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03.05.2017, 17:40◄ last page     

Anita Görbicz is a happy woman. One of the best playmakers in the history of the game lives in her hometown and at the age of 33 Győr’s legendary skipper believes she is exactly where she is supposed to be.

Reflecting on Anita Görbicz’s route from young fan to local legend in Győr

"I was born in another handball capital, Veszprém, but we only lived there for a short while. My father played for the local football club there but soon we moved back to Győr. This is my hometown and I feel very lucky because I don’t have to go anywhere to do my favourite thing: play handball," stated Anita Görbicz.

Győr, having lost no fewer than seven international club finals, finally made it to the throne of Europe in 2013, which not only sent the entire city into a frenzy but also made a young girl’s dream come true. "When I started playing for Győr as a young girl we were told to watch the first team’s matches. I remember the first time I saw a handball game, I immediately realised I belonged there. I wanted to play handball for Győr."

She was fourteen when she joined the club that she has never left. Despite not being the luckiest in finals Görbicz has won 10 national titles, 11 Hungarian Cups and two WOMEN'S EHF Champions League titles - all for Győr, obviously. She was also voted as IHF World Handball Player of the Year in 2005 and finished as top scorer in Europe’s elite competition in 2012 (133 goals) and 2014 (87).

The heartbreak of lost finals, apart from the shocking World Championship final defeat in 2003, was forgotten when Győr finally claimed their first WOMEN'S EHF Champions League trophy in 2013. “It was a long wait,” she cried when lifting the trophy.

Hometown heroine

"I never felt it necessary to have a manager. There was a friend, who took care of paperwork and accounting, but since I never wanted to leave there was no point in hiring somebody to look for new clubs - I wouldn’t join anyway. I was lucky because there was Győr, the city I love so much and there was the club that everybody wanted to play for. Why would I ever want to leave?"

It’s not that there was lack of temptation. Major European clubs have lined up in the past for Görbicz’s signature but the playmaker has declined all offers. "I was offered a ‘blank cheque’ like contract once, I could have filled in the figures on my own but I didn’t care."

Görbicz is obviously one of the city’s favourite residents but she claims she learned how to handle public attention. "I am like the girl next door. I walk around the city, go shopping or to the movies. I don’t mind when fans line up to ask for signatures or selfies. It is not always pleasant, there are people who have different opinions, but I think I handle these situations well; it’s part of my job. But most people are genuinely nice, most of them just say kind words and leave us be."

Hard to be a role model

“It gives me great pleasure, but also great responsibility that people look at me as a role model. I am fully aware what this status means as once I was a little girl in the stands, who was mesmerised by her idols on the court," Görbicz recalls.

The playmaker is always ready to do charity work, raise money for pet asylums or simply pop into a training session to surprise a youth handball team. "I love watching children play handball. You can actually feel their passion for the game. It’s so pure and beautiful. You can’t help but think how many future stars you are watching."

Görbicz, who is turning 34 a couple of days after the TIPPMIX EHF FINAL4 2017, has a renewed two-year contract with Győr and although she is confident to stay around handball after her retirement, her future plans do not necessarily include coaching. "It certainly is exciting but having spent my entire life playing handball I have never had summer holidays or longer vacations. And if you are a coach, you work just as hard and just as much as your players.

"But I am not thinking about that just yet. I am a player and I want to win more trophies with Győr. And when the time comes I will see how I can best help the team of my life, Győri Audi ETO KC."


TEXT: Bence Martha/si

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