Practice, belief and confidence

”I proved to myself that hard work, stubbornness and belief really can pay off. You as a player must set your own goals, and if you want to reach them hard enough, you will do everything you can to achieve them. Most importantly;  trust in your own ability to determine your path.“

Kortedala IF 1978
Vranjes 10 years old, 126 cm tall

Ljubomir Vranjes (born in Göteborg, Sweden October 3rd, 1973) makes his first handball feints in the swedish handball club Kortedala IF at the age of 4.

He early shows he has a special eye for the game, but few actually think that a professional career as a handball player is a realistic option for a male player with the moderate height of 1.66 m. 

Ljubomir decides for himself that it is possible.

”I remember how my coach told me that I was too small for handball. I don´t know why I did not listen to what he said... I think I wanted to show that they all were wrong.“

Redbergslids IK 1992
Redbergslids IK 1995

At the age of 17, he has his first real reward, as he is offered the back center position in the team Redbergslids IK in the swedish first league Elitserien.

Vranjes gives up football (although his father promises him a new car if he quits handball instead…!) and gives full focus on becoming a professional handball player. He has never regret it. 

Significant for his playing style are the rapid tempo changes, his indisputable will to win and the projectile-like breakthroughs.

  • 5 times swedish champion

”He was so disappointed, my dad, as I chose handball. I did it because I got the chance to play in the first league, for me that was a really big thing. My dad eventually changed his point of view.“

Swedish National Team 1996
Swedish Nationalteam 1997

In 1996, legendary coach Bengt Johansson contacts Vranjes with the wish: ”I want you to play for the Swedish National Team.” He plays his first championship in Japan in 1997 wearing the number 17 on his shirt. This number has stayed with him ever since, he is convinced it brings him luck. Vranjes played 164 official games for Sweden (1996-2007) and scored 451 goals.

  • World Champion in 1999 
  • 3x European Champion (1998, 2000, 2002)    
  • 2x World Championship Vice Champion (1997, 2001)    
  • Olympic Vice Champion in 2000    

”To play for your country is a very special and honorable task. Bengt Johansson is a great leader with a real feel for group dynamic, I respect him a lot.“

BM Granollers 1999
BM Granollers 1999

In 1999, at the age of 26, Vranjes is offered his first international professional contract in BM Granollers, Liga ASOBAL in Spain.

He signs a 3-year contract, but leaves Spain after two and transfers to German club HSG Nordhorn.

”The years in Spain where great. I had reached my dream – to become a professional handball player. In those days we had five training sessions plus one game a week. I am grateful that I got the opportunity to get acquainted with this fantastic region and its warm people.“

HSG Nordhorn 2001
Cup Winners Cup 2005

The contract with HSG Nordhorn is for five years. Kent-Harry Andersson is Head Coach, and the team is loaded with Scandinavian players like Ola Lindgren, Peter Gentzel and Glenn Solberg. German player Holger Glandorf is a youngster in this team, as well as Maik Machulla (now head coach in SG Flensburg Handewitt).

  • Bundesliga Vice Champion 2002
  • DHB Pokal bronze 2004    
  • Semi-finals of the EHF Cup Winners Cup 2006     

”The years at HSG Nordhorn were very nice and familial, all players had a really close relationship to one another. I am very thankful to Kent-Harry and Bernd Rigterink who brought me there. Kent Harry later took me to SG Flensburg Handewitt.“

SG Flensburg-Handewitt 2006
SG Flensburg Handewitt 2006

In 2006 SG Flensburg Handewitt signs a 2-year-contract with Vranjes. These are supposed to be his last years abroad before moving back to Sweden.

Vranjes contract is being extendend to one more season, but in December 2008 he is forced to end his career as a handball player due to injury. He continues as assistant coach the remaining part of the season.

  • Champions League Vice Champion 2007
  • Bundesliga bronze 2007
  • Bundesliga Vice Champion 2008 

”I was really proud to be offered the chance to play for a top club like the SG, I saw a real chance to reach great results. We were always really close, but unfortunalely we did not make it all the way to the top during my time there as a player.“

The Academy

Vranjes Professional Handball Camp

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