Montenegrin ace Aleksandar Ivovic decided to end his career in the national team.
Earlier this year, Montenegro’s head coach Vladimir Gojkovic announced that Ivovic wouldn’t play in the World League and at the World Championships due to a packed calendar. But, everything was open regarding the European Championships in Split.
In an interview with the Montenegrin daily “Pobjeda,” Ivovic (36) confirmed that he solved the dilemma regarding his future in the national team and that he wouldn’t play for Montenegro anymore.
“I feel that I am not 100 percent ready to do the full Olympic cycle. It would be selfish to take part in two competitions and “steal” an invaluable experience from a young player who will play instead of me. I am 36 years old, I am not 26. Therefore, it is not surprising that I decided to say goodbye to the national team”, Ivovic said in the interview.
He added that he had tried to analyze chronologically many situations that had happened to him in his private and sports life.
“ Last year, for the first time I felt that it was difficult for me to go to the preparations of the national team. I won the Champions League with Recco on June 7. Just three days later, I started the preparations with the national team. Honestly, I caught myself looking at the clock and waiting for the end of the training session. I didn’t like it because I had never done it before. But I said to myself – come to your senses, this will probably be your last Olympics (Tokyo), if you don’t do it right now, you won’t have a chance. I fought with myself and managed to overcome the psychological crisis”.
At the Olympic Games, Montenegro and Ivovic won 4th place three times in a row (Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016). In Tokyo, the Montenegrins finished 8th, so Ivovic will finish his career without an Olympic medal. “Some of our wishes will never come true. But a man has to accept it and goes on.”, he said after the Tokyo Olympics.
But, he has a lot of medals in his treasury. Ivovic played for Montenegro from 2007 to 2021. He won the European title in 2008, two silver and a bronze medal at the European, silver at the World Championships, the titles in the World League…
“The European gold medal won in Malaga in 2008, is the most beautiful moment of my career on the national team. The situation was specific because we played in the qualifications for the European B Championship and for the Malaga tournament just a year before (Montenegro gained independence in 2006 – Ed-). It is the only time that a team that debuts at the Europeans wins gold. We were winners and, indeed, I will never forget the celebration in Montenegro. We remained, so to say – marked- In the end. it turned out to be the only gold of that generation. We benefited a lot from the gold in Malaga. It was a springboard for the careers in foreign clubs”, Ivovic told in the interview with “Pobjeda”, among the other things.
He underlined that Petar Porobic, Montenegro’s head coach at that time, had the most significant impact on his successful career.
Ivovic has played for Jadran HN, Jug, Pro Recco. He arrived at Pro Recco in 2010, when he was 24-year-old. After two seasons in the best Italian club, he moved to Jug Dubrovnik, where he played in the season 2012/13. Then, he came back to Recco. Since 2018, he has been Recco’s captain. He lifted three titles in the Champions League playing for Recco and will try to retain the throne in Belgrade in early June.