Decorated former water polo athlete Vladimir Gojković marks our 13th expert juror for the TOTAL PLAYER 2017 voting.
He successfully competed for former Serbia and Montenegro, winning the silver at the Olympics 2004 and the gold a the 2005 World Championships. After Montenegro’s proclamation of independence, he was part of the team that grabbed the gold medal at the European Championships in 2008 and the silver medal in 2012.
After concluding his career as a player, he became the coach to Jadran Herceg Novi. He also picked up the position of Montenegro’s national coach, leading his team to an amazing silver medal at the European Championships in Belgrade 2017.
Serbian National Player | Club: Szolnoki Vízilabda SC | Position: Driver
“He is a player who brings the gold no matter where he plays – Zvezda Belgrade, Pro Recco or the Serbian national team. Same with Szolnoki this year: Despite Denes Varga being the top dog, he was handed the main role and executed it, conquering the Champions League.
He plays fantastic on the Serbian national team and practically shouldered the whole semi-finals match against Croatia himself. He has been playing continuously at the highest level for years now.”
Croatia Team Captain | Club: Pro Recco | Position: Driver
“Only his elimination in the Champions League semi-finals with Pro Recco puts this player in second place here. He has magical hands and plays spectacularly, thus being my favorite player to watch maybe.
I’m glad he achieved the world title. Although he has already won many medals, even the Olympic gold, this one is definitely special. He reentered the pool only seven days prior due to his injured right-hand finger, grabbed the ball and lead Croatia to the gold.
Now a true leader, some expected him to have taken this role even sooner. But he is still young and has definitely two more Olympic cycles in front of him, hoping that his health will serve him.”
Hungarian National Player | Club: 2016/17 Szolnoki Vízilabda SC, 2017 Ferencvaros | Position: Driver
“The player with the cannon for a hand. He is an unbelievable shooter who, if left unmarked for even a second, punishes the defense, which he especially demonstrated during the Champions League final.”
Croatian National Player | Club: Jug Dubrovnik | Position: Center Forward
“The best center forwards play using their head, not only their power – and that’s exactly what Lončar does. Totally in synch with Joković and Garcia, with whom he can play eyes closed, he tips the scales in favor of Jug Dubrovnik and Croatia.
As a youngster who came from the set guard position back at the 2013 World Championships, he is now among the three best center forwards in the world. He played a fantastic World Championship this year and acted as one of Croatia’s main pillars.”
Hungarian National Player | Club: Szolnoki Vízilabda SC | Position: Goalkeeper
“His way of goalkeeping is spectacular, as he conquered the Champions League this year with Szolnok. He was named the best keeper of both, the Champions League and the World Championships. He is one of Hungary’s main defensive pillars and has been guarding the goal continuously well for a few years now. With his unique, provocative style he drives attackers crazy and fires up the crowd immensely.”