Handball national coach Alfred Gislason reacted with surprise to the end of Hendrik Pekeler's career in the national team.
“I don’t know anything about that,” said the Icelander in Flensburg after the DHB team’s friendly win against Portugal (34:33) and referred to frequent conversations with Pekeler. “That passed me by. We discussed it differently,” Gislason continued.
Pekeler, who had canceled the home European Championships, had previously announced his resignation from the national team. The 32-year-old will be given farewell at the DHB game against Portugal on Saturday in Kiel. “When it was clear that I couldn’t do it, I wanted to draw a clear line in the sand,” Pekeler told the “Kieler Nachrichten”. "I'm a player who listens to his body and reacted accordingly."
Pekeler had problems with his Achilles tendon for several years and had to have another operation in the summer. The defense chief of the Bundesliga club THW Kiel has 122 international matches. Pekeler won the European Championship with the national team in 2016 and took bronze at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in the same year.