After head coach Ratko Rudic, one of the key players of Pro Recco also left the most successful Italian club.
Serbia’s captain Filip Filipovic announced that he won’t play for Pro Recco. He spent nine years in this club.
Filipovic’s official statement, published by Pro Recco:
“This is the end of a beautiful story, I am honored to have been part of Pro Recco’s family for so long. This club gave me everything, I grew up as a man and as a player. I thank the patron Gabriele Volpi, Eraldo Pizzo, the president Maurizio Felugo. I send a special greeting to my teammates: they were my pride. No trophy and an individual prize would have been possible without such a strong group. And then the coaches who trusted me: from the first, Pino Porzio, to the last, Ratko Rudic, and the technical staff. It was a pity to end the season like this without the final battles. Now, however, the time has come for me to write other pages of a new book: sorry, but this is the life of us sports professionals. I will always be proud to have worn this cap. Pro Recco, Recco and its inhabitants will remain in my heart, they will be my first home “.
Titles, medals, individual awards…
But, this decision wasn’t sudden. Two years ago, Filipovic, Felugo and Volpi reached an agreement that Filipovic will leave Recco after this season.
A 33-years-old Filip Filipovic arrived in Pro Recco for the first time in 2009, and in 2012, he moved to Radnicki Kragujevac. After two seasons in Radnicki, he returned to Pro Recco in 2014.
Filipovic, the current Olympic champion, and four-time winner of the LEN Award for the best European player of the year (2009, 2014, 2016, 2018), won three Champions League playing for Recco. The first European trophy with the Ligurian club, he won in 2010. At the Final Four in Naples, Pro Recco defeated Partizan in the semifinals, while it beat Primorac Kotor (which was title-defender) in the final game.
He also clinched the title of the European champion with Pro Recco in the seasons 2011/12 (F4 was played in Oradea) and in 2014/15 (Final Six was played in Barcelona). Besides three Champions Leagues, Filipovic had numerous trophies with Pro Recco – eight titles of the Italian champion, the 2012 Adriatic League, two LEN Super Cups…
Filipovic is one of the best players who have grown up in Partizan’s water polo school. He played for Partizan until 2009 and his first contract with Pro Recco.
He has been playing for the national team of Serbia (earlier Serbia and Montenegro) since 2003. With Serbia, he won six gold medals at the European Championships, two titles of the World champion, 12 World Leagues… Before the Olympic gold in Rio in 2016, he won two Olympic bronzes with Serbia (2008 and 2012). Since 2017, he has been Serbia’s captain.
Filipovic, who has won several national titles with Partizan and the 2012/13 LEN Euro Cup with Radnicki, still hasn’t decided in which club he will continue the career.
Volpi: Unforgettable moments with Filipovic
“Together with Filipovic, we lived unforgettable moments. As a great water polo enthusiast, I thank him very much for what he gave to Pro Recco, as a sportsman and as a man. I wish him a bright career continuation”, Recco’s patron Gabriele Volpi said.
Maurizio Felugo, the president of the club commented:
“Seeing Filipovic in the water is satisfying for every water polo lover, but in addition to being a great champion, as demonstrated by his career and his play, he is an extraordinary professional, a real man, an exemplary leader. Training every day with an athlete like Filip, who has won everything but lives every session as an Olympic final, has been an added value also for the many guys who have worn our cap over the years. He has gone beyond his individual performances. We will always love him “.
(quotes source Pro Recco’s press release)