Six days left until the start of the men’s water polo competition at the 17th World Championships in Budapest (14th – 30th July). All head coaches announced their squads for the most important competition this season.
13 “foreigners” in the golden team
Serbia (1st at the 2015 World Championships)
Title-holder Serbia will appear with almost the same squad which won the Olympic gold last year and the gold at the 2015 World Championships. Savic has made only two inevitable changes. Zivko Gocic and Slobodan Nikic said „Goodbye“ to the national team after the Games in Rio and they are replaced by Viktor Rasovic and Nemanja Ubovic. Both of them will play at the World Championships for the first time. Two players who missed the World League Super final Dusan Mandic (because of injury) and Nikola Jaksic (Savic’s decision) are back in the team.
It should be mentioned that all players in the team of Serbia play for foreign clubs.
Goalkeepers: Gojko Pijetlovic (Oradea), Branislav Mitrovic (Eger). Field players: Filip Filipovic (Pro Recco), Andrija Prlainovic (Szolnok), Dusko Pijetlovic (Pro Recco, but it’s possible that he will move to Dynamo Moskow), Milan Aleksic (Szolnok),Stefan Mitrovic (Szolnok) Milos Cuk (Szolnok), Dusan Mandic (Pro Recco), Sava Randjelovic (OSC), Nikola Jaksic (Ferencvaros), Nemanja Ubovic (OSC), Viktor Rasovic (free agent).
Croatia (2nd at the 2015 World Championships)
As usual in the past few years, the most of the Croatia team members are Jug players. Jug, the national champion, the winner of the Regional League and the runner-up in the 2017 Champions League, has seven players in Ivica Tucak’s roster. Croatia is expecting the championships as the Olympic vice-champion and the silver medalist at the 2015 World Championships.
Goalkeepers: Marko Bijac (Jug), Ivan Marcelic (Mladost). Field players: Marko Macan (Jug), Loren Fatovic (Jug), Luka Loncar (Jug), Maro Jokovic (Jug), Ivan Buljubasic (Steaua), Ante Vukicevic (Primorje), Andro Buslje (Jug), Sandro Sukno (Pro Recco),Ivan Krapic (Acquachiara), Andjelo Setka (Roma), Javier Garcia Gadea (Jug).
Greece (3rd at the 2015 World Championships)
Greece, bronze medal winner at the previous World Championships in Kazan will play without a legendary Christos Afroudakis, who ended his career in the national team after the 2016 Olympic Games.
Goalkeepers: Konstantinos Flegkas, Emmanouil Zerdevas. Field players: Konstantinos Genidounias, Evangelos Ioannis Delakas, Georgios Dervisis, Ioannis Fountoulis, Marios Kapotsis, Kyriakos Pontikeas, Stylianos Argyropoulos Kanakakis, Konstantinos Mourikis, Christodoulos Kolomvos, Alexandros Gounas, Angelos Vlachopoulos.
A veteran replaces Tempesti
Italy (4th at the 2015 World Championships)
Stefano Tempesti, an experienced goalkeeper, for the first time since 1999 will not wear a cap with a number 1 in the team of Italy. He retired from the national team after the Olympic Games in Rio, along with Christian Presciutti. But, his replacement isn’t a young player. A chance was given to 40-years-old Goran Volarevic, Tempesti’s teammate in Pro Recco. Volarevic was born in Croatia. He won the 2003 European silver medal with Croatia. Volarevic played for Italy at the 2012 European Championships (4th place) and at the 2017 World League Super final (silver medal). He is the oldest member of the Italian squad.
As expected, the first goalkeeper is Marco del Luongo. Posillipo striker Vincenzo Renzuto is the only debutant at the major competitions in Alessandro Campagna’s roster.
Goalkeepers: Marco Del Lungo (Brescia) and Goran Volarevic (Pro Recco). Field players:Zeno Bertoli (Brescia), Niccolò Gitto (Pro Recco), Nicholas Presciutti (Brescia), Alessandro Velotto (Canottieri Napoli), Francesco Di Fulvio (Pro Recco), Pietro Figlioli (without team), Alessandro Nora (Brescia), Valentino Gallo (Sport Management), Vincenzo Renzuto (Posillipo), Michael Bodegas (Pro Recco), Matteo Aicardi (Pro Recco).
Montenegro (5th at the 2015 World Championships)
Montenegro seeks the second medal at World Championships (after the silver in Barcelona 2013) with a Serb in the team. The Serb from Belgrade Marko Petkovic has taken the Montenegrin citizenship recently and FINA has allowed him to play for Montenegro at the championship in Budapest. Petkovic won the gold in the 2011 World League and the bronze at the 2009 Universiade as a member of the national team of Serbia.
Goalkeepers: Miloš Scepanovic (Marseille), Dejan Lazovic (Sport Management Verona). Field players: Uros Cuckovic (Eger), Bojan Banicevic (Jadran Carine, Herceg Novi), Drasko Brguljan (OSC), Darko Brguljan (Hannover), Aleksandar Radovic (Hannover), Dragan Draskovic (Crvena zvezda/Red Star), Aleksa Ukropina (Jadran Carine), Djuro Radovic (Jadran Carine), Marko Petkovic (Jadran Carine), Sasa Misic (Miskolc) i Nikola Murisic (Steaua).
Hungary (6th at the 2015 World Championships)
There are three changes in the Hungarian team compared to the 2016 Olympic Games. After the Olympic Games in Rio Daniel Varga, Marton Szivos and Gabor Kis retired from the national team. Their replacements are Miklós Gor-Nagy, Tamás Mezei and Bela Torok. Tamas Mezei will make his debut at major competitions. Upcoming Championships will be the first big tournament for Tamas Marcz as a head coach of the national team.
Goalkeepers: Attila Decker (Honved), Viktor Nagy (Szolnok). Field Players: Adam Decker (Eger), Miklos Gor-Nagy (OSC), Balázs Erdelyi (Eger), Balazs Harai (Eger), Norbert Hosnyanszky (Eger), Krisztian Manhercz (Szeged), Tamas Mezei (Szolnok), Bela Torok (BVSC), Denes Varga (Szolnok), Marton Vamos (Szolnok), Gergo Zalanki (OSC).
USA (7th at the 2015 World Championships)
The United States of America will be led by experienced returnees Baron, Bowen, Obert, Roelse, Hallock and Dunstan. The USA players won the fourth place at the 2017 World League Superfinal. They are coming to Budapest with a goal to achieve a much better result than at the 2016 Olympic Games (10th place).
Goalkeepers: McQuin Baron (Regency), Drew Holland (Trojan). Field players: Jonathan Masashi Hooper (LA Premier), Nick Carniglia (Cal Bears), Alex Obert (NY AC), Ben Hallock (LA Premier), Luca Cupido (Newport Beach), Thomas Dunstan (Regency), Marko Joseph Vavic (Trojan), Alex Bowen (NYAC), Chancellor Jobe Ramirez (NYAC), Alex Roelse (Bruin), Maxwell Bruce Irving (LA Water polo).
Australia (8th at the 2015 World Championships)
Goalkeepers: Edward Slade and Anthony Hrysanthos. Field players: Timothy Francis Putt, George Ford, Joe Kayes, Nathan Power, Lachlan Edwards, Jarrod Gilchrist, Aaron Younger, Andrew Ford, James Fannon, Lachlan Hollis, Nicholas Brooks.
Canada (9th at the 2015 World Championships)
Goalkeepers:Milan Radenovic, Robin Randall. Field players: Gaelen Geddes Patterson, Aria Soleimanipak, Nicolas Constantin-Bicari, Matt Halajian, Scott Robinson, Jeremie Blanchard, David Lapins, Dusan Radojcic, Reuel Mark D’Souza, George Torakis, Devon Ross Thumwood.
Brazil (10th at the 2015 World Championships)
Felippe Perrone doesn’t want to play for Brazil anymore, because as he has recently said:”corruption in the Brazilian Federation has destroyed the great job that we did towards to the Rio de Janeiro.” He would like to play for Spain again.
Goalkeepers: Slobodan Soro, Leonardo Silva. Field players: Anderson Cruz, Roberto Freitas, Guilherme Almeida, Luis Ricardo Silva, Pedro Stellet, Ricardo Guimaraes, Gustavo Coutinho, Bernardo Rocha, Heitor Carrulo, Gustavo Guimaraes, Mateus Stellet.
Kazakhstan (11th at the 2015 World Championships)
Goalkeepers: Madikhan Makhmetov, Valery Shlemov. Field players: Yevgeniy Medvedev, Stanislav Shvedov, Roman Pilipenko, Altay Altayev, Alexey Shmider, Murat Shakenov, Yulian Verdesh, Rustam Ukumanov, Mikhail Ruday, Ravil Manafov, Bolat Turlykhanov.
Republic of South Africa (12th at the 2015 World Championships)
Goalkeepers: Julian Lewis,Themba Mthembu. Field players: Etienne Le Roux, Devon Card, Nardus Badenhorst, Chris Brown, Jon Marc de Carvalho,Lood Rabie, Nicholas Rodda, Dean Whyte, Pierre Le Roux, Nicholas Molyneux, Roarke Olver.
Japan (13th at the 2015 World Championships)
Goalkeepers: Katsuyuki Tanamura , Tomoyoshi Fukushima. Field players:Seiya Adachi, Shuma Kawamoto, Mitsuaki Shiga, Takuma Yoshida, Atsuto Iida, Yusuke Shimizu, Mitsuru Takata, Atsushi Arai, Kohei Inaba, Keigo Okawa, Kenta Araki.
Russia (14th at the 2015 World Championships)
Russia head coach Sergey Evstingeev didn’t make a lot of changes in the team after the World League Superfinal in Ruza. He changed only the second goalkeeper (instead of Kiril Korneev in the team is Vitaly Stasenko)
Goalkeepers: Viktor Ivanov (Dynamo Astrahan), Vitaly Statsenko. Field players: Nikolay Lazarev (Spartak Volgograd), Egor Vasilyev (Sturm 2002), Nikita Dereviankin (Dynamo Moskow), Alexey Bugaychuk (Dynamo Moskow), Artem Ashaev (Spartak Volgograd), Daniil Merkulov (Jadran, Herceg Novi), Ivan Nagaev (Sintez Kazan), Ivan Suchkov (Sturm 2002), Dmitrii Kholod (Pays d’Aix) , Sergey Lisunov (Spartak Volgograd), Roman Shepelev (Sintez Kazan).
Spain (didn’t compete at the 2015 WCH)
Spain team is a mix of young hopes and experienced players. The first goalkeeper Dani Lopez-Pineido (37 years) is the oldest in the squad. On the other side, Alejandro Bustos Sanchez and the second goalie Jose Motos are 20 years old.
Goalkeepers: Dani Lopez-Pinedo (CNA Barceloneta), Jose Motos (CN Sabadell). Field players: Marc Minguell, Fran Fernandez, Alex Bustos, Roger Tahull, Alberto Munarriz, Blai Mallarach ( all CNA Barceloneta), Alberto Barroso (Acquachiara), Victor Gutierrez (Real Canoe NC), Albert Español (Olympiacos), Alvaro Granados (CN Terrassa), Miguel de Toro (CE Mediterrani).
France (didn’t’ compete at the 2015 WCH)
Goalkeepers: Remi Garsau and Hugo Florian Fontani. Field players: Remi Saudadier, Igor Kovacevic, Manuel Laversanne, Charles Bernard Michel Canonne , Thibaut Simon, Ugo Jerome Francis Marc Crousillat, Michal Izdinsky, Mehdi Marzouki, Mathieu Rene Peisson , Logan Piot, Alexandre Camarasa.
17th FINA World Championship – men’s water polo tournament (17th – 29th July)
Group A: Brazil, Montenegro, Kazakhstan, Canada.
Group B: France, Australia, Italy, Hungary.
Group C: Spain, Serbia, Greece, South Africa.
Group D: USA, Japan, Croatia, Russia.