Handball. Estelle Nze-Minko, the gunboat of the Blues


It is the finest trigger of the Euro. When she fires, her projectile hits the mark almost every time. With 82% shooting success since the beginning of the tournament (best percentage of all teams combined, 28 goals out of 34 attempts), Estelle-Nze-Minko is doing a lot of damage in the opponents of the French handball team (100% success against Montenegro with 7 goals and against Denmark, 6 goals). His latest victims, Serb goalkeepers Marija Colic and Marina Pantic, had a bad time, Thursday night in Nantes, during the victory of the French (38-28). Best striker Les Bleues, the 27-year-old midfielder has nine times shivered the net on twelve shots. In the semifinals against the Netherlands, this Friday in Paris (21 hours, beIN Sports 1 and TMC), his right arm should be more devastating.

This is the fourth time in a row that the Blues have reached the last four of a great competition after the Rio Games, the Euro 2016 and the 2017 World Cup. And each time, the one born in San Sebastián Loire (Loire-Atlantique) has made its contribution to the building. In addition to its power and accuracy in shooting, its speed is also one of its characteristics. “She could have done 400m or 200m, maybe 800m. They have strides that resemble those of athletes, “says Pierre Terzi, the physical trainer Blue. Olivier Krumbholz, rather stingy in individual compliments, praises the one who also occupies the position of left-back (1.78 m, 67 kg): “When it changes pace, it is forgotten and it accelerates in spaces, it is exceptional, “admits the coach.

Do as boys

It was at the age of twelve that the Ligérienne began handball with the club of Saint-Julien de Concelles near Nantes where her family still lives. Two years later, she joined the Segré pole of hope and the club of Nantes LAH, which then evolves into National 1. In 2007, while the team of France finishes 5th of its Mondial in France, Estelle Nze-Minko becomes champion of the under-17 world. After having played in five different clubs between 2009 and 2016 (Toulouse, Mios, Nîmes, Nantes and Fleury), she puts down her bags two seasons ago in Hungary to Siofok where she is the captain.

With a playful character, Estelle Nze-Minko enjoys reading, including Virginie Despentes, singing and playing music on the piano or guitar. A last activity she practices with her teammates of the French team during moments of relaxation. This artist should feel like Bercy at home this weekend. “I've never been there except for concerts,” says the graduate of a school of communication. This time, it is she who will occupy the front of the stage. “We scored our discipline by being world champions in 2017, renewing it at home, it would be a real turning point,” she says. It's in everyone's head. This is the opportunity to seize to realize in turn what the boys have done “at the 2017 World Cup in France.


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