Ratko Rudic confirmed that he left Pro Recco. In the open letter, published on the Pro Recco’s website, Rudic wrote that he would retire. He won’t work as a coach anymore. But, he is ready to stay in water polo in a different role.
Rudic (72-years-old) arrived in Pro Recco in 2018. Explaining why he accepted Recco’s offer, Rudic emphasized:
“I accepted the assignment in Pro Recco and the ideas of Pro Recco’s president Maurizio Felugo. That was a important water polo project which, in addition to the results and improvement of the game, also aimed at promoting our sport in Italy, in the world and the media, the approach and investment in young people, the creation of academies throughout Italy, the organization of Champions League matches in different cities.
We made great strides in all segments, but we lost the match of the Champions League semifinal in Hannover (11:12 loss to Olympiacos-Ed.). So, the season ended without obtaining the desired result: I still carry a bitter taste of that challenge in Hannover inside me.”
Rudic said that Pro Recco entered the new season even more motivated than the previous season, as the club wanted to recover what it missed in Hannover.
“We prepared a different program, focusing on the final part of the season and on the Champions League Final Eight, that was supposed to be held in Recco, in the pool of Punta Sant’Anna. A great sports show was ready.”
Rudic wrote that Pro Recco had intensified the training in February, aiming to reach the best shape for the Final Eight.
“When the season was stopped, due to the pandemic, the dreams disappeared. The decision to end my career as a coach came before the COVID-19 emergency broke out, and I communicated it to President Felugo. I wanted to finish my career with a great result and make myself available to the club in another role to contribute to the realization of the project. With the pandemic, many things have changed. The future is uncertain, and we will see how the activities will be organized.
On this occasion, I want to thank our patron, Gabriele Volpi, a great fan of water polo and the main supporter of Pro Recco, with whom a relationship of esteem and respect has been created, I think mutual.
I had a special relationship with President Felugo, of trust and friendship. His motivation and energy also helped the team to maintain high level of commitment.
Rudic also thanked all the players for their exceptional professional commitment. He wrote that his technical staff, made up of professionals of the highest value, helped him a lot.
“The group was very united and had an active and proactive role: I am grateful to them for the great commitment”.
Rudic also thanked all the employees of the club.
“In conclusion, I have a positive memory of the period spent in Recco: here I felt at home.
I want to greet all the fans and citizens who have been close to the club and to me personally: once this emergency is over, I will return to the city to greet them with affection. “
Ratko Rudic played water polo for Partizan and Jadran Split. He won numerous trophies with both teams, as well as several medals playing for the national team of Yugoslavia. At the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, he clinched the silver medal.
After the Moscow Olympic Games started to work a coach. Rudic became glorious as a very successful coach of the national teams. He led five national squads. Rudic won four gold Olympic medals (Yugoslavia in 1984 and 1988, Italy in 1992 and Croatia in 2012). He guided the three teams to the titles at the World Championships (Yugoslavia 1986, Italy 1994, Croatia 2007). Rudis collected many medals at the European Championships, World Cups and other major competitions with these three teams. He was successful as a head coach of the USA and Brazil.
Maurzio Felugo, Pro Recco’s president in a statement for the club’s website, said:
“We are honored that Rudic has been the protagonist of our history. It was a sporting and human privilege to deal with a person of his capacity on a daily basis. In these two years, he has made the club grow by bringing winning mentality, competence, professionalism, and work culture. We greet him with a touch of regret for not having been able to end the season, but we will be forever grateful to him. The mark he left along our way will remain indelible even in the new path we will build to keep Pro Recco at the top of the world’s water polo “.
Eraldo Pizzo, Pro Recco’s legend (former player and a coach), added:
“Rudic told me he would have Recco in his heart. That has been very well received by the people here. The fact that a man like him sends such flattering words towards our city and our club is a source of pride. I have only one regret: the worthy ending of his career would have been the Champions League Final Eight in Recco. With the return to normal, we will be happy to see him again in Recco “.