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20 days ago - 6/1/2018

Narcisse waves emotional goodbye to handball

For the last time in his career, Daniel Narcisse stepped on a handball court as a player on Thursday. As Paris Saint-Germain defeated Chambéry 30:26, Narcisse could celebrate his third title in five seasons with the club from the French capital.

At age 38, the former French national team player announced a couple of months ago that he would retire from at the end of the season, making Thursday’s farewell an emotional one.

“I really wanted to win”

“I don’t think I've ever been so afraid of losing a game,” Narcisse said after the win against Chambéry, which helped PSG edge Montpellier HB for the title. “I really wanted to win.”

The player nicknamed ‘Air France’ was joined by his family at the end of the game during a celebration moment: his two children and his wife, but also relatives who had flew in especially for the occasion.

“I didn't know it would happen, my wife had hidden that from me. Being a professional player you miss so many occasions, parties and birthdays. To see all my family here meant a lot to me,” he said.

The celebration followed just days after the VELUX EHF FINAL4, where 20,000 fans chanted his name during the third-place game against HC Vardar, begging coach Noka Serdarusic to give the two-time Champions League winner some time on the court.

“I want to say thank you to all the fans, it was a really special moment. Without them, I don't know where I would be. But to hear my name chanted in such an iconic arena for handball meant a lot to me,” he smiled in Cologne last weekend.

The praise didn't only come from the fans but also from his teammates. While Nikola Karabatic described Narcisse as a “legend”, Thierry Omeyer showed a lot of emotions. The goalkeeper shared a couple of seasons with Narcisse at THW Kiel and they were roommates for a decade.

“It is a sad day for handball. It's been a pleasure and an honour to win with him and to share all these moments,” Omeyer said. “But he made his decision, and I just wish him to enjoy what comes next.”

Narcisse quits handball with one of the most impressive records: two Champions League titles with THW Kiel and a final with PSG, the IHF World Player of the Year Award in 2012, two Olympic gold medals, four world championships, three EHF EURO gold medals.

Look back with a sense of pride

The now former PSG player can look back with a sense of pride.

“I have received so many messages since I announced that I was stopping with handball, it almost felt like I was somebody else,” he said. “When I see all these ceremonies, I think it is a little bit too much for me. But now I am going to relax and to enjoy some proper holidays.”

Author: Kevin Domas / ew