The French handball team, although messy, won Thursday against Argentina in Montpellier in a friendly (32-23) for its return after the European title and that of goalkeeper Vincent Gérard a year after his last selection.

The goalkeeper (37 years old, 151 selections) during the Olympic title in Tokyo in 2021 had not worn the blue jersey since March 11, 2023 against Poland in qualifying for Euro-2024 in Aix-en-Provence (30 -27), victim the following summer of persistent pubalgia. Absent from the European coronation in Cologne where Samir Bellahcene shone in goal, barred in Kiel (Germany) and forced to join the second division in Istres at the beginning of February to find play before the Olympics, the last major objective of his career ( he will hang up afterwards), Gérard entered the second half in place of Rémi Desbonnet, while the Blues led 17 to 10.

He stood out with several saves, including several linked together around the 40th minute, and decisive passes on long restarts, notably to Dylan Nahi (22-14, 43rd; 27-18, 50th), the man of the match.

“I am happy to have been able to congratulate the guys in person for their exceptional performance (at the Euro), we all vibrated, me first in front of our screen. I am very happy to see the good energy emanating from the group and to return to work with a view to the six months that await us,” declared Gérard at the microphone of BeIn Sports.

“I am happy with my return, to no longer have pain, to be able to concentrate on the hand and much less on the physical,” added Gérard, who returned to competition on February 18 in Proligue after eight months without playing.