Hungary and USA are the best teams of the year

Tamas Marcz Photo: Istvan Derencsenyi

Men’s team of Hungary and the USA women’s national team claimed the awards for the best water polo teams of 2018 by FINA’s choice.

The best water polo teams and the best athletes in other aquatic sports were awarded on the annual FINA World Aquatics Gala 2018 “Soirée des Etoiles” (Evening of Stars), which was held in Hangzhou (China) on the last day of the 14th FINA World Swimming Championships (25m).

Until 2014, FINA had been choosing the best players. The prizes for the best teams were established in 2015.

The FINA Male Water Polo Team award went to Hungary for the first time. This year, the Hungarians clinched the gold medal in the World Cup in Berlin. After a bad start at the tournament in Berlin, they played better and better. Hungary defeated Olympic champion Serbia in the semifinals and they downed Australia in the match for the gold medal (10:4).

Hungary took the 2nd place at the World League Final Eight, which was held in Budapest, after losing to Montenegro in the final game which was decided in the penalty shootout.

Tamas Marcz, Hungary head coach, who was voted for the best male water polo coach of the year, said:

“It’s a very special price, after a very special year for Hungary. We were second in the World League and we won the World Cup after 19 years. We wanted a lot this title. Looking ahead, we, of course, want a lot to be in the Olympic Games. At the last World Championships, at home in Budapest, we lost the final, but we are motivated to perform well at the 2019 World Championships in Gwangju, Korea. The field there will be very strong, but we are optimistic on a good result”. (source FINA press release)

The USA ladies continued to dominate in world women’s water polo. The North Americans were chosen for the best team for the 4th time in a row. The USA clinched gold medals in both FINA’s water polo competitions in 2018. The Americans won their 12th FINA World League title and their third FINA World Cup gold in a row. They lost just one game this season (in the Intercontinental Cup), but after that, they recorded 15 consecutive victories. The World League Final Eight for ladies was held in Kunshan (China), while the World Cup took place in Surgut (Russia).

As expected, Adam Krikorian, USA coach, was again chosen for the best water polo coach of the year in women’s water polo. He didn’t attend “Soirée des Etoiles” in Hangzhou.

FINA didn’t announce the list of the best teams, but it is easy to find out the rankings, as the criteria are transparent. The ranking was composed according to achievements in the FINA’s competitions. The gold in the World League worth 180 points, while the 1st place in the World Cup brings 80 points for the FINA’s list.

Montenegro took the second place in the “race” for the FINA Male Water Polo Team 2018  award, Australia finished as the third…

Russia is the second-placed women’s team, the “Aussie Stingers” are the third…


FINA World League – 1st place: 120 points, 2nd place: 90 points, 3rd place: 80 points, 4th place: 60
points, 5th place: 50 points, 6th place: 40 points, 7th place: 35 pts, 8th place: 30 pts

FINA World Cup – 1st place: 80 points, 2nd place: 70 points, 3rd place: 60 points, 4th place: 40 points, 5th place: 35 points, 6th place: 25 points, 7th place: 20 pts, 8th place: 15 points

World Championships and Olympic Games (weren’t held this year): 1st place: 180 points, 2nd place: 140 points, 3rd place: 130 points, 4th place:100 points, 5th place:90 points, 6th place: 80 points…

Rankings for 2018


Hungary 170 pts (2nd WL & 1st WC)
Montenegro 120 (1st WL & didn’t compete at WC)
Australia 110 (6th WL & 2nd 2nd WC)
Croatia 85 (5th WL & 5th WC)
Spain 80 (3rd WL & didn’t compete at WC)
Japan 80 (4th WL & 7th WC)


USA 200 pts (1st WL & 1st WC)
Russia 150 (3rd WL & 2nd WC)
Australia 95 (7th WL & 3rd WC)
Spain 90 (5th WL & 4th WC)
The Netherlands 90 (2nd WL & didn’t compete at WC)

All winners


2010 Vanja Udovicic (Serbia)
2011 Filip Filipovic (Serbia)
2012 Josip Pavic (Croatia)
2013 Denes Varga (Hungary)
2014 Filip Filipovic (Serbia)
2015 Serbia
2016 Serbia
2017 Croatia
2018 Hungary


2010 Elizabeth Armstrong (USA)
2011 Alexandra Asimaki (Greece)
2012 Maggie Steffens (USA)
2013 Jennifer Pareja (Spain)
2014 Maggie Steffens (USA)
2015 USA
2016 USA
2017 USA
2018 USA

Best coaches
2015 Dejan Savic (Serbia, men) and Adam Krikorian (USA, women)
2016 Dejan Savic (Serbia, men) and Adam Krikorian (USA, women)
2017 Ivica Tucak (Croatia, men) and Adam Krikorian (USA, women)
2018 Tamas Marcz (Hungary, men) and Adam Krikorian (USA, women)

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