The current transfer window in European water polo is still open, but most of the top European clubs have composed their squads for the next season.
Ferencvaros, the European champion, was reinforced by three players, while three left the club. Olympiacos “exchanged” players with Ferencvaros and Jug. Pro Recco built a very strong team this summer, by welcoming several very good additions.
Total Waterpolo offers you the overview of the interesting transfers this summer.
Ferencvaros, European and Hungarian champion
Three experienced players came to Ferencvaros. A high-class shooter Ioannis Fountoulis, the best scorer of the 2017 World Championships and 2018 European Championships, moved to Budapest from Olympiacos. Gergo Zalnaki, Hungary’s best scorer at the 2019 World Championships, came from Szolnok. The third new player is Canadian Nicolas Constantin Bicari.
Arrivals: Ioannis Fountoulis (Olympiacos), Gergo Zalnaki (Szolnok), Nicolas Constantin Bicari (Montreal).
Departures: Mikos Gor-Nagy (retired), Slobodan Nikic (Vasas), Stefan Mitrovic (Olympiacos).
Olympiacos, runner-up in the 2019 Champions League, champion of Greece
Olympiacos “exchanged” players with Ferencvaros and Olympiacos. One of the best Greek players Fountoulis became the part of the European champion, while Stefan Mitrovic came to Piraeus from Ferencvaros.
Left-handed Maro Jokovic, the hero of Croatia’s win over Hungary in the bronze medal match at the World Championships, will be one of Olympiacos’s key players in attack, along with Mitrovic. Ivan Buljubasic came from Mladost to reinforce the Greeks’ defense. A new goalkeeper is Stefan Zivojinovic, the Serb who was voted the best goalkeeper at the 2014 FINA World Cup and won the 2011 Champions League with Partizan. He played for Oradea (Romania) last season.
Arrivals: Maro Jokovic (Jug Dubrovnik), Stefan Mitrovic (Ferencvaros), Ivan Buljubasic (Mladost), Stefan Zivojinovic (Oradea).
Departures: Josip Pavic (retired), Ioannis Fountoulis (Ferencvaros), Andro Buslje (Pro Recco), Paulo Obradovic (Jug), Dimitrios Nikolaidis (Brescia).
Pro Recco, 3rd place in the Champions League, champion of Italy
Pro Recco is determined to win its 9th European crown. The club management was very busy this summer and brought several excellent players. Among them are captains of two teams which won medals at the World Championships in Gwangju.
Pietro Figlioli, the captain of the national team of Italy, returned to Pro Recco after two seasons (he played for Brescia and Sport Management in the last two years). Figlioli led Italy towards the world gold in Gwangju in July and was voted the best player of the tournament. He has already won four trophies in the Champions League as Pro Recco player (2007, 2010, 2012, 2015). Andro Buslje, the captain of the Croatian national team also joined the team. He comes from Olympiacos. Big reinforcements are world champions Edoardo di Somma and Stefano Luongo, who came from Sport Management, along with Andrea Fondeli.
A legendary 40-years-old goalkeeper Stefano Tempesti, who spent 16 seasons in Pro Recco, moved to Ortigia.
Arrivals: Andro Buslje (Olympiacos), Pietro Figlioli (Brescia),Edoardo Prian (Bogliasco), Edoardo di Somma (Sport Management), Stefano Luongo (Sport Management), Andrea Fondelli (Sport Management).
Departures: Stefano Tempesti (Ortigia), Luka Bukic (Mladost), Guillermo Molina (Savona), Nicolo Figari (Brescia), Michael Bodegas (Barceloneta), Niccolo Gitto (Metanopoli).
Barceloneta, 4th place in the 2019 Champions League, champion of Spain
The additions of the best Spanish club are Olympic champion Milan Aleksic, French-born Italian Michael Bodegas (the gold medal winner in Gwangju) and Miguel del Toro, the member of the team of Spain which won the silver at the World Championships.
Arrivals: Milan Aleksic (Szolnok), Michael Bodegas (Pro Recco), Miguel del Toro (Mediterrani).
Departures: Josip Vrlic (Mladost).
Jug Dubrovnik, 5th place in the 2019 Champions League, champion of Croatia
One of the best Croatian players Maro Jokovic moved from Jug to Olympiacos, while Paulo Obradovic, a former member of the Croatia national team, went in the reverse direction. After two years in Olympiacos, Obradovic returned to his hometown.
Arrivals: Paulo Obradovic (Olympiacos).
Departures: Maro Jokovic (Olympiacos).
Brescia, 6th place in the 2019 Champions League, runner-up in Italy
Despite several players left Brescia, the club will have a strong team next season. The guys who left the club were replaced by very good players.
Arrivals: Nicolo Figari (Pro Recco), Antonio Buha (Vouliagmeni), Jacopo Alesiani (Sport Management), Dimitrios Nikolaidis (Olympiacos), Giacomo Canella (Lazio).
Departures: Pietro Figlioli (Pro Recco), Valentino Gallo (Ortigia), Valerio Rizzo (Savona), Petar Muslim (Waspo Hannover), Stefano Morretti (Savona), Mladjan Janovic, Nikola Vukcevic.
Sport Management, 7th place in the 2019 Champions League, 3rd place in Italy
After the best season in the history of the club, Sport Management doesn’t have high ambitions. The team won’t play in the Champions League next season. A few main players left the club.
Arrivals: Giacomo Lanzoni (Bogliasco), Roberto Ravina (Bogliasco), Tommaso Caponero.
Departures: Edoardo di Somma (Pro Recco), Stefano Luongo (Pro Recco), Andrea Fondelli (Pro Recco), Radomir Drasovic (Szolnok), Dejan Lazovic.
Waspo Hannover, 8th place in the 2019 Champions League, 2nd place in Germany
Last season, Waspo Hannover made a debut at the Champions League Final Eight, as a host. The Germans finished in the last place. Now they are preparing a team not just for the next season, but for the season 2020/21, when they again will be the hosts of the Final Eight. The most important this summer’s reinforcements are Croat Petar Muslim and Russian Ivan Nagaev
Arrivals: Petar Muslim (Brescia), Ivan Nagaev (Dynamo Moscow), Matija Brguljan (Budva), Niklas Schippers, Philip Kubisch, Felix Benke and Jan Rotermund (all White Sharks, Hannover).
Departures: Predrag Jokic, Marin Ban, Luka Sekulic, Pere Estranyi, Erik Bukowski.
Mladost, Regional League winner
Mladost signed the contracts with Croatia center-forward Josip Vrlic, a returnee from Pro Recco Luka Bukic and with Alex Bowen, who is one of the best scorers of the Team USA.
Arrivals: Josip Vrlic (Barceloneta), Alex Bowen (Miskolc), Luka Bukic (Pro Recco).
Departures: Ivan Buljubasic (Olympiacos), Marino Cagalj (Jadran Herceg Novi), Antonio Petkovic (Noisy le Sec), Luka Sucic.
Marseille, LEN Euro Cup winner, runner-up in France
Arrivals: Ugo Crousillat (Pays d’Aix), Uros Cuckovic (Steaua).
Departures: Julien Saux (Nice).
Team Strasbourg, champion of France
Arrival: Ivo Begovic (Solaris).
Departures: Arno Racherdi (Aix en Savoie), Cornetin Lanau (Arret), Koba Kintsurashvili.
Jadran Herceg Novi, champion of Montenegro, runner-up in the 2019 LEN Euro Cup
Arrival: Marino Cagalj (Mladost).
Departure: Slaven Kandic (Pays d’Aix).
OSC Budapest, 2nd place in Hungary
Arrivals: Andrija Prlainovic (Szolnok).
Szolnok, 3rd place in Hungary
Two outstanding Serbian players Andrija Prlainovic and Milan Aleksic left Szolnok, as well as Gergo Zalnaki, a player of the Hungarian national team, but the former European champion brought seven new players. The biggest reinforcement is Serb Dusko Pijetlovic, who is among the best center-forwards in the world.
Arrivals: Dusko Pijetlovic, Gavril Subotic (both Dynamo Moscow), Radomir Drasovic (Sport Management), Farkas Dory (Debrecen), Kristof Varnai (BVSC), Norman Schmolcz, Mark Banyai (both KSI).
Departures: Andrija Prlainovic (OSC), Milan Aleksic (Barceloneta), Gergelly Kardos (Eger), Gergo Zalnaki (Ferencvaros), Gabor Kis (retired).
Sabac, champion of Serbia
Arrivals: Nemanja Matkovic (Tourcoing, Lille),Dusan Vasic (Crvena zvezda), Radoslav Filipovic (Vojvodina), Marko Radulovic (Vojvodina), Luis Ricardo Gomes da Silva (BRF Brazil).
Departures: Gojko Pijetlovic (Oradea), Nebojsa Toholj (KVK Radnicki), Nikola Lukic, Marko Jankovic, Marko Bolovic (Vojvodina), Aleksa Petrovski.