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New season of Champions League kicks off!

The time has come for the best water polo competition for clubs in the world. This week, the new season of the LEN Champions League will kick-off.

Sixteen teams from 10 countries will take part in this season’s competition. Croatia and Hungary will be represented by three clubs apiece, Spain and Germany will have two teams each. Besides them, Italy, Greece, Montenegro, Russia, France and Georgia will have clubs in the CHL.

None of the Serbian clubs will compete in the Champions League for the first time since the country’s independence (in 2006). Serbian teams in the qualifications were national champion Sabac and Crvena Zvezda, 2013 Champions League winner. Both teams were eliminated in the Qualification Round 2.

Ferencvaros (Hungary) enters the season as the title-holder. Last season, the Budapest-based side continued its magnificent series of trophies on the European stage. After two LEN Euro Cups in a row (2017 and 2018), LEN Super Cup in 2018, Ferencvaros clinched the title of European champion at 2019 Final Eight in Hannover, despite it arrived at F8 from the 4th place in the Group A.

Ferencvaros is among the favourites for the trophy in this season , too. But, there are a lot of clubs that are eyeing the title: 8-times winner Pro Recco, Jug, Barceloneta, Olympiacos, Szolnok…

OSC Budapest, Jadran Herceg Novi, Mladost Zagreb and a few other clubs are potential surprises.

Four teams will make debut in the Champions League: Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia), Terrassa (Spain), Sintez Kazan (Russia) and LEN Euro Cup winner Marseille (France). It should be mentioned that Sintez and Marseille have competed in the Champions League, by the former competition format. The current competition system of the Champions League was established in the season 2013/14.

After the 14 round of the Group Stage, the top 4 teams from each group will qualify for the Final Eight. Pro Recco is already qualified for F8, as a technical host, so there are only three available tickets for the final tournament in Group B.

Each round will be played over two days. In the first half of the season, Group A will play on Tuesdays and Fridays, while playing days for Group B are Wednesdays and Saturdays. In January, the days will be switched.

The show can start!

LEN Champions League 2019/20

Group A

Olympiacos (Greece)

Last season: 2nd place.
Best result in CHL history: winner in 2002 and 2018.

Stars to watch: Maro Jokovic, Stefan Mitrovic, Georgios Dervisis, Emmanouil Mylonakis, Ivan Buljubasic, Konstantinos Mourikis, Alexandros Gounas… Coach: Theodoros Vlachos

Barceloneta (Spain)

Last season: 4th place.
Best result in the CHLhistory: winner in 2014.

Stars to watch: Felipe Perrone, Milan Aleksic, Michael Bodegas, Daniel Lopez Pineido, Blai Mallarach, Alvaro Granados, Alberto Munarriz… Coach: Jesus Martin.

Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia)

Last season: 5th place.
Best result in CHL history: winner in 1981, 2001, 2006, 2016.

Stars to watch: Loren Fatovic, Paulo Obradovic, Luka Loncar, Xavi Garcia, Hrvoje Benic, Marko Macan , Danil Merkulov, Toni Popadic… Coach: Vjekoslav Kobescak.

Szolnok (Hungary)

Last season: 9th place
Best result in CHL history: winner in 2017.

Stars to watch: Dusko Pijetlovic, Viktor Nagy, Danial Angyal, Bence Batori, Viktor Rasovic, Gavril Subotic, David Jansik… Coach: Zivko Gocic.

Jadran Split (Croatia)

Last season: 11th place.
Best result in CHL history: winner in 1992 and 1993.

Stars to watch: Andjelo Setka, Mate Anic, Ivan Krapic, Ante Viskovic,Nathan Power… Coach: Ivan Asic.

Spandau 04 (Germany)

Last season: 15th place.
Best result in CHL history: winner in 1983, 1986, 1987, 1989.

Stars to watch: Marko Stamm, Lucas Gielen, Nikola Dedovic, Tiberiu Negrean, Remi Saudadier, Mateo Cuk, Marin Restovic… Coach: Petar Kovacevic.

Jadran Herceg Novi (Montenegro)

Last season: runner-up in the Euro Cup.
Best result in the CHL: runner-up in 2004.

Stars to watch: Marko Petkovic, Konstantin Averka, Djuro Radovic, Marino Cagalj, Vladan Spaic, Filip Gardasevic, Vladan Spaic… Coach: Petar Radanovic.

Sintez Kazan (Russia)

Last season: eliminated in the Qualification Round 2.
Best result in CHL history: Preliminary Round (Top 16). The club won the LEN Trophy in 2007.

Stars to watch: Alexey Ryzhov-Alenichev, Emil Zinnurov, Nikita Dereviankin, Artem Odintsov, Sergey Lisunov, Adel Latypov… Coach: Alexander Eryshov.

Group B

Ferencvaros (Hungary)

Last season: winner.
Best result in CHL history: winner in 2019.

Stars to watch: Denes Varga, Marton Vamos, Ioannis Fountoulis, Nikola Jaksic, Gergo Zalnaki, Aaron Younger, Tamas Mezei, Soma Vogel… Coach: Zsolt Varga.

Pro Recco (Italy)

Last season: 3rd place.
Best result in CHL history: winner in 1965, 1984, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015.

Stars to watch: Filip Filipovic, Marko Bijac, Francesco di Fulvio, Aleksandar Ivovic, Andro Buslje, Dusan Mandic, Gonzalo Echenique, Niksa Dobud… Coach: Ratko Rudic.

Waspo 98 Hannover (Germany)

Last season: 8th place.
Best result in CHL history: 8th place in 2019.

Stars to watch: Petar Muslim, Aleksandar Radovic, Ivan Nagaev, Julian Real, Darko Brguljan, Ante Corusic… Coach: Karsten Seehafer.

HAVK Mladost (Croatia)

Last season: 13th place.
Best result in CHL history: winner in 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, 1990, 1991, 1996.

Stars to watch: Ivan Marcelic, Josip Vrlic, Milos Cuk, Cosmin Radu, Alex Bowen, Konstantin Kharkov, Lovre Milos… Coach: Zoran Bajic.

CN Marseille (France)

Last season: Euro Cup winner.
Best result in CHL history: Preliminary Round (Top 16).

Stars to watch: Ante Vukicevic, Uros Cuckovic, Ugo Crousillat, Milos Scepanovic, Roman Blary, Bogdan Djurdjic, Michael Izdinsky, Igor Kovacevic… Coach: Marc Amardeilh.

OSC Budapest (Hungary)

Last season: semifinalist of Euro Cup.
Best result in CHL history: winner in 1973 and 1979.

Stars to watch: Andrija Prlainovic, Balasz Harai, Krisztian Manhercz, Branislav Mitrovic, Sava Randjelovic, Balasz Erdelyi, Drasko Brguljan… Coach: Lajos Vad.

CN Terrassa (Spain)

Last season: eliminated in Qualification Round 3 and played in the Quarterfinals of Euro Cup.
Best result in CHL history: Qualification Round 3 in 2019.

Stars to watch: Inaki Aguilar, Alberto Barroso, Victor Gutierezz, Sergi Mora Belmonte, Ricard Alarcon… Coach: Didac Cobacho.

Dinamo Tbilisi (Georgia)

Last season: –
Best result in CHL history: –

Stars to watch: Boris Vapenski,Marko Jelaca, Fabio Baraldi, Damir Crepulja, Andria Bitadze… Coach: Revaz Chomakhidze.

Day 1 schedule

Group A (8 October)
Jadran Split – Olympiacos 8:17 (2:5, 5:4, 0:4, 1:4) – played on 7 October
Spandau Berlin – Barceloneta (19:00)
Szolnok – Sintez (19:00)
Jadran Herceg Novi – Jug Dubrovnik (19:00)

Group B (9 October)
Ferencvaros – Waspo Hannover (19:00)
Terrassa – Dinamo Tbilisi (20:30)
OSC Budapest – Mladost (20:30)
Marseille – Pro Recco (20:30)

FULL SCHEDULE

All champions

Ferencvatos, winner in 2019


2018 / 2019: Ferencvaros Telekom (Hungary)
2017 / 2018: Olympiacos Piraeus CFP (Greece)
2016 / 2017: Szolnok VSK (Hungary)
2015 / 2016: VK Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia)
2014 / 2015: Pro Recco (Italy)
2013 / 2014: Club Natacio Atletic-Barceloneta (Spain)
2012 / 2013: VK Crvena Zvezda (Serbia)
2011 / 2012: ASD Pro Recco (Italy)
2010 / 2011: VK Partizan (Serbia)
2009 / 2010: ASD Pro Recco (Italy)
2008 / 2009: VK Primorac Kotor (Montenegro)
2007 / 2008: ASD Pro Recco (Italy)
2006 / 2007: ASD Pro Recco (Italy)
2005 / 2006: VK Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia)
2004 / 2005: CN Posillipo Naples (Italy)
2003 / 2004: Domino BHSE Budapest (Hungary)
2002 / 2003: ASD Pro Recco (Italy)
2001 / 2002: Olympiacos Piraeus CFP (Greece)
2000 / 2001: VK Jug Dubrovnik (Croatia)
1999 / 2000: VK Becej Nis Naftagas (Yugoslavia)
1998 / 1999: Splitska Banka Split (Croatia)
1997 / 1998: CN Posillipo Naples (Italy)
1996 / 1997: CN Posillipo Naples (Italy)
1995 / 1996: HAVK Mladost (Croatia)
1994 / 1995: CN Catalunya (Spain)
1993 / 1994: Ujpesti TE (Hungary)
1992 / 1993: Jadran Koteks Split (Croatia)
1991 / 1992: Jadran Koteks Split (Croatia)
1990 / 1991: HAVK Mladost (Yugoslavia)
1989 / 1990: HAVK Mladost(Yugoslavia)
1988 / 1989: Spandau Berlin (West Germany)
1987 / 1988: Sisley Pescara (Italy)
1986 / 1987: Spandau Berlin (West Germany)
1985 / 1986: Spandau Berlin (West Germany)
1984 / 1985: Vasas SC (Hungary)
1983 / 1984: ASD Pro Recco (Italy)
1982 / 1983: Spandau Berlin(West Germany)
1981 / 1982: CN Barcelona (Spain)
1980 / 1981: VK Jug Dubrovnik (Yugoslavia)
1979 / 1980: Vasas SC (Hungary)
1978 / 1979: OSC Budapest (Hungary)
1977 / 1978: Circolo Canottieri Naples (Italy)
1976 / 1977: CSK VMF Moscow (URSS)
1975 / 1976: Partizan Belgrade (Yugoslavia)
1974 / 1975: Partizan Belgrade (Yugoslavia)
1976 / 1974: MUG Moscow (URSS)
1972 / 1973: OSC Budapest(Hungary)
1971 / 1972: Mladost Zagreb (Yugoslavia)
1970 / 1971: Partizan Belgrade (Yugoslavia)
1969 / 1970: Mladost Zagreb (Yugoslavia)
1968 / 1969: Mladost Zagreb (Yugoslavia)
1967 / 1968: Mladost Zagreb (Yugoslavia)
1966 / 1967: Partizan Belgrade (Yugoslavia)
1965 / 1966: Partizan Belgrade (Yugoslavia)
1964 / 1965: Recco (Italy)
1963 / 1964: Partizan Belgrade (Yugoslavia)

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