Víctor Gutiérrez, leading goalscorer of the Premaat League, will not take part in the 33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018. The news comes as a major surprise for the Spanish national team, as the Real Canoe player has just announced his decision to withdraw from the team to manager David Martín.
The reasons seem to have two aspects. On the one hand, it’s strictly professional — after completing the double degree of Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, the 27-year-old athlete from Madrid considers it pertinent to ” take priority in other aspects” of his life and not miss work opportunities. However, he does not hide his ” frustration ” before the situation that had been playing in the national team with whom he played last summer the Budapest World Cup in the first year of David Martin as coach.
“Being in the best moment of my sports career, I had to put an end to the role in which I was becoming part of the national team,” he said to Waterpolista.com. He finished the regular Men’s Division of Honor as the top performer with 71 goals in his team.
This decision seems irrevocable at the moment, given that Gutiérrez believes that “any player needs to feel the confidence and support from the coach, and when there is none, things get complicated.”
Furthermore, Waterpolista brings a short interview.
What has led you to give up playing with the Spanish team?
“It’s for a bunch of reasons. First, it’s the sport itself — I think I was being given a role that was not the one that corresponded to me sportingly. The professional opportunities that I was letting go through the sport made me reflect on whether the time had come to prioritize other aspects of my life, as I was feeling a little frustrated in the national team.”
Why at this time and not another?
“Being in the best moment of my sports career, with good results and good numbers, I think I should stand on the role that was being given to me by the national team. Additionally, after I finish my double degree this June, doors for my professional pursuit in other areas will open up.”
A few months ago in an interview with the European official website, you stated that your goal was not only to be in Barcelona this summer but also in the Tokyo Games. What has changed in such a short time?
“The objectives change as the circumstances develop. Assessing pros and cons of making the decision, I have come to the conclusion that this is the best thing for me at this time. Professionally, every player needs to feel the confidence and support from the coach, and when there is none, things get complicated.”
It seems strange that the best shooter of the Spanish League is not in the selection?
“Yes, I too find it very strange. I cannot tell you anything else.”
Can you tell us more about coach David Martin?
“David is a great coach with very clear ideas of how he wants his team to play. In addition, it was him who gave me the opportunity to play in a World Cup last year, and I will always be grateful for that. I had several conversations with him and after that, I came to the conclusion that the best thing for me was to resign. Despite our sporting differences, he has been very understanding and fair, and I wish him the best in his career as a coach.”
And what do you think of those who have been your teammates in the national team?
“They are good players. All of them are different from each other, unique with their abilities. They are excellent colleagues to whom I wish only the best and hope they will be successful.”
Finally, do you plan to return to the team one day?
“I’m not closing doors. You never know what can happen, but I think being in the national team should be a consequence of sports performance. They must be the best, and I think I am among the best. However, there are other types of factors when it comes to making a team. At the moment I am sure of the decision I have made.”