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13.05.2009, 12:00◄ last page     


One of the most successful Spanish players of the last two decades, Juan Perez Marquez, will say goodbye to handball this weekend.
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Spanish legend will retire on Saturday

Juan Perez Marquez, better known and Juancho, was born in Badajoz. He went to Madrid 20 years ago to play handball. He was the tallest young player of the generation born in 1974. His stature was perfect for basketball, but he chose at the age of 15 to become a handball player and he was trained to one of the best defending players of Spanish handball.

Juancho will finally say goodbye to PortlandJuancho played for Atletico de Madrid, Barcelona, Ademar, Valladolid and Portland San Antonio during his career. He won all the most important titles: Champions League, Spanish League, World Championship…

The retiring star has been a point of reference in Spanish handball in the last two decades. In his earlier times he used to play on both ends of the court, but in Portland he has become a fundamental element of the 6-0 defence.

He will play his last match on Saturday against Torrevieja. The former Spanish national player does not yet know what it will feel like:

“I will have special feelings, but I do not now how can I express them. I’m happy because my daughter, who is 5, will be there and I suppose that I will cry a team when looking at her. It’s a pity that my son is too young to understand what’s going on.”

When thinking back on the past, Juancho cannot choose from the best moments of his 20-season long career.

“It is impossible to single out a game. This sport demands a lot of sacrifice and the success is when you stand up after a defeat. People remember only the champions, but it is important for me to be able to leave a bad moment behind”.

Juancho will never forget the defeat in the Champions League Final in Montpellier.

“This moment is unrepeatable. Game situations still come to my mind with many years after the game”.

This sport has changed a lot in the last 20 years.

“Every sport has changed. It is a change within the society, in fact. Children prefer to be at home with their Playstations rather than practising sports. I remember Saturday mornings playing handball on horrible courts and we enjoyed it a lot and grew up like that. Young people and their parents prefer other things now”.


TEXT: Fernando Urra Goni

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