Without making much noise and under the radar, but with vast experience after winning four European Cups and being runner up in the World Championships with the national team, Judith Forca anxiously awaits the final stretch before Barcelona 2018 kicks off. In Barcelona she will be able to compete at home in the presence of her family and loved ones. “In 2013, during the World Championships in Barcelona, I was in the stands. I was still very young back then. I played for Asstralpool CN Sabadell at the time, but I wasn't a member of the national team yet. It was an incredible experience.
Albert Español has travelled more than anyone else in Spanish water polo this past season. Joining the ranks of the Chinese national team in a unique experience to help the squad improve their level, the 32-year-old Catalan player lived a different and exciting season which bring him back to Atlètic Barceloneta and the Spanish national team with renewed thrill. “I’ve just finished my project with the Chinese national team – he explains – and I’ll be joining my club for the rest of the season and the national team to prepare for the 33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018. If
Anni Espar is probably the most multifaceted player in Spanish water polo. This year she has become the leading goalscorer of the Iberdrola League with 77 goals. At 25, she is a key figure of the national team and has lived first-hand the Golden Age of Spanish women’s water polo, which started with the London Olympic Games. Now her dream is to repeat the team’s success at the Picornell. “You never get tired of winning”, she says, referring to Astralpool CN Sabadell’s victory in the League play-off. “It seems easy but it isn’t. In the final, matches were pretty intense and CN Sant Andreu put up
Blai Mallarach has become a key piece both in his club, Atlètic Barceloneta, and the Spanish national team. His left arm is always a guarantee. Now that he has reached full maturity, he plays a fundamental part in both squads. He is irreplaceable. But for him, on both fronts, the best is yet to come: The Final Eight with his club and the 33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018 with his country. “We have grown with every match during this busy Winter season –he explains- When the clubs season is over we will be back together and I’m sure that’ll make a big difference. We are
The youngest member of the Spanish national team, the player who has broken every precocity record in the book, Paula Leitón, is the perfect example of cautiousness and moderation. The Astralpool CN Sabadell player, the second center forward in Miki Oca’s squad, one of the crown jewels of Spanish water polo, believes the Spaniards will be the favorites to claim the title in Barcelona 2018, but need to remain watchful. The latest Europa Cup in Pontevedra is a cautionary tale of what can happen if they lose focus. “Favorites? – she asks herself – Well, we are playing in front of a home crowd,
Nobody would have been surprised if Miguel de Toro had chosen to build a career in basketball. He enjoyed watching it and his height, 2,03m, made him perfect for this sport. Instead, he picked water polo. “I started in Waterpolo Sevilla when I was 16- he remembers -I stayed there for four season, on at CAR Sant Cugat when I was 17. I’ve played for Catalan clubs since I was 20, first at CNB and now at Mediterrani.” The Andalusian came to water polo quite expectedly, as he had to drop his brother off at the pool. After a while, he decided to try it out for himself. He is currently going through
If experience is the best teacher, Pili Peña, captain of the Spanish national team, sure is an expert. She’s about to turn 32 (she was born on April 4th), but her love for water polo, her commitment and her extraordinary work ethic allow her to look long-term at the career. In the next few months she will have several opportunities to add more titles to her impressive track record, with the upcoming Europa Cup, Final Four, World League and, above all, the 33rd LEN European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018. “I feel awesome right now – she explains – both physically and mentally. I love
José María Motos, also known as Pepe, a nickname his teammates in Astrapool CN Sabadell and the Spanish national team use for him, is a water polo goalkeeper 24/7. This is what defines him, and he puts his heart and soul into it. Pepe has always been a goalkeeper. This is what he likes. “I have always played as goalkeeper. When I started my career in water polo I knew I didn’t want to try anything else. Being a goalkeeper is what I enjoy best. My idols were always goalkeepers, in my team the Russian Nikolai Maksimov, who was with us in Sabadell for three seasons, and in football, the German
There is no other player as excited to compete in Barcelona 2018 as Helena Lloret. The CN Mataró leftie is back in the Spanish national team – in which she played , a crucial role in Budapest 2017 - after missing the London Olympic Games and Barcelona World Championships because of a pulmonary embolism. Lloret did not give up on her dreams, and after a 5-year-battle she is ready to represent her country in the European Championships and in the Tokyo Olympics, her long-term goal. Her perseverance and strength are undeniable. “The truth is I overcame my illness pretty fast in 2012 – she explains
The youngest rising star of Spanish water polo knows how to organize his schedule to play for Atlètic Barceloneta, pursue a degree in Law and collaborate in unexpected activities, such as the Barcelona 2018 ticket sales campaign. Álvaro Granados is always ready to help anyone and fulfill his obligations. And with a smile, to prove that anything can be done. He is the perfect sportsperson. “It’s the first time I have been asked to participate in something like that – he explains, referring to the promotional event with the giant ball to promote the start of the ticket sales campaign – and it