Viran Morros’ extra life with Hispanics at age 40: “This is unexpected for me” | Sports


The 2021 Tokyo Games were supposed to be the end of Viran Morros’ long career with the handball team. The event had been announced long ago as the epilogue of a unique generation led by him, Raúl Entrerríos or Julen Aginagalde. The Barcelonan was 37 years old. Two summers ago, in addition, he left Germany for the Swiss team Pfadi Winterthur as a landing. He had considered retiring, but he wanted one last adventure in a less demanding League as a mentor to young people, with whom he sometimes gets scared when he knows the age difference. He was still in those when, to the surprise of many, he was recruited back with the Hispanics at the age of 40.

The coach Jordi Ribera, who already called him urgently in the European Championship last January due to the fall in the first match of Miguel Sánchez-Migallón, has included him again – although now from the beginning – in the list of the pre-Olympic that begins this Thursday with the clash against Bahrain (6:30 p.m.) in Granollers (on Friday, against Slovenia at 9:00 p.m., and on Sunday against Brazil at 5:45 p.m.; all on Teledeporte). Two tickets are distributed and Morros is still there in the fight as a defensive specialist, doing the dirty work.

“Of course this is unexpected for me. It was already in the European Championship,” the Catalan admits at first via a video call. “The chip of the national team was a little disconnected. Not completely off, but on standby, at least. After Tokyo, Jordi and I spoke and then we had several conversations. He told me clearly his plans. He has always put me on the pre-list, but his idea was that he would not be on the final list. I have always told him that he could count on me whenever he wants. A month ago he called me and told me that Miguel (Sánchez-Migallón) was not recovered and that he should be prepared. I am aware of what this is, that with Miguel healthy he would not have called me up, but now it’s time to enjoy and try to achieve the team’s goal,” explains Viran Morros, the fourth player with the most caps (254), at a distance of Raúl Entrerríos (294), completely retired after the Games.

The selection chip was a little disconnected. Not completely off, but on standby, at least

That Olympic tournament was the scheduled and trauma-free end for the two of them and other veterans, although circumstances have pushed Morros to return. Where he cannot imagine, he clarifies, is in Paris if Spain meets the forecasts and certifies the ticket. “Miguel would come in,” he insists. Sánchez-Migallón, by the way, was buying sheets in Poland in the summer of 2021 when he was called to the race because Viran had been injured in the Tokyo Games, and last January the Barcelona native had just watched a movie at his home in Switzerland when he was emergency recruited due to Migallón’s mishap in the European Championship. Cross substitutions.

More training than at 25 years old

In the Granollers exam he will meet again with Gedeón Guardiola, his common-law partner for a decade in the center of the national team’s defense. Another old guard, 39 years old, who also returns after being absent from the European Championship because he barely played for German side Erlangen at the start of the season. A month ago, he returned to Asobal, Nava, with his twin brother Isaías.

Is there a lack of relief in their positions? “Miguel and (Iñaki) Peciña (35 years old, not called up this time) came in and did a good job in the European Championship of ’22 and the World Cup of ’23 (Guardiola was also in both). And Jordi told me that promising guys are coming. But that is one thing and another, becoming a player for the national team and having the continuity of Gideón and me. The first time we met in a major championship was in the 2012 European Championship,” recalls Morros, winner of eight medals with Spain: an Olympic bronze (2021); a gold (2013) and a bronze (2011) world championship; and two European golds (2018 and 2020), one silver (2016) and one bronze (2014).

I was considering stopping playing, but the option arose to go to Switzerland. There I have a mentor role in a very young team

After his distinguished career at Barcelona (2000-03 and 2011-18), Ademar (2004-07), Ciudad Real (2007-11), PSG (2018-21) and Füsche Berlin (2021-22), he drinks the last sips of handball at Pfadi Winterthur, where he arrived in 2022. “I was considering stopping playing and this opportunity arose. I have a mentor or dad role, call it what you want, because the team is very young. I am having fun. The coach was looking for someone who could help him from the other side. The other day, for example, I counted and I think there are nine boys who were not born when I debuted at Asobal. Whether you like it or not, it makes you think,” comments Viran Morros without drama, who assures that for six or seven years he has been training more than when he was 25. “I always arrive much earlier to training because starting is harder. It’s the only difference in my routines. With food I don’t do anything different from the usual care. I have always struggled to gain weight more than to lose it,” he explains.

“In Switzerland life is very good and the bug continues to bite me. At the moment, I have not made a decision about the future. For a few years now, I have been keeping up to date,” she says. Now, the most immediate, the pre-Olympic. “Antonio García, another forty-year-old, is also going,” warns Viran Morros.

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