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Mouna Chebbah, top scorer of the Tunisian national team. Picture: Pillaud

Group C: Tunisia - "Handball means everything to me"

Mouna Chebbah is the best Tunisian handball player of the last years and has played in many European top teams through the last years. Among others she played in Viborg HK and Esbjerg EH in Denmark for many years. Meanwhile the 35-year-old plays in the French Club Chambray Touraine. The Tunisian answered our questions.

 

Have you been to Germany respectively to Oldenburg before?

Yes. I’ve played against various teams in Germany because of the Champions League. But I’ve never been to Oldenburg before.

Are you looking forward to Germany or is it too cold for you?

I’m not afraid of the cold weather in Germany, because I lived in Denmark for a long time.  I am very much looking forward to the World Championship in Germany. It’s a World Championship after all. To be part of such an event is always an experience.

You’re in Group C together with Japan, Montenegro, Brazil, Russia and Denmark, probably the most interesting group. Which team can be beaten?

It’s the most difficult group of the World Championship. We know winning against these teams won’t be easy, but we want to give everything to make a good impression.

You’re playing together as a team for many years now and you’re playing really well. But you never got a top position. Will it work this time?

We strengthened our national team with a new generation. We’re practising hard and we’ll never give up to prepare the future.

 Many players are part of the team for a long time. Is this World Championship your last chance to win a medal or is it good-bye?

It’s the seventh World Championship for me. I want to give everything to support my team and to make it through the preliminary round. My future in the national team depends on our performance.

How developed is the women’s handball in Tunisia? Is handball a niche sport?

Handball in Tunisia has developed in the last years but it still hasn’t the potential to be recognised as a sport. I didn’t play handball in school, instead I learned and played it on the streets.

What has to happen in Tunisia to become a top handball nation?

The attitude needs to change on the part of the clubs, the coaches and a lot more. But the infrastructure and the level of the Tunisian league has to improve as well.

Why do you like playing handball?

Handball means everything to me. This sport changed my life and took me to Europe.  I’ve invested and gave up a lot to reach where I am today.

Who will become World Champion?

Norway stays a very strong team and France, Russia and Denmark are the other top teams. And Germany may be a surprise as the host country.

How far will you get?

It’s my dream to become top of the group.