Two days are left until the start of the Men’s World League European Final Qualification Tournament (Debrecen, January 8-10).
All eight participants will come to Debrecen today. Each of the teams is allowed to register 15 players for the tournament. A day before the first round, a head coach will name a 13-players squad for the last three matches of the qualifications. Two players are reserves. They can be joined the team if someone of the 13 has a positive coronavirus test.
In the past few days, six head coaches announced the names of the players who are coming to Debrecen in the past few days. Montenegro coach Vladimir Gojkovic has determined the squad today afternoon. The roster of Serbia will be announced soon.
Hungary is coming with nine players who won the European gold in Budapest 12 months ago. Denes Varga, Marton Vamos, Gergo Zalanki, and Balazs Harai are missing comparing to the team that played at the Europeans. As we already mentioned, Varga and Vamos miss the action of the national team in January. Zalanki hasn’t fully recovered from an injury, as well as Varga and Vamos. Balazs Harai was on the preparations, but he could not take part in any training. Two youngers born in 2001 are on the roster for the first time – Akos Konarik and Vendel Vigvari.
Goalkeepers: Viktor Nagy (Szolnok), Soma Vogel (Ferencvaros), Field players: Daniel Angyal (Szolnok), Balazs Erdelyi (OSC), Norbert Hosnyanszky (Honved), Szilard Jansik (Ferencvaros), Akos Konarik (Szolnok), Gergo Kovacs (Szolnok), Krisztan Manhercz (OSC), Tamas Mezei (Ferencvaros), Adam Nagy (Szolnok), Toni Nemet, Zoltan Pohl, Tamas Sedlmayer, Vendel Vigvari (all Ferencvaros).
Spain, the runner-up at the 2018 and 2020 European Championships and 2019 World Championships, arrived with its best team. Martin Famera, the Slovak who recently got Spanish citizenship, is a new name on the roster. Only one of the players who won the silver medal at the European Championship in Budapest isn’t on David Martin’s list – Miguel De Toro.
Goalkeepers: Dani Lopez-Pinedo (Barceloneta), Eduardo Lorrio (Sabadell). Field players: Marc Larumbe, Martin Famera, Francisco Fernandez, Felipe Perrone, Alvaro Granados, Blai Mallarach, Alejandro Bustos, Alberto Munarriz (all Zodiac Barceloneta), Roger Tahull, Adrian Delgado (both Barcelona), Sergi Cabanas, Bernat Sanahuja (both Sabadell), Alberto Barroso (Terrassa).
Montenegro departed from Belgrade to Debrecen today. There are 14 players on the roster (one reserve).
The team of Montenegro is very different from the one that was third at the 2020 European Championships.
Six players who won the European bronze won’t play in Debrecen: two defenders Uros Cuckovic (injured), Dimitrije Obradovic (got a cold), then Bogdan Djurdjic, Dragan Draskovic, Stefan Pjesivac, and goalkeeper Petar Tesanovic.
They are replaced by Kandic (GK) , Banicevic, Popadic, Perkovic, Ukropina, Matkovic and Moskov
Goalkeepers: Dejan Lazovic (Marseille), Slaven Kandic (Pays d’Aix), Field players: Drasko Brguljan (Vasas), Djuro Radovic, Marko Petkovic, Dusan Banicevic (all Jadran HN) Vlado Popadic (Pays d’Aix), Miroslav Perkovic (Primorac), Stefan Vidovic (Ortigia), Aleksa Ukropina (KVK Radnicki), Aleksandar Ivovic (Pro Recco), Vladan Spaic (Marseille), Dusan Matkovic (Primorac), Nikola Moskov (Apollon Smyrnis).
Ivica Tucak’s selection is as expected. There are no surprises. An experienced center-forward Niksa Dobud returns to the national team after more than five years.
Luka Loncar, Jug center-forward, won’t play in Debrecen because he still hasn’t fully recovered from an injury suffered in the Champions League.
Goalkeepers: Marko Bijac (Pro Recco), Toni Popadic (Jug Adriatic osiguranje). Field players: Josip Vrlic (Mladost), Niksa Dobud (Pro Recco), Luka Lozina (Vouliagmeni), Andro Buslje (Mladost), Marko Macan (Waspo 98 Hanover), Rino Buric (Jadran Split), Hrvoje Benic (Jug AO), Lovre Milos (Mladost), Maro Jokovic (Brescia), Xavi Garcia (Jug AO), Luka Bukic (Mladost), Loren Fatovic (Jug AO), Zvonimir Butic (Jadran S).
Italy head coach Alessandro Campagna left four experienced players out of the squad: captain Pietro Figlioli, Alessandro Velotto, Michael Bodegas, and Matteo Aicardi. The last two are injured. Aicardi has been out of the pool for an extended period. He was present at Italy’s preparations in Camogli for the purpose of recovery.
A 38-year-old returnee to the national team Christian Napolitano is among the 15 picked players Napolitano and Lorenzo Bruni are the center-forwards in the squad.
Goalkeepers: Marco Del Lungo (Brescia), Giammarco Nicosia (Telimar Palermo). Field players: Jacopo Alesiani, Giacomo Cannella, Edoardo Di Somma, Vincenzo Dolce, Vincenzo Renzuto Iodice (all Brescia), Christian Napolitano (Ortigia), Francesco Di Fulvio, Oscar Gonzalo Echenique, Niccolo Figari, Stefano Luongo, Nicholas Presciutti (all Pro Recco), Lorenzo Bruni, Andrea Fondelli (both Savona).
Greece coach Theodoros Vlachos was the first one who announced his roster. The surprise was that Alexandros Gounas isn’t among the selected players, for the first time in ten years.
Goalkeepers: Emmanouil Zerdevas (Olympiacos), Costas Galanidis (Apollon Smyrnis), Field players: Konstantinos Genidounias Dimitris Skoumpakis Marios Kapotsis, Georgios Dervisis, Stelios Argyropoulos – Kanakakis, Costas Mourikis (all Olympiacos), Ioannis Fountoulis (Ferencvaros), Alexandros Papanastasiou (Jug), Christodoulos Kolomvos (Enka), Angelos Vlachopoulos (Brescia) Kostas Gkiouvetsis, Konstantinos Gouvis, Stathis Kalogeropoulos (all Vouliagmeni).
Nenad Vukanic, the head coach of France, decided to come to Debrecen with a 14-player roster (only one reserve).
Goalkeepers: Ugo Fontani (Strasbourg), Clement Dubois (Tourcoing), Field players: David Babic, Nicolas Missy (both Strasbourg), Alexandre Bouet (Douai), Alexandre Camarasa, Ugo Crousillat, Romain Marion-Vernoux, Pierre-Frederic Vanpeperstraete, Thomas Vernoux (all Marseille), Charles Canonne (Tourcoing), David Caumette, Mehdi Marzouki (both Noisy-le-Sec), Remi Saudadier (Spandau 04 Berlin).
Serbia arrived in Debrecen with 14 players. Two of the regular national team members isn’t on the roster- Milos Cuk and Stefan Mitrovic.
Goalkeepers: Gojko Pijetlovic (Oradea), Branislav Mitrovic (Vasas). Field players: Dusan Mandic (Pro Recco), Nikola Dedovic (Spandau 04), Sava Randjelovic (Vasas), Drasko Gogov (Novi Beograd 011), Filip Filipovic, Dusko Pijetlovic, Radomir Drasovic (all Szolnok), Nemanja Vico (Trieste), , Nikola Jaksic (Ferencvaros), Andrija Prlainovic (Marseille), Viktor Rašović (Noisy-le-Sec), Milan Aleksic (Barceloneta).
Quarterfinals (January 8)
France – Greece (16.45)
Montenegro – Croatia (18.30)
Italy – Hungary (20.00)
Played in March: Serbia – Spain 11:13 (Spain and Serbia will play each other on January 8, but that will be an unofficial match. It will start at 15.00)
Semifinals (January 9)
For places 1st – 4th
Montenegro or Croatia – Italy or Hungary
Spain – France or Greece
For places 5th – 8th
Montenegro or Croatia – Italy or Hungary
Serbia – France or Greece
Final and other matches for the final rankings 1st – 8th places (January 10)