Today, Macedonia is saying goodbye to the former national team member: Julia Nikolic was a lioness in handball and in life

Julia Nikolic died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 38 / photo: EPA / GEORGI LICOVSKI

Yesterday, Macedonia was shaken by the sudden death of the famous former handball player Julia Nikolic (Portjanko), who died of a heart attack. Gordana Naceva, a teammate of Nikolic from the national team and from Kometal Gjorce Petrov, described the person of Julia

Our famous former handball player Julia Nikolic (38) died suddenly of a heart attack yesterday.
The drama and suddenness of this tragedy like a bolt from the blue shook the Macedonian public, especially since Julia was young and had no health problems. Nikolic, with the maiden name Portjanko, as a member of the national team and handball player of Kometal Gjorce Petrov and Vardar left a deep mark in our handball. She was appreciated and loved on and off the field.

Today is Nikolic's funeral (11 am, Butel). Gordana Naceva knows Julia well, her teammate from Kometal and to the national team and describes her as an exceptional person.

The last club in the career of Julia Nikolic was WHC Vardar / Photo:

- He was a great fighter and man, in life and in sports. He fought like a lioness to succeed in everything. The last time I cooperated with her in Vardar, I was the president of the club, and she played in the team when we were placed in the final four of the Champions League. He helped us a lot during that period. Gjorce Petrov came to Kometal as a very promising player. One of the strongest handball players I have worked with. Jule did not spare himself or his opponent. He was an amazing fighter and professional, an exceptional person. She was always cheerful and smiling - says Gordana, and continues:

- He had great company as a player and later when he retired. She was constantly surrounded by friends. We spent a year and several months in Kometal as teammates. He was then younger. She aroused the sympathy of everyone because she was very fair, correct, positive - says Naceva, who can not be reconciled with the departure of Julia.

-  Incredible loss. We have never had a problem with her either in the club or in the national team. She took our citizenship, she wanted to help us in 2008 at the European Championship in Skopje. He simply wanted to help Macedonia - says Naceva, who is shocked by the departure of a young and strong woman.

and the handball players of Vardar and Montpellier paid tribute to the tragically killed Julia Nikolic with a minute of silence / photo: Free Press / Dragan Mitreski

- I can not explain how something like this could happen to such a physically strong person. To leave at the age of 38 ?! I can not believe. We will pay tribute to her at the funeral. As far as I know, the Handball Federation of Macedonia wants to help her family - says Gordana who also talks about Julia's biography.

- I know that she left Ukraine at the age of 14 and fought for her life alone. She managed to become a member of the Macedonian national team, got involved in life in Skopje and in Macedonia, made a huge number of friends. He got married here and created an athlete's life, and when he finished his career, he started a new life with other goals. I'm so sorry - the visibly narrower Naceva told us about her teammate who left a deep mark in women's Macedonian handball, with her fantastic goals from the back position and as a great fighter in the field of defense.

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