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Waterpolista.com picks

WATERPOLISTA.com is the first and only website specialized in water polo in Spain. It was born in 2014 with the idea to continue all the work done by the blog named “El Blog del Waterpolista” since 2009. It intends to promote water polo in Spain with daily posts and with an up-to-date coverage of all the information regarding water polo, publishing roughly 15 articles a day.

 

WATERPOLISTA.com’s Total 5 of 2017

After a year full of high-level competitions it is fair to say that two teams stood out among the rest. On the one hand, Szolnoki, with the Champions League win as their main success, and on the other hand, Croatia.

The Croatians achieved something that only few would have ever imagined. They put an end to the water polo hegemony of Serbia and, equally difficult, they managed to beat host team Hungary, with the stands crowded with thousands of people cheering the Hungarians.

That is why I strongly believe that the presence of Croatian and Hungarian players in these awards should be almost an obligation.

Xavier García Gadea

1st – Xavier García Gadea

Croatian National Player | Club: Jug Dubrovnik | Position: Wing / Driver

“A player who has struggled a lot to reach what he’s reached. After not counting for the Spanish national team by technical decision, the player of  Jug Dubrovnik never let himself down and recovered from this big letdown to come back stronger.

He already performed pretty good in the Rio 2016 Games, where he showed what he was capable of, clinching a historic silver medal, and winning the Champions League with Jug some weeks before. In 2017, he’s been one of the best Croatian players, not only at the World Championships but also at Jug Dubrovnik, being one of the main figures when they kicked out Pro Recco in the quarterfinals. He is a top player and I truly think he deserves this award.”

Andrija Prlainovic

2nd – Andrija Prlainović

Serbian National Player | Club: Szolnoki Vízilabda SC | Position: Driver

“If we want to talk about the success of Szolnoki we necessarily have to talk about Andrija Prlainovic. The Serbian player was one of the stars that helped the Hungarian team to win the Champions League and the Hungarian League (the best in the world). He is the indisputable leader of the team both in and out of the water, which has been very positive for his team’s play and success.

The only downside for Andrija is the failure at the World Championships with the national team. However, he was one of Serbia’s best at Budapest 2017.”

3rd – Marko Bijač

Croatian National Player | Club: Jug Dubrovnik | Position: Goalkeeper

“It is important and fair that we claim the decisive role that goalkeepers play in a sport like water polo. The Croatian goalkeeper has proven to be key for Jug Dubrovnik, as well as throughout the Budapest World Championships with his national team. Much of the success in the championship is due to his confidence and certainty he transmits to the rest of the team. Pressure never beats him when key games arrive.”

Felipe Perrone Rocha

4th – Felipe Perrone Rocha

Spain National Player | Club: Barceloneta | Position: Driver

What do we have left to say about Felipe Perrone? For many people and myself, he is the currently best player on the globe. Three European Cups endorse the trajectory of the Spanish-Brazilian athlete. Playing for Jug Dubrovnik he achieved nine titles, including the Champions League in 2016.

Although he failed to repeat the Champions League title in 2017, individually, he once again displayed his quality: How he is capable of pulling the strings of a whole team, and, of course, scoring goals. He knows how to control the pace of the matches and, cold-bloodedly, always manages to make the best decisions at every crucial moment.

 

Viktor Nagy

5th – Viktor Nagy

Hungarian National Player | Club: Szolnoki Vízilabda SC | Position: Goalkeeper

“Again, I want to value the difficult task that goalkeepers fulfill. Viktor Nagy is one of the best in the world for me, together with Bijac and Dani López Pinedo. Although many criticize his attitude in the water, this attitude makes him a player with enough personality to end up irritating the rivals.
His performance in the Champions League was absolutely astonishing, especially in the finals. At the World Championships, even though he did not get the gold, he emerged as one of the best Hungarians of the tournament, saving them on several occasions.”




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Thanks to WATERPOLISTA.com for their extensive thoughts on their 2017 Top 5 players – check back for Greek head coach Thodoris Vlachos’ picks tomorrow, 02.12.2017! 
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