The time has come for the FINA World League Superfinal tournament in Budapest. The best eight national teams in the competition will fight in next six days for the throne, which last year was won by Serbia. However, this time Dejan Savic’s team did not qualify for the Superfinal, so some other sides would be favorites for the trophy.
So, it will be Croatia, Spain, Hungary, and Montenegro from Europe and Japan, Australia, USA and Kazakhstan representing other continents. It is reasonable to say that the European sides are, at least in theory, favorites for winning this 17th edition of FINA World League.
The home team, Hungary, will definitely compete for the trophy, not just because it has quality players, but also because it will have a great support from the stands of Duna Arena in Budapest.
“We need to use every opportunity because we are in a development phase. It’s always good to play at home in front of an enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd who gives confidence to the players which we can build upon”, said Hungarian head coach Tamas Marcz.
The defending world champion, Croatia is coming back to a place where they won that trophy last year, but this time the head coach Ivica Tucak will not have the best squad available. Sandro Sukno is not there, Maro Jokovic is injured, Luka Loncar and Marko Maca will be resting.
“No matter the problems, we cannot say that we do not care about the result. We will try to win every game and get the best possible result. Also, this will be a good opportunity for us to prepare for the European championship in Barcelona in July“, said Tucak.
Montenegro is also considered to be one of the teams that could make a good result in Budapest. Dragan Draskovic said that, while being a prestigious competition, Superfinal will also be a great opportunity for Montenegro to get in shape for the Euros.
Spain national team also comes to Budapest with serious ambitions. La Furia Roja wants to show that it belongs to top class society and to build on the silver medal they won in LEN Europa Cup in April.
“We face this Superfinal with great enthusiasm and responsibility. We want to go as far as possible, but we also know that there are six games in six days and it is a great level of demand. It will be a positive experience to get to know each other more as a team and to refine details”, said Spanish head coach David Martin ahead of the tournament.
All eight participants will play in the quarterfinal after a round robin competition in two groups.
Monday, June 18
Tuesday, June 19
Wednesday, June 20
Thursday, June 21st – Quarter-finals
Friday, June 22
5th-8th places, 15:15 and 16:45
Semi-finals, 18:15 and 19:45
Saturday 23rd June
7th place, 15:15
5th place, 16:45
Bronze-medal match, 18:15