The final countdown until the start of the World Championships in Budapest has started. The male water polo tournament, which will be held in four cities, begins on June 21.
Several head coaches of the World water polo powerhouses have announced the rosters for the World Championships.
Many teams have been significantly rejuvenated since the end of the Tokyo Olympics.
As we already published, Italy’s coach Alessandro Campagna picked the 13 players last week.
Croatia won bronze at the 2019 World Championships.
Today, Ivica Tucak, Croatia’s head coach, revealed the names of the players who will represent Croatia in Hungary.
Five Croatian super stars retired from the national team after the Tokyo Olympics: Andro Buslje, Xavi Garcia, Maro Jokovic, Luka Loncar, and Paulo Obradovic.
Marko Macan, Lovre Milos, and injured goalkeeper Ivan Marcelic are also missing compared to Tokyo.
In April, a Russian-born Konstantin Kharkov debuted for Croatia in the World League qualifications. The World Championships will be the first major tournament under Croatia’s flag for Kharkov and many others ( Marko Zuvela, Jerko Marinic Kragic, etc).
Goalkeepers: Marko Bijac (Olympiacos), Toni Popadic (Jug). Field players: Ivan Krapic- captain (Noisy-le-Sec), Josip Vrlic (Radnicki), Marko Zuvela (Jug), Rino Buric (Jadran S), Luka Bukic (Jadran S), Loren Fatovic (Jug), Ante Vukicevic (Marseille), Konstantin Kharkov (Jadran S), Jerko Marinic Kragic (Jadran S), Franko Lazic (Mladost), Andrija Basic (Hannover).
Two reserves (who can join the team if some of the 13 picked tests positive for Covid): Lovro Paparic (Vouliagmeni in the last season), Ivan Domagoj Zovic (Szolnok).
Olympic silver medalist Greece will arrive in Hungary with a similar team that finished 2nd in Tokyo, which is the most significant result in the Greek male water polo.
Eight players from the Olympic team will play at the World Championships. Two center-forwards retired after the Tokyo Games (Kontantinos Mourikis and Christodoulos Kolomvos). Their substitutes are Jug’s Konstantinos Kakaris, who was voted the best player of the 2021/22 Croatian League, and Dimitrios Nikolaidis, who moved from Spandau to Vouliagmeni in this summer’s transfer window.
Besides Mourikis and Kolomvos, three of the 13 Olympic silver medalists are out of the roster – goalkeeper Konstantinos Galandis, Marios Kapotsis, and Konstantinos Gkiouvetsis (the latter is a reserve). Instead of them, Theodoros Vlachos picked Panagiotis Tzortzatos and Stathis Kalegoropoulos and Konstantinos Gouvis.
Goalkeepers: Emmanouil Zerdevas, Panagiotis Tzortzatos. Field players: Stathis Kalegoropoulos, Dimitrios Skoumpakis, Konstantinos Genidounias, Giannis Fountoulis, Georgios Dervisis, Alexandros Papanastastasiou, Stylianos Argyropoulos, Kontantinos Kakaris, Dimitrios Nikolaidis, Konstantinos Gouvis and Angelos Vlachopoulos.
Reserves: Konstantinos Gkiouvetsis i Emmanouil Solanakis.
After the Tokyo Olympics, head coach Elvis Fatovic left Australia’s bench. His successor Tim Hamill announced the roster for the World Championships.
Aaron Younger, the biggest star of the “Aussie Sharks”, won’t play in Hungary. He takes a break this summer after a packed season with Pro Recco. He won’t play in the World League Super Final (Strasbourg in July) either. Rhys Howden, the four-time Olympian, retired after Tokyo. Australia’s goalkeepers in Tokyo, Denerley and Hrysospathis, have been replaced by John Hedges and Nicholas Porter.
Goalkeepers: John Hedges, Nicholas Porter. Field players: Blake Edwards (captain), George Ford, Rhys Holden, Angus Lambie, Keenan Marsden, Tom McJannett, Charlie Negus, Luke Pavillard, Chaz Poot, Nathan Power, Timothy Putt.
Reserves: Nick Elphick, Reilly Townsend.
Germany didn’t play at the Tokyo Olympics. Since last summer, the Germans have been coached by successful Montenegrin Petar Porobic.
Only four of the 13 players who represented Germany at the previous World Championships in Gwangju, will participate in the tournament in Hungary: Moritz Schenkel, Kevin Gotz (both goalkeepers), Maurice Jungling and Denis Strelezkij.
Marko Stamm and Mateo Cuk are injured., while Julian Real, Dennis Eidner, Tobias Preuss, Hannes Schulz, Ben Reibel, Lucas Gielen and Marin Restovic aren’t on the national team anymore. Some of them retired.
Goalkeepers: Moritz Schenkel (ASC Duisburg) Kevin Gotz (Hannover). Field players: Phillip Kubisch, Jan Rotermund, Niclas Schipper, Fynn Schutze (all Waspo 98 Hannover), Zoran Bozic, Maurice Jungling, Denis Strelezkij (all Spandau 04), Philipp Dolff, Mark Gansen, Lukas Kuppers (all ASC Duisburg), Ferdinand Korbel (OSC Potsdam).
Reserve: Yannek Chiru (Spandau 04).
Vladimir Gojkovic, the head coach of Montenegro picked 15 players, but hasn’t decided who of them will be among 13 and who will be the reserves. The 13 players who will start the Championships will be named soon.
Anyway, Montenegro has been rejuvenated, too. A few months ago, Aleksandar Ivovic confirmed that he had retired from the national team. Drasko Brguljan also hasn’t played for Montenegro since Tokyo. Leftie Aleksa Ukropina (Radnicki) wasn’t on the extended roster for the preparations. Marseille’s center-forward Vladan Spaic started the preparations with the national team, but he isn’t among the selected 15 players.
Goalkeepers: Dejan Lazovic (Marseille), Petar Tesanovic (Brescia), Lazar Andric. Field players: Marko Mrsic (Primorac), Uros Vucurovic (Jadran HN), Uros Cuckovic (Marseille), Vlado Popadic (Strasbourg), Konstantin Averka (Sabadell), Vasilije Radovic (Jadran HN), Miroslav Perkovic (Novi Beograd), Dusan Matkovic (Primorac), Marko Petkovic (Strasbourg), Savo Cetkovic (Budva), Bogdan Djurdjic (Crvena Zvezda), Dusan Banicevic (Sabadell).
Group A (Budapest): Hungary,Brazil, Montenegro, Georgia.
Group B (Debrecen): Japan, Greece, Germany, Croatia.
Group C (Sopron): Italy, Canada, South Africa, Spain.
Group D (Szeged): Kazakhstan, USA, Australia, Serbia.
The men’s tournament at the World Championships will take place between June 21 and July 3.