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16 Dec, 2018 12:42

‘World’s most beautiful team’: Russian women’s handball stars gear up for Euro final (PHOTOS)

‘World’s most beautiful team’: Russian women’s handball stars gear up for Euro final (PHOTOS)

Russia’s women’s handball team – dubbed "the world’s most beautiful" by their coach – take on France in the European Championship final on Sunday, in a repeat of the 2016 Olympic showdown in Brazil when Russia claimed gold.

The pair this time meet at the Accor Hotels Arena in Paris, with the latest big-game encounter against the French prompting the official Team Russia website to repeat coach Yevgeni Trefilov’s claims following their Olympic victory two years ago that his team is “the most beautiful in the world.”  

READ MORE: Russian athletes strip off to reveal ‘natural truth’ of life in sport (VIDEO)

The Team Russia website has showcased some of the team’s eye-catching talents on and off the court and, below, RT Sport brings you more on the stars aiming for glory on Sunday in Paris. 

Daria Samokhina, 26, plays for club side Astrakhanochka and was Russia’s top-scorer at last year’s World Championships in Germany with 32 goals in seven matches.

The handball hotshot has 27 goals in 7 games at the tournament in France so far.  

All-Star left wing Polina Kuznetsova, 31, was part of the gold medal-winning team in Rio and is a double world champion. The Rostov-on-Don player will be looking to add to her haul of silverware against France again on Sunday.

Kuznetsova plays in the team alongside her sister, Olympic MVP Anna Vyakhireva, who despite being 23 has established herself as an essential part of the team.   

The star right-back has already bagged 36 goals in 7 games at the European Championships so far.

Daria Dmitrieva is also just 23, but the all-star centre back from Tolyatti is a similarly integral part of the team and won Olympic gold in 2016.

Elizaveta Malashenko stars for Astrakhanochka and will also be in action on Sunday. The 22-year-old has certainly boosted her team's chances since joining the senior set-up - as well as her coach’s claims to having the world’s hottest team.

Rostov-on-Don left back Anna Sen stands 6ft and is a formidable force in the national team. She also helped Russia to Olympic gold in Rio, and sports a tattoo in honor of that victory.

Kuban's Yaroslava Frolova, 21, joined the senior ranks after the team’s Olympic glory but has already established herself as a key player atcenter back.

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Публикация от Yaroslava Frolova (@yasyafrolova778)

Russia reached the final thanks to a 28-22 win over Romania in the last-four stage, while France came past the Netherlands 27-21.


Sunday’s action starts at 17:30 local time in Paris (16:30 GMT).