Dusan Mandic, the MVP of the LEN Champions League F8, will play for Novi Beograd in the next season.
Mandic’s arrival at WPC Novi Beograd has been one of the most interesting topics in news and rumors about the transfer market since April. But, Mandic and his new club didn’t confirm the transfer before the end of the season.
A day after winning the Champions League with Pro Recco, Mandic confirmed that he would join Novi Beograd.
“I am returning to Belgrade. It’s the best to be at home”, Mandic told Serbian daily Vecernje Novosti.
He went to Italy with Recco after the Champions League F8, but he will come to Belgrade next week and start preparations with the national team.
Mandic (27) started playing water polo in Primorac Kotor. In 2010, he moved to Partizan, and a year later, he won the Champions League. The high-class scorer left Partizan in 2015. After six years at Recco, he returns to Serbia.
Serbia’s leftie has won two Champions League (2011 with Partizan and 2021 with Pro Recco), two Olympic medals with Serbia (gold in 2016 and bronze in 2012), three titles of the European champion (2014, 2016, 2018), two medals at the World Championships (gold in 2015 and bronze in 2017), several medals in the World League, etc.
Great players are coming to Serbian League, not only to Novi Beograd
Novi Beograd, the host of the Champions League Final Eight tournaments in 2021, 2022, and 2023, almost finished composing the team for the next season.
Serbia’s center-forward Dusko Pijetlovic and Radomir Drasovic are coming to Novi Beograd from Szolnok. Greek Angelos Vlachopoulos is arriving from Brescia. These three transfers have been confirmed in the past few months.
A new goalkeeper will be Gojko Pijetlovic, who played for Oradea in the past few seasons. Gojko Pijetlovic has been Serbia’s goalkeeper since 2009. Besides him, Nikola Jaksic (Ferencvaros), Strahinja Rasovic (Radnicki), Viktor Rasovic (Noisy-le-Sec), Djordje Vucinic (Sabac) will join Novi Beograd, the club’s management confirmed.
The Pijetlovic brothers and Jaksic won the Olympic gold medals in Rio 2016, along with Mandic, and have been regular members of the national team for years. The Rasovic brothers, Radomir Drasovic, and Vucinic have all won medals with the senior national team of Serbia, and they climbed the podium at many FINA and LEN Junior and Youth Championships. All of them are among the candidates for Serbia’s Olympic team for Tokyo. Playing for Greece, Vlachopoulos won the bronze medal at the 2015 World Championships.
Almost each of the newcomers has won at least one trophy in the LEN competitions for the clubs. Dusko Pijetlovic is the most decorated, with four Champions Leagues (Partizan, Crvena Zvezda, and two with Recco), and one LEN Euro Cup (Szolnok in this season). The Rasovic brothers were the European champions with Crvena Zvezda in 2013, Jaksic lifted the LEN Champions League trophy in 2019, as a player of Ferencvaros. Drasovic won LEN Euro Cup with Szolnok a few weeks ago, while Gojko Pijetlovic did the same in 2010, playing for Cattaro.
In the following days, it will be known who would leave the club. It’s sure that captain Djordje Filipovic won’t play for Novi Beograd, he retired after the end of the season.
Novi Beograd, the runner-up in the 2021 Serbian Championship, has a guaranteed spot at the Champions League F8 in 2022 and 2023, as a host.
The other Serbian clubs – Radnicki, Crvena Zvezda, Partizan – are also very active in the transfer market. But, they still haven’t revealed the plans, The Serbian Championship will be very quality and interesting next season if rumors about transfers come true.
Crvena Zvezda already brought the first reinforcement. Montenegrin Stefan Pjesivac left Spandau 04, and moved to Crvena Zvezda, which won the Serbian Cup in the season 2020/21.
As for Pro Recco, Mandic is the second player who confirmed departure from the European champion. Last month, Niksa Dobud, who didn’t play at the F8, said that he would join Jadran Split. It’s expected that Olympiacos will confirm signing a contract with Recco’s and Croatia’s goalkeeper Marko Bijac very soon. Bijac was one of Recco’s best players at the F8.
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