The new captain of the Serbia’s national water polo team Filip Filipovic and the Italian Roberta Bianconi were elected as the 2016 best European water polo players by European Aquatics Federation and its LEN magazine.
The winners of the LEN Awards were chosen through a voting process in which participated national federations, LEN commissions members, coaches, journalists…
Filipovic, who won 2009 and 2014 LEN Awards, received 73,3 % of votes, this time. He won ahead of his team-mates Branislav Mitrovic (17,8%) and Andrija Prlainovic (4,6%).
In 2016 the Serbian national water polo team continued its magnificent series of gold medals. The Serbs won all titles, as well as 2014 and 2015. The crown of a great row was the only missing trophy, the Olympic gold medal. Filipovic was the best scorer and the Most Valuable Player at the Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Before the gold at Olympics, Serbia won their third straight European title, at the European Water Polo Championship in Belgrade. and the gold in the World league, the fourth in a row.
In the women competition, Roberta Bianconi defended LEN Best Female Water Polo Player Award, which she won last year for the first time.
Italy won the Olympic silver medal in Rio, behind the USA, and the bronze at the European Championships in Belgrade. Roberta was the 2nd best scorer in Belgrade and the 6th best scorer in Rio. She was the leader of the Italian team at both competitions.
The best players of the year didn’t have a lot of success with their clubs in the European competitions. Filipovic’s Pro Recco took the fourth place in the Champions league. Roberta Bianconi was also fourth in the LEN Euroleague, with Olympiacos.
2016 Water polo LEN Awards
Filip Filipovic (Serbia) 73,3%
Branislav Mitrovic (Serbia) 17,8%
Andrija Prlainovic (Serbia) 4,6%
Marko Bijac (Croatia) 2,1%
Darko Brguljan (Montenegro) 2,1%
Roberta Bianconi (Italy) 68,2%
Roser Tarrago (Spain) 11,4%
Rita Keszthelyi (Hungary) 9,1%
Yasemin Smit (Netherlands) 6,8%
Ekaterina Lisunova (Russia) 4,5%
All time winner’s list
2008: Peter Biros (Hungary)
2009: Filip Filipovic (Serbia)
2010: Vanja Udovicic (Serbia)
2011: Stefano Tempesti (Italy)
2012: Miho Boskovic (Croatia)
2013: Denes Varga (Hungary)
2014: Filip Filipovic (Serbia)
2015: Dusko Pijetlovic (Serbia)
2016: Filip Filipovic (Serbia)
2008: Danielle De Bruijn (Netherlands)
2009: Iefke van Belkum (Netherlands)
2010: Sofia Konukh (Russia)
2011: Alexandra Asimaki (Greece)
2012: Anni Espar (Spain)
2013: Jennifer Pareja (Spain)
2014: Maria Garcia (Spain)
2015: Roberta Bianconi (Italy)
2016: Roberta Bianconi (Italy)