The voting for the Total Player Award is near the end. The winner will be announced on 16th December.
Today, we will present our votes.
There were a lot of players who proved their quality, experience, talent … during the last season. We picked these ten.
Hungarian National Player|Club: Ferencvarosi|Position: Driver
“Ferencvaros has been dominating Hungarian and European water polo in the past two years. The Budapest-based team has several outstanding players, but Denes Varga is the leader of that phenomenal team. It is always lovely to watch him play. He was voted the MVP of the Champions League Final Six and was also chosen for the best player of the LEN Europa Cup in which Hungary took the gold medal.
Unfortunately, he was injured in the first match at the World Championships. But, although he wasn’t recovered, he returned into the pool in the second week of the Championships in Gwangju and helped Hungary to reach the semifinals. He proved that he is the real fighter. He didn’t win a medal in Gwangju, but he was the hero of the season!”
Italian National Player|Club: Pro Recco|Position: Driver
“Campagna’s Italy has been a very balanced squad in the last seasons. The team is composed of excellent players, but there are no big stars that stand out. Still, this season, Francesco Di Fulvio was the one who had the leading role at the World Championships in Gwangju, where his team clinched the gold. He deserved the MVP award. Also, he had a good season with the club.”
Croatian National Player|Clubs: Jug/Olympiacos|Position: Wing
“He made a significant contribution to all Croatia’s successes in 2019. Croatia was the only team that won a medal at each of the three major competitions – World League, World Championships and LEN Euro Cup. His almost flawless performance in the bronze medal game in Gwangju against Hungary, when he scored 6 of Croatia’s 10 goals, was just one of his great games in this season. He is the player who takes responsibility in the crucial moments. Jokovic was Jug’s best player in the last season. Now, he proves his high quality in Olympiacos. “
Serbian National Player|Club: Pro Recco|Position: Wing
“Mandic is 25 years old, but he has already won the Champions League (with Partizan in 2011), Olympic gold with Serbia (2016), and numerous other medals. He has been one of Serbia’s key players in the last few seasons, but he is still far from the peak of his career. He helped Serbia to win gold in the World League. Mandic played excellently at the World Championships and was voted for the “All-star team” of the tournament. After the Olympic Games in Tokyo, he will be the leader of the Serbian team. Even though he is among the youngest in the experienced team of Pro Recco, he is one of the leading players.”
Spanish National Player| Club: Barceloneta| Position: Defender
“A few Spaniards could be on this list. Felipe Perrone, the 2018 Total Player, goalkeeper Dani Lopez, Alvaro Granados… But, we decided to pick Alberto Munarriz, mainly because he played outstanding in the crucial matches at the World Championships. Also, he had another excellent season in Barceloneta. Munarriz is, as well as Mandic, the player of the future.”
USA National Player | Club: CN Sabadell | Position: Driver
“She won everything she could in 2019! Sabadell clinched the title in the Euro League, while Neushul was one of the best players of the season and the top scorer of the incredible final game against Olympiacos. After that, another excellent season with Team USA started. She scored 6 goals at the FINA World League Superfinal, then tallied 10 goals at the World Championships and finally, she netted 9 goals at the Pan American Games in Lima. It shouldn’t mention which successes Team USA achieved at these competitions. Of course, the Americans took three golds, and Neushul was among the best players at each of the three tournaments.”
USA National Player | Club: Vouliagmeni | Position: Goalkeeper
“There is no doubt, Ashleigh Johnson is the best goalkeeper in women’s water polo at the moment. She had a good season with Vouliagmeni and then won three golds at three competitions with Team USA. Johnson was outstanding at the World Championships, especially in the last two games. She conceded just two goals in the semifinals (USA – Australia 7:2), while she did a great job in the final against Spain (ISA – Spain 11:6). Johnson recorded 42 saves in Gwangju. “
Australian National Player | Club: Sidney University Lions/Olympiacos| Position: Center-back
“Australia returned to the podium of the World Championships after 6 years, by taking bronze in Gwangju. The best player of the “Aussie Stingers” was Hannah Buckling. She is one of the best defenders in the world. Buckling helped Olympiacos to reach the Euro League final game.”
Hungarian National Player | Club: UVSE Budapest | Position: Driver/Wing
“The best scorer of the World Championships (24 goals) has a shot like a cannon. She is very fast and dangerous for each opponent. Nobody can stop her easily.”
Spanish National Player | Club: Mediterrani | Position: Driver
“It’s hard to imagine this list without the MVP of the World Championships. Tarrago returned to the Spanish squad and played excellently in Gwangju, where she was her team’s best scorer and led Spain to the silver medal. A universal player who can play in each position in the team.”