Four days before the start of the preparations for the qualifications for the World Aquatics Water Polo World Cup, Croatia’s head coach Ivica Tucak disclosed the list of the 18 players who are on the roster for the tournament of Group A in Division 1, which will take place in Zagreb (March 8 – 14).
Croatia will host the teams of Italy, Hungary, the USA, France and Japan at the seven-day tournament. Since Team USA is automatically qualified for the Final, as the host, only two teams (besides the Americans) will advance to the F8 from this group. The Final Eight will be held in Los Angeles (June 30 – July 2).
Tucak called up 13 of 15 players who won the gold medal at the European Championships in Split. Only Filip Krzic and Ivan Domagoj Zovic are missing.
Five players who didn’t play in Split and are on the World Cup roster are center-back Hrvoje Benic, who returns to the national team after he didn’t take part in the actions of the Croatian squad last summer due to injury, than Mladost’s center-forward Branimir Herceg; two players from Jadran Split – Zvonimir Butic (attacker) and Antonio Duzevic (center-forward); and Primorje’s goalkeeper Mauro Ivan Cubranic.
The team is composed of 12 players from Croatian clubs and six who play abroad.
Croatia’s roster for the World Cup Qualifications
Goalkeepers: Marko Bijac (Olympiacos), Toni Popadic (Jug AO), Mauro Ivan Cubranic (Primorje EB)
Field players: Ivan Krapic (Noisy-le-Sec), Josip Vrlic (Radnicki), Branimir Herceg (Mladost), Luka Bukic Jerko Marinic Kragic, Zvonimir Butic, Antonio Duzevic, Rino Buric (all Jadran Split), Loren Fatovic, Matias Biljaka, Marko Zuvela, Franko Lazic (Jug AO), Hrvoje Benic, Andrija Basic (Waspo 98 Hannover), Konstantin Kharkov (Brescia).
Besides Ivica Tucak, the members of the coaching staff are Zoran Bajic, Jure Marelja, Renco Posinkovic, Damir Luketic, Zlatko Kercel and Dinko Pivalica.
The team will gather in Zagreb on March 5.
Follow the results and statistics of the World Cup Division 1 on Total Waterpolo Arena