Dénes Varga, current European Champion with Szolnoki Vizilabda SC, Olympic Champion in Beijing 2008, World Champion in Barcelona 2013 and European silver medalist in Budapest 2014 talked to Total Waterpolo about his expectations for the upcoming World Championships on Margitsziget Island in the legendary Alfred Hajos National Swimming Complex.
The first World Championship in Hungary! Is this a childhood dream come true for you?
I’ve already played the European Championship on Margitsziget, which almost ended up as a perfect event for us. This one might be a bit more difficult but we want to make it 100% perfect this time!
Ten days ago you won a very competitive tournament in Greece, the Samartzidis Cup, which surely raised the confidence of your team. In your opinion, which part of your game can you further improve before the start of the championship?
It did indeed. Our goal in this last period is to set ourselves to the same mindset and to be able to see us winning the quarter-final.
Hungary is opening against Australia. Your Szolonki teammate Aaron Younger told us that they will be relaxed and ready to play. What do you think, is Australia strong enough to surprise you in front of your fans?
I can imagine a lot of surprises from them, but can only visualize our victory.
If there are no major surprises, the win against Italy in the group opens the way to the final. If we exclude the Serbs, which teams would you prefer to avoid in the knockout phase?
I set myself and my team to be victorious in the quarterfinals so it doesn’t matter to us how difficult the opponent awaiting us could be.
We have all witnessed Serbian domination in the last couple of years. Are you ready to stop them and how?
I thought we were ready to do so in the Olympic Games in 2016 but then we messed it up, but so did they, as they almost dropped out in the group. So I guess in sport it’s like this: Not always the strongest team wins and I can see the chance that this time we can beat them.
We would like to thank Dénes for his insights and comments and are looking forward to seeing him and his teammates fight for the highest goal: The World Championship Title on Hungary’s most sacred waterpolo grounds.