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14 European teams had booked their berth at the Men’s 2013 World Championship in Spain, 13 qualified for the Round of the last 16 – and now four all-European quarter-finals will be played on Wednesday (23 January) in Barcelona and Zaragoza, eurohandball.com informs.All EHF EURO 2012 semi-finalists are among the last eight teams, except for Sweden also all 2011 World Championship and 2012 Olympic semi-finalists, as all favourites took mostly clear victories in the first stage of the knock-out phase.Those teams have made it to the next stage: Germany, France, Slovenia, Russia, Denmark, Croatia, Hungary and host Spain. The top duel of the quarter-finals will be the clash of Croatia (world champion 2003, Olympic champions 1996 and 2004) and France (world champions 1995, 2001, 2009, 2011, Olympic champions 2008 and 2012).This encounter will be the re-match of the Olympic semi-final, which the Croatians lost against France – like the World Championship final in 2009 and the European Championship final in 2010.’It’s time for revenge’ is therefore very likely to be the motto for Croatia. After their previous performances EHF EURO champions Denmark are supposed to be the favourites against Hungary, like hosts Spain are against the surprisingly strong German team, while an open duel is expected in the encounter between Slovenia and Russia.
Germany – FYR Macedonia 28:23 (13:9),- For the first time since 2009, Germany are among the top eight teams at a World Championship and their victory was well-deserved, as the team of coach Martin Heuberger played very variable in attack and in defense and never left any doubt about their will to win.- Russia – Brazil 27:26 (14:14), France – Iceland 30:28 (15:14), Spain – Serbia 31:20 (20:12), Slovenia – Egypt 31:26 (19:11)