The composition of every sporting competition is inevitably influenced by various factors such as retirements, injuries, and other unforeseen circumstances. Consequently, it is important to acknowledge that the lineup for the upcoming World Championship in Fukuoka may not feature some of the world’s finest players in every position. In this article, we highlight a selection of exceptional athletes who, for various reasons, will be absent from the tournament.
Way for selection
The team selection process was based on the Weighted Efficiency Rating (WER) from the previous season’s Champions League. The advantage was given to players who participated in the final eight in Belgrade. Consequently, some players with impressive regular season WERs, such as Andrija Prlainovic, did not make it into the squad.
Goalkeeper: Joao Pedro Serra (Brasil, Novi Beograd), left wing: Stefano Luongo (Italy, De Akker), left driver: Charalampos Troulos (Greece, Apollon Smyrnis), point: Loren Fatovic (Croatia, Jadran Split), right driver: Maro Jokovic (Croatia, Jug Dubrovnik), right wing: Aaron Younger (Australia, Pro Recco), centre-forward: Konstantinos Mourikis (Greece, Panionios).
Joao Pedro Serra (WER: 3.83) – will not be competing in the Fukuoka World Championship, as the Brazil national team qualified for the tournament but later withdrew their participation. Pedro did not represent Brazil in recent matches. He demonstrated his goalkeeping abilities as the primary goalkeeper for Novi Beograd last season. His skills played a vital role in guiding the team to victory in the Serbian league. Additionally, Pedro also had the opportunity to showcase his talents in the Champions League final. However, his team suffered a defeat against Pro Recco, with a final score of 11:14.
Stefano Luongo (WER: 32.72) – will not play in Fukuoka because Alessandro Campagna decided not call Luongo. Luongo played for Brescia and played in the final of Italian championship and quarter final of Champions League when they lost to Vouliagmeni 10:11. In the upcoming season Luongo will play for De Akker.
Charalampos Troulos (WER: 32.09) – will not be participating in the upcoming Fukuoka tournament. This decision comes as a result of Theodoros Vlachos, the team coach, opting not to include Troulos in the lineup. In the previous season, Troulos represented Vouliagmeni. He played an important role in the team’s journey to the semi-finals of the Champions League. However, their aspirations were halted when they faced a tough opponent in Pro Recco, resulting in an 8:12 loss. Throughout the season, Troulos and Vouliagmeni also reached the finals in Greek competitions. Looking ahead, Troulos will play in the upcoming season for Apollon Smyrnis.
Loren Fatovic (WER: 37.00) – won’t be able to participate in the Fukuoka World Championship due to a finger injury. In the previous season, Fatovic was a vital member of the Jug Dubrovnik team. However, in the upcoming season, he will be joining Jadran Split, a rival team and the reigning Croatian champions. Fatovic’s leadership abilities were evident as he captained Jug Dubrovnik to victory in both the Regional League and the Croatian Cup last season.
Maro Jokovic (WER: 35:14) – a prominent player from the Croatia national team, will not be participating in the Fukuoka World Championship as he has retired from the national team. Despite his absence from the Croatia team, Jokovic played for Jug Dubrovnik in the previous season and will continue with the team in the upcoming season. Notably, Jokovic played a pivotal role in leading Jug Dubrovnik to victory in the Regional League and the Croatian Cup last season. Although his team fell short in the quarterfinals of the Champions League, losing 9-11 to Barceloneta, Jokovic’s contributions throughout the season were remarkable.
Aaron Younger (WER: 32.49) – an outstanding water polo player will not be participating in the upcoming Fukuoka tournament, as he has decided to take a break from national competitions following the Olympics in Tokyo. In the previous season, Younger achieved remarkable success with Pro Recco. He played a pivotal role in leading the team to a historic triple crown victory, securing the Italian League title, the Italian Cup, and the prestigious Champions League trophy. This remarkable achievement marks the fourth consecutive European title for Younger.
Konstantinos Mourikis (WER: 16.80) – will not be competing in the Fukuoka World Championship due to his retirement from the Greece national team. In the previous season, Mourikis was a player for Olympiacos, where he achieved significant accomplishments. Under the red and white cap of Olympiacos, Mourikis played an important role in securing the domestic double. Additionally, his remarkable performance contributed to their success in the Champions League, where they lost to Novi Beograd in the quarterfinals with a score of 11:13. Looking ahead, Mourikis is set to join Panionios for the upcoming season.
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