Croatia Learns Opponents for 2022 World Water Polo Championships in Hungary

Daniela Rogulj

Updated on:

Slavko Midzor/PIXSELL
Slavko Midzor/PIXSELL

“We got a group in which we are big favorites along with Greece, of course, not underestimating Japan and Germany. I followed Germany this year through the World League games, where they did not impress. However, they have a very good Montenegrin coach, and we will have to be well prepared for them.

We don’t have a lot of information about Japan, but it is a team that is always very tough and plays with its own specific pressure,” commented coach Ivica Tucak, adding:

“Our wishes are always the same: to go to the end and win a medal. There is time to prepare everything well, and I hope that we will be completely ready to welcome the start of the World Champs.”

In addition to the coach, the President of the Croatian Water Polo Federation, Perica Bukić, and a member of the Management Board, Ratko Rudić, attended the draw in Budapest.

“I would say that this is a medium-strong group. We know that Greece is an Olympic finalist, while Germany and Japan are teams of somewhat lower quality, but who know how to play with everyone. Therefore, they need to be one hundred percent ready to beat them. The Croatia-Greece match will mean a lot because the first place brings an easier opponent in the quarterfinals, and, of course, the round of 16 is avoided. The team who will be second in the group, apart from appearing in the round of 16, can also expect Serbia in the quarterfinals, which is one of the strongest national teams in the championship,” said Perica Bukić.

Namely, the competition system is the same as always. So, first place goes directly to the quarterfinals, while the second and third-place teams from each group play the round of 16. Croatia’s group crosses over with Group A, while the first-place finishers from Group B will play in the quarterfinals against the C3 – D2 match-winner.

“We have a good experience in Budapest, we took the title of world champion there in 2017, and we hope that the games and results after this World Champs will also be good for our national team,” concluded Bukić.

2022 World Water Polo Championships – Group Stage

GROUP A (Budapest): Hungary, Brazil, Montenegro, Georgia

GROUP B (Debrecen): CROATIA, Greece, Japan, Germany

GROUP C (Sopron): Italy, Spain, Canada, South Africa

GROUP D (Szeged): Serbia, Australia, USA, Kazakhstan

Match schedule:

21.6. 19:30 Greece – Croatia
23.6. 18:00 Croatia – Germany
25.6. 18:00 Japan – Croatia

The men’s water polo tournament starts on June 21 in Debrecen, the second-largest city in Hungary (220,000 inhabitants), to the far east, very close to the border with Romania. The finals are held in Budapest and end on July 3. 

Source: HVS

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