Female handball has become as popular as men’s handball in the last few decades. Since its appearance in the Olympics in 1976, the sport gained huge popularity all around the world. The best female handball players in history come from Scandinavia and the Balkan, with Romanian Cristina Neagu considered the best of all time.
Handball is a tough game and you need stamina and endurance to be a successful player. Women’s handball was introduced in the Olympic program in 1976, when the Soviet Union won the gold. Since then South Korea, Yugoslavia, Norway and Denmark managed to win the Olympic titles. The following players on the list all won big events like the Olympic Games and World Championships. Beside these successes they all received individual awards. Like the IHF World Player of the Year award, which rewarded their capabilities and performance both on club and national level.
7. Zinaida Turchyna in the best female handball players in history
Zinaida Turchyna competed for the Soviet Union and took part in all major competitions between 1973 and 1988. Except of course the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, which was boycotted by the USSR. She still won 3 Olympic and five World Championship medals. Including two gold medals in both competitions. Turchyna started to play handball at the age of 16 in Spartak Kiev and played there until her retirement at the age of 42. The club, which was managed by her future husband, Igor Turchin, won the Soviet championship 20 times. They also won the Champions’ Cup 12 occasions. Turchyna was voted by IHF the best female handball player of the 20th century as online sportsbooks in Russia were reporting.
6. Bojana Radulovic
The Yugoslavian born Hungarian player, Bojana Radulovic was voted the World Best Handball Player twice, in 2000 and 2003. She won everything on club level after she was signed by Hungarian team Dunaujvaros in 1995. She won 5 national championships and 6 cup titles. Radulovic also led the team to EHF Cup and Champions League victories. She left the club in 2006 but returned back in 2009 to help the club which lost most of its players due to financial difficulties. In 2011 she retired and was appointed as the manager of the new handball academy in the town. Radulovic was a key player in the Hungarian national team as well and helped them to a silver in the 2000 Olympics and the 2003 World Championship.
5. Lim O-Keong
As we mentioned in the beginning, South Korea has managed to win the Olympic title twice, in 1988 and 1992. In the latter, Lim O-Keong was already a member of the team, scoring 30 goals in the tournament. She scored even more, 41 goals in the next Games in 1996. But it was only enough for a silver medal, as they lost the final against Denmark. Lim was still voted as the Best Player of the World in that year. At her third Olympics, in 2004 Athens, she won another silver medal with the team. On club level she played in Japan, and led her team to a national championship title. The South Korean team is already qualified for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics. But online gambling sites in Russia are not considering them in the favorites this time.
4. Heidi Loke
The Norwegian pivot Heidi Loke has achieved great successes on club and national level as well. First she played at home and became Norwegian champion with Larvik. She also won the Champions League with the club in 2011 and was voted as the World Best Player in that year. Hungarian top club Gyori Audi Eto signed her in that year, and Loke became a top class player of the club. She won a further 3 Champions League titles with Eto and five Hungarian league titles. She also won everything with the Norwegian national team. Twice the world championships in 2011 and 2015, the Olympic Games in 2012 London and three times the European Championship. Norway is the top favorite in this year’s Euros again with the odds of 2.20 on 1xBet.
3. Svetlana Kitic
Another Yugoslavian born player, Svetlana Kitic also belongs to the best female handball players in history. What’s more, she was voted as best female player ever by IHF in 2010. Since then there has been another top star in the sport, but Kitic is definitely one of the greatest. She won the gold in the 1984 Olympics in Moscow with Yugoslavian team, and a silver in the 1980 Olympics. Also got a silver in the 1990 World Championship. With Radnicki Belgrade she also achieved great successes. From 6 national titles to winning the Champions League three occasions. Kitic was voted as the best player of the world in 1988. Later, in the early 2000s she played in the Bosnian national team but she couldn’t qualify for another major event with them.
2. Anja Andersen
Many people consider Danish player Anja Andersen as the best. Like most of the other players in our list, she also won everything. The Olympic Games in 1996, the World Championship in 1997. And also twice the European Championship in 1994 and 1996. Of course, after so much success she also got the World Best Handball Player award in 1997. Until Mikkel Hansen won the same award for men in 2012, she was the only Danish winner. Andersen was a very skilled player, but she was also known for her temper often causing scenes on the court. She had to retire early, at the age of only 30 due to a heart defect. But she continued to achieve successes as a coach. Her team, Slagelse won the Champions League three times between 2004 and 2007.
1. Cristina Neagu
The winner of this list and the World Best Female Handball Player award a record four times is Romanian Cristina Neagu. The left back is a fantastic goalscorer. She is the all-time leader in the European Championships with her 237 goals. She was also the top scorer in the World Championship in 2015 and in two Champions League seasons. Though Neagu hasn’t won any major title with the national team, she got a bronze medal with them in the 2015 World and 2010 European Championship. But with her club, Montenegrin Budocnost she reached the top. They won the Champions League in 2015 and the national championships four times. In 2017 she moved back to Romania and has been playing for CSM Bucuresti since. The team will meet defending champion Gyori Audi Eto in the quarter-finals of this year’s Champions League, where Neagu can show her talent again.