Passing of the golden left hand of Croatian handball Zlatko Saracevic


Handball world lost a great one on Sunday evening in Zlatko Saracevic. One of all-time greats not only in his position but as a handball player in general. Great coach, mentor, and what matters the most – a great man.

Handball was a part of him – part of his life from the minute he was born. All the way back from his hometown club Borac Banja Luka, Medvescak Zagreb, French teams Nimes, Bordeaux, Creteil, and Istres to Zagreb and Veszprem. Olympic bronze medalist from Seoul back in 1988 (Yugoslavia) and a big part of Croatian golden generation from 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. World champion from 1986 (Yugoslavia), WCh silver from 1995 (Croatia), and European bronze from 1994 (Croatia). Incredible attacking skills topped by one of the best, deadliest left hands handball courts have ever seen.

He started his coaching career in Zamet gathering experience in Hungary and Bosnia and Herzegovina before becoming an assistant coach for multiple Croatian champions Zagreb in 2010. He spent five years in the Croatian capital before deciding to move on and take over as Dubrovnik handball club head coach. Later on, he became PPD Zagreb head coach and Lino Cervar’s assistant with the Croatian national team before deciding to face one of the biggest challenges of his career to become head coach of Podravka women’s handball club. In Koprivnica he once again proved that no handball challenge is too big for him eventually, in what we’re now aware was his final handball game, leading Podravka to an important win in the biggest Croatian derby against Lokomotiva almost minutes before the tragic event that happened on Sunday evening.

SEHA - Gazprom League is proud and honored to be able to say that a handball spirit like Zlatko Saracevic was a part of it during his Zagreb coaching days. They say that when a great man dies, for years the light he leaves behind him lies on the paths of men the same way his legacy and unspoiled optimism will live on both on and off the handball court he dedicated his life to.