Romania presents Cristina Neagu's successor: the handball player who will be the leader of the national team in 2024

The matches with Croatia in the preliminaries of the European Championship 2024 represent a new beginning for the national women's handball team, which is going on the road with a new captain – Cristina Laslo, nine new players and an average age of 24, said coach Florentin Pera on Tuesday .

Cristina Neagu last played for Romania at the 2023 World Cup

With these games, the national team of Romania has a new beginning. It is a young team, we have an average age of 24, a team with nine new players since the World Championship in Denmark. Basically, we can say that a reconstruction is starting for this new Olympic cycle, with talented players, who I believe can ensure this exchange of generations. They are players that I have generated confidence in since I took over the national team, I tried to promote as many young players as possible. (…) It is a beautiful team, which can achieve positive results, but patience is needed. A strong national team is not formed overnight, it takes time, these girls must be supported“, said Pera during a press conference held in Bistrita.

The coach of the national team mentioned that Romania and Croatia are fighting for the first place in the group.

We are preparing intensively for the double with Croatia in the preliminaries of the European Championship, very important matches for the Romanian team, considering that both we and Croatia have the same number of points and we are basically fighting for the first place in the group. It will not be an easy match at all, Croatia will line up the best team of the moment, an experienced team with valuable players, (…) but the Romanian team is prepared from my point of view and motivated to get the most out of this double“, said Florentin Pera.

Cristina Laslo

Cristina Laslo

Cristina Laslo, the new captain of the Romanian women's handball team, declared herself “enthusiastic and honored” by her new position.

We have two very interesting matches against Croatia. I want maximum points and we hope that we, together with the staff, will rise to the level of expectations. We play with the house closed. (…) I am excited and honored to represent the country as a captain. I think that not everyone can be in this position, so I can only be grateful and thank the staff for their trust and together with the girls I hope to form a united group, a group that will give its last drop of energy on the field and I will make sure that this spirit will exist in the middle of the team. So I can only be happy and proud to represent my country as a captain“, Laslo concluded.

According to coach Florentin Pera, the national team currently consists of players from 12 teams.

The Romanian national team meets the Croatian team, on Wednesday, from 17:30, in the Teraplast Arena in Bistrita, in the first group of the preliminaries of the European Women's Handball Championship – EHF EURO 2024. The rematch will take place on Sunday, in Koprivnica.

In the ranking, Romania and Croatia have 4 points each, separated by goal difference (+43, respectively +24), followed by Greece and Bosnia-Herzegovina, without a single point.