List: The best defensive players at the 2023 World Championship

The 2023 World Championship is getting closer and in a series of articles Ola Selby, reporter at GoHandball, picks his 5 best players at each position. Last up is the defensive players.

Here are the players:

Anna Lagerquist, Sweden

Lagerquist was unexplainably not nominated as one of the best defenders during the Euros a year ago. I really don’t understand how the EHF could miss Lagerquist who, according to me, is the best defender in the world. 

Estelle Nze Minko, France

Estelle Nze Minko of France. Photo: Ludvig Thunman / BILDBYRÅN

Nze Minko can play everywhere on the handball pitch and is one of my personal favorites. She is a great offensive player as well but her ability to play well in basically any position in defense makes her special. 

Maren Aardahl, Norway

Maren Aardahl of Norway. Photo: Jesper Zerman / BILDBYRÅN

Not as obvious on this list as her colleagues and Kari Brattset Dale is off course just as great. But Aardahl gets the nod because she plays more defense than offense for Norway. Played at a high level this autumn for Odense and will be very important for Norway during the WC.

Line Haugsted, Denmark

Line Haugsted of Denmark. Photo: Mathilda Ahlberg / BILDBYRÅN

Haugsted missed the Euros a year ago due to injury and who knows what would have happened if she had played in the final against Norway. It’s hard to find a better defender than Haugsted who is strong, smart, and agile. 

Kelly Dulfer, Netherlands

Kelly Dulfer of Netherlands. Photo: Petter Arvidson / BILDBYRÅN

The most important defensive player for Per Johansson and the Netherlands is Kelly Dulfer. The tall left back has taken huge leaps in the past few seasons and is one of the best defenders in the world. Great at using her size and strength in defense.