Thousands of handball fans took their chance to vote for their Players of the Year 2016 after a group of IHF experts and national team coaches had proposed five male and female players each, who they consider to be the best players in 2016.
The overall voting for the Players of the Year was based on three votes and taking all three of them into account – experts, media and fans – the winners of this year’s Players of the Year vote are: Nikola Karabatic (France) and Cristina Neagu (Romania). For both of them it’s the third Player of the Year award after Karabatic had won it already in 2007 and 2014 and Neagu in 2010 and 2015, ihf.info informs.
In the women’s category of the Player of the Year 2016 vote, Cristina Neagu found herself in a neck-to-neck race with Nora Mork (Norway) and Nycke Groot (Netherlands) – considering all three categories, as Neagu won the fan vote clearly with 37.14% ahead of Mork (20.86%). In the end, Mork ranked second and Groot third. Sweden’s Isabelle Gullden and Kari Grimsbo from Norway stood no chance and finished on ranks four and five, respectively.
Both Players of the Year 2016 were voted Most Valuable Player and were part of the All-star Team of an event on more than one occasion and won the national championships with their respective clubs several times.
Cristina Neagu was born on August 26, 1988. She plays for ZRK Buducnost Podgorica and will soon transfer to CSM Bucharest. In 2015 she won with Romania’s team the bronze medal at the World Championship; 2010 – bronze medal with the national team at EHF EURO Championship; EHF Champions League winner 2015; 3 times IHF Player of the Year (2010, 2015 and 2016).