LEN Awards: Filipovic and Van der Sloot best European water polo players in 2018

Filip Filipovic Photo: Marcel tel Bals/ WPF of Serbia

Serbia captain Filip Filipovic and Sabrina van der Sloot (Netherlands ) were named the best European water polo players of 2018 by LEN. The European Federation for aquatic sports has been choosing the best athletes since 2008. The list of winners is based on votes of National Federations and members of the various LEN committees and panels.

Filip Filipovic was elected for the best European water polo player of the year for the fourth time (2009, 2014, 2016 and 2018). while Sabrina van der Sloot clinched her first LEN award.

Filip improved his own record. He is the only (male or female) water polo player who has won more than two LEN awards.

There were five candidates for each of the LEN awards.

Filipovic, the MVP of the 33rd European Championships in Barcelona, earned almost a half of votes – 46,3 %. Second-placed Dani Lopez (Spain), the best goalkeeper of the 2018 European Championships, had 17,9 %. Sabrina van der Sloot won the 1st place, by gaining 33,8 % of votes, just 1,5% more than her team-mate Laura Aarts.


Filip Filipovic (SRB) 46.3%
Dani Lopez (ESP) 17.9%
Ioannis Fountoulis (GRE) 16.4%
Aleksandar Ivovic (MNE) 13.4%
Andro Buslje (CRO) 6.0%


Sabrina van der Sloot (NED) 33.8%
Laura Aarts (NED) 32.3%
Ekaterina Prokofyeva (RUS) 13.8%
Beatriz Ortiz (ESP) 12.3%
Alexandra Asimaki (GRE) 7.7%

Last year, Filipovic led Serbia towards the gold medal at the European Championships in Barcelona, where he was elected the best player of the competition. The biggest Filipovic’s achievement in the competitions for clubs in 2018 was the second place in the Champions League with the team of Pro Recco.

Filip Filipovic writes history as he is the first athlete whose winning span of the LEN Awards has been increased to 9 years. The Serbian water polo star bettered Tom Daley’s (diving) record of eight years (2009-2017).


Sabrina van der Sloot was picked for the best female water polo player at the European Championships. The Netherlands clinched the gold medal in Barcelona last summer. The Dutch returned to the European throne after 25 years.

Van der Sloot was also voted the MVP of the World League Super Final (The Netherlands won the silver behind the USA). She plays for Orizzonte Catania (Italy), which took the bronze medal in the 2018 LEN Euro League for women. Laura Aarts, the second-placed in the LEN’s list, was the best goalie of the European Championships, while she won the LEN Trophy, as a member of Dunajvaros.

Earlier this year, Sabrina van der Sloot was named the best female water polo player in 2018 by the Swimming World Magazine. The best male water polo of the last year by Swimming World Magazine is Aleksandar Ivovic, a captain of the national team of Montenegro, who took the 4th place in “the race” for the LEN Award.

The 2018 winners in other aquatic sports
Swimming – Men: Kliment Kolesnikov (RUS). Women: Sarah Sjostrom (SWE)
Diving  -Men: Jack Laugher (GBR). Women: Celine van Duijn (NED)
Artistic swimming – Women: Svetlana Kolesnichenko (RUS) . Men: Giorgio Minisini (ITA)
Open water swimming – Men: Kristof Rasovszky (HUN). Women: Sharon van Rouwendaal (NED)


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)
2017: Marko Bijac (Croatia)
2018: 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)
2017: Laura Ester (Spain)
2018: Sabrina van der Sloot (Netherlands)

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