France’s national team will travel to Zagreb with 15 players for the tournament of Group A of the Water Polo World Cup Division 1 (March 8 – 14).
Head coach Florian Bruzzo has called up eleven players who won 6th place in the European Championships last year. These include Ugo Crousillat, Mehdi Marzouki, and Enzo Khasz, all experienced aces, as well as 20-year-olf center-forward Thomas Vernoux, who has demonstrated his talent for years, etc.
New names are four players who didn’t compete at the European Championships and the World League last year (France finished 4th in the World League): goalkeeper Anthony Rossi (Sete), Loris Canovas (Strasbourg), and two left-handed players – Marseille’s Michal Izdinsky and Duje Zivkovic (Tourcoing).
For the first time two months ago, Duje Zivkovic (32), a Croat born in Split who won bronze at the 2014 World Cup, joined the French team for preparations in Paris after obtaining his French passport.
France will thus have three left-handed attackers on the team: Ugo Crousillat, Michael Izdinsky, and Zivkovic, a feature that could prove to be a great advantage.
Izdinsky played for France for a long, but he missed last summer’s tournaments.
Michael Bodegas (Marseille), an experienced center-forward who played for Italy between 2015 and 2021, was expected to be on the roster. Bodegas took part in the preparations in Paris two months ago. But, French water polo fans will have to wait a little longer to see Bodegas back in the national team. He won gold at the 2019 World Championships and bronze at the Rio Olympics three years prior, playing for Italy.
Besides France and host Croatia, the teams of Italy, Hungary, the USA, and Japan are in Group A.
France’s roster for the tournament in Zagreb
Goalkeepers: Hugo Fontani (Strasbourg), Anthony Rossi (Sete).
Field players: Ugo Crousillat, Alexandre Bouet, Thomas Vernoux, Michal Izdinsky, Andrea De Nardi, Pierre-Frederic Vanpeperstraete (all Marseille), Mehdi Marzouki, Charles Cannone, Duje Zivkovic (all Tourcoing), Emil Bjorch, Denis Guerin (both Noisy-le-Sec), Loris Canovas (Strasbourg), Enzo Khasz (Pays d’Aix).
The team will gather on March 5, a day after the 15th day of the French League.
Follow the results and statistics of Division 1 on Total Waterpolo Arena