famous RK Metaloplastika which dominated European handball in the 1980s (often referred to as Handball Aliens).Bašić was a big influence on Thierry Omeyer who is regarded as the greatest goalkeeper in handball history.

Photo of Igor Vori

5. Igor Vori (1980 - )

With an HPI of 51.67, Igor Vori is the 5th most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 24 different languages.

Igor Vori (born 20 September 1980) is a Croatian retired handball player and current coach. He is currently working as the sports director of the Croatian national team. Vori competed for Croatia in the 2004, 2008 and the 2012 Summer Olympics.

Photo of Domagoj Duvnjak

6. Domagoj Duvnjak (1988 - )

With an HPI of 50.20, Domagoj Duvnjak is the 6th most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Domagoj Duvnjak (born 1 June 1988) is a Croatian professional handball player for THW Kiel and the Croatian national team. Duvnjak is regarded as one of the best handball players of all time alongside fellow Croatian Ivano Balic. He became a member of the Croatia national team at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China. He also represented Croatia at the 2012, where Croatia won bronze, and 2016 Olympics. On 26 January 2014, he was named the IHF World Player 2013.In August 2009, Duvnjak signed a three-year contract with HSV Hamburg worth €2.25 million, including a transfer fee of €1.1 million, making him – at age 21 – the most expensive handball player in history of the sport.

Photo of Patrik Ćavar

7. Patrik Ćavar (1971 - )

With an HPI of 49.88, Patrik Ćavar is the 7th most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 19 different languages.

Patrik Ćavar (born 24 March 1971) is a retired Croatian handball player. The legendary left wing played in Croatia for Mehanika Metković, Badel 1862 Zagreb and Agram Medveščak, in Bosnia and Herzegovina for Borac Banja Luka, in Spain for FC Barcelona, BM Granollers, and in France for Saint-Marcel Vernon. Ćavar has stated that Veselin Vujović was a big influence on him opting to playing handball. He played for the Croatian national team at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, where Croatia won the gold medal. Ćavar was the top goalscorer of the Croatian national team from 1996 to 2007, when Mirza Džomba broke his record. He is also the only Croatian handball player to have won five EHF Champions League titles.

Photo of Nenad Kljaić

8. Nenad Kljaić (1966 - )

With an HPI of 48.79, Nenad Kljaić is the 8th most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Nenad Kljaić (born 21 December 1966) is a Croatian former handball player and current coach of Greek club Olympiacos S.F. Piraeus.

Photo of Petar Metličić

9. Petar Metličić (1976 - )

With an HPI of 48.70, Petar Metličić is the 9th most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Petar Metličić (born 25 December 1976) is a retired Croatian handball player. He was captain of the Croatian national team from 2006 to 2009, after the departure of Slavko Goluža. He won the gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens as well as at the 2003 World Championship in Portugal. At club level he played in the top tier in Croatia, Spain, Slovenia and France. He has won the EHF Champions League three times and the EHF Champions Trophy twice with BM Ciudad Real as well as the IHF Super Globe and EHF Cup Winner's Cup with CB Ademar León, and the EHF Cup with RK Metković Jambo. In September 2007 he opened, alongside his former colleague Ivano Balić, the "Balić-Metličić" handball academy. Metličić is also a coach in the academy.From February 2015 to January 2017 he served as an assistant coach to Željko Babić in the Croatia men's team.

Photo of Blaženko Lacković

10. Blaženko Lacković (1980 - )

With an HPI of 48.62, Blaženko Lacković is the 10th most famous Croatian Handball Player.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Blaženko Lacković (born 25 December 1980) is a retired Croatian handball player. He is World champion from 2003, and Olympic champion from 2004 with the Croatian national team. He received silver medals at the 2005 and 2009 World championships, silver medals at the 2008 and 2010 European championships and bronze medals at the 2012 Summer Olympics, the 2012 European Championship and the 2013 World Championship.

Pantheon has 27 people classified as handball players born between 1943 and 1988. Of these 27, 26 (96.30%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living handball players include Ivano Balić, Mirza Džomba, and Mirko Bašić. The most famous deceased handball players include Albin Vidović. As of October 2020, 6 new handball players have been added to Pantheon including Albin Vidović, Mirko Bašić, and Bruno Gudelj.

Living Handball Players

Go to all Rankings

Deceased Handball Players

Go to all Rankings

Newly Added Handball Players (2020)

Go to all Rankings