A world champion in 2001 in Fukuoka at the age of 17. Joint top-scorer of the 2016 Olympics 15 years later. Guillermo Molina, captain of Spain and the face of a generation, announced his retirement from the national team and confirmed to stay with his decision last week. Spanish officials were busy persuading the all-rounder to change his mind but he was not to be, calling it ‘time to close one chapter and look forward to another’ in local media. The Ceuta-born quickly made a name for himself as a youngster and can look back to a successful international career.
Molina was an integral part of the Spanish team that captured the bronze medal at the 2006 European Championships in Belgrade, won bronze at the 2007 World Championships in Melbourne where he was voted tournament MVP, and a silver medal at the 2009 World Championships in Rome. Three more World League medals (silver 2002, silver 2006, silver 2012) and two Mediterranean Games gold (2001, 2005) make an impressive list of accomplishments. Now after his 4th Olympics (2004, 2008, 2012, 2016) he calls it quits and will focus on his club-level career having made the move to the Ligurian region returning to Italian champion Pro Recco where he had played from 2009 through 2012 before.
In Rio de Janeiro Molina showcased to be back in his heyday form leading Spain in a strong performance during the group stage where the team finished 1st in group B, only to get eliminated from the medals race by Serbia in the quarterfinals, before eventually finishing 7th. Molina concluded the tournament as joint top-scorer netting 19 goals, together with Pro Recco team-mate Filip Filipovic.