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Born on October 2, 1944, in Derventa, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Started his handball career in the local handball club, RK Partizan.

After finishing the secondary school education he studied in Belgrade from 1962 and became a member of the Belgrade handball club RK Partizan. He was not eighteen years yet when he became a first league goalkeeper. After a year in Belgrade, he moved to Banja Luka, to the Handball Club Borac. It was a move of his life since all his sports achievements were associated with that club. Simultaneously with his career, he managed to attain the university degree by graduating from Sarajevo Faculty of Physical Education.


His coaching career started during his active sports career. He worked with the junior team of HC Borac, the generation of Zlatan Saračević, and coached the women handball team Mladost, Banja Luka. By the time he finished his active playing, he already had certain experience in coaching.

Some of the clubs he trained are: HC Borac Banja Luka, HC Metaloplastika, Šabac, HC Zagreb, HC Bosna Sarajevo, HC Medveščak, Zagreb, HC Krško, HC Zvečevo, Požega, HC Bosnamontaža.

In his coaching career he was the selector of  Yugoslavian junior handball team (1st in Portugal in 1981); a goalkeepers coach of the Yugoslavian national team (2nd in Dortmund in 1982); coach of the Yugoslavian national team (1st at WCH in Zurich 1986); selector of the Yugoslavian national team (3rd in 1988 OG in Seoul); selector of the Croatian national team;  selector of the Qatar national team in the period 1988-1994; and the selector of Bosnia and Herzegovina national team in 2003 and 2004.

In the period from September 2009 to January 2010 he worked with goalkeepers of the senior national team.

All goalkeepers performed the exercises presented in the book which helped to manage and improve the elementary goalkeeping technique, tactical preparation for matches, and to peak their optimal performing for particular competitions.


First recognition of his work came in 1970 at the World Championship in Paris, when the Yugoslavian national handball team won its first medal- the bronze. There he experienced his first personal international affirmation: the title of the best goalkeeper in the world. Two years later the Yugoslavian handball national team won the gold medal at the first handball tournament ever in the programme of the Olympic Games in Munich. I 1974 the team won again the bronze medal in Berlin. These years his handball club, Borac, Banja Luka, reigned over the domestic handball stage. In the period 1972-1975 Borac won 4 championships and 4 Cups of Yugoslavia, in total five if the one from the year 1969 is added. The European Championship Cup title, won in 1976, was the crowning sports achievement of the whole generation and the author personally.

He played 125 matches for the national team and scored one goal. Two times he played for the World selected team. He retired as a player in the age of 33.

I will never forget the 6th March of 1970, Paris, Palais de Handball, the match against Denmark for the bronze medal at the World Championship. The final score 29:12 (13:6), our handball players won their first world medal. In our goal Abas-Ako-Arslanagic, and in front of him the Danish player Anderson, whose face was drained of colour, swung to take the throw and the ball fell out of his hand! Fear! The sixth penalty was not realized.

Such a goalkeeper has a lot to put on paper, interesting and relevant from both the expert and historical point of view. The book is in your hands. In my mind is a picture of the Dane Andersen as the ball was falling out of his hand.

Reno Vinek

Editor, Sportske Novosti, Zagreb

Abas Arslanagic is not only the world goalkeeper No. 1, or an example of a good handball teacher, he is also an initiator of a new approach to goalkeepers saying “save the goal in the simplest way”, with which he opened a path for new generations of goalkeepers. His specialities, better to say, novelties, are unforgettable, “coming-out into the shot” of the opponent in the very moment of the shot is being taken either from wing position, 6m-line, or from distance, his high take-offs and classic butterflies, or, for example, aggressive stance in penalty saves, or quick splits to both sides, his balls thrown into fast-breaks like being served on a plate, etc.

Ivan Snoj

Member of IHF, Yugoslavian Handball Federation captain

It is useless to seek for a goalkeeper like Abas Arslanagic. In everything he was doing he was original and almost unrepeatable. Munich 1972. Handball tournament of the Olympic Games, gold for Yugoslavia! Abas-Ako was a hero of the Munich festivities of sports. In the final match against Czechoslovakia he saved everything. What he has started two years earlier at the World Championship in France, in Munich he reaffirmed: the world best goalkeeper, a seven-arm giant.
The handball encyclopedia commences with his name, not only just due to brilliant saves, but also due to numerous trophies he won, among which Munich Olympic gold is exceptionally valuable.

Tomo Maric

Journalist from Banja Luka

1944 – Abas Arslanagic was born in Derventa

1962 – Became member of HC Partizan, Belgrade

1963 – Became member of HC Borac, Banja Luka

1969 – Won his first Yugoslavian Cup title with HC Borac, Banja Luka

1969 – First appearance for the Yugoslavian national team

1970 – Bronze medal  World Championship in Paris

1972 – Gold medal Olympic Games in Munich

1973 – Won his first championship title of Yugoslavia with HC Borac

1974 – Bronze medal World Championship in Berlin

1975 – Gold medal Mediterranean Games in Algeria

1976 – European Championship Cup title with HC Borac

1979 – Published his first book “On the handball goal”

1981 – 1st place World Championship in Porto, Portugal – head coach of junior national team of Yugoslavia

1982 – 2nd place World Championship in Dortmund, Germany- goalkeepers coach of Yugoslavian national team

1984 – Lecturer at coaches seminar in Paris, France

1986 – 1st place World Championship  in Zurich, Switzerland – coach of  Yugoslavian national team

1987 – Lecturer at coaches seminar in Strasbourg, France

1987 – Lecturer at coaches seminar in Ankara, Turkey

1988 – 3rd place Olympic Games in Seoul, South Korea – head coach of Yugoslavian national team

1988 – Lecturer at coaches seminar in Aarhus, Denmark

1988 – Became head coach of Qatar national team

1989 – Lecturer at coaches seminar in Setubal, Portugal

1991 – 4th place Asian Championship in Hiroshima, Japan- head coach of Qatar national team

1992 – Lecturer at coaches seminar in Dubai

1994 – International Handball Federation supervisor at the Slovenian Handball School in Izola

1996 – 5th place European Championship in Sevilla, Spain- head coach of Croatian national team

1997 – Published his second book “Handball- Handbook for Coaches, Goalkeepers and Players”

2000 – Lecturer at coaches seminar in Athens, Greece

2001 – Lecturer at coaches seminar in Oman

2003 – Became head coach of Bosnia & Herzegovina national team

2006 & 2008 – Lecturer at Croatian Olympic Academy in Pula, Croatia

2008 & 2009 – Lecturer at coaches seminar in Qatar

2009 – Goalkeepers coach for all national team categories in Qatar

2010 – Lecturer at Croatian Olympic Academy in Osijek, Croatia

2013 – Published his third book “Handball Goalkeeper- The key performance link”

2013 – Retired from professional coaching career