Miguel de Toro: “In the future we will be back in the race for the titles”
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 one of the best moments of his career at Mediterrani, next to experienced player Marc Minguell (“we can learn a lot from him: his professionalism, experience, seriousness… it is such a pleasure to be able to practice with him”), and he is delighted every time David Martín calls him to play with the Spanish national team.
“I received such a warm welcome. And making my debut at the World aquatics championships in Budapest was a dream come true. I have to say my teammates have helped me a lot throughout the past few months. I was very nervous at first, but thanks to their help I was able to adapt to the work routine. I don’t feel intimidated anymore and I understand pretty much everything. I feel very comfortable.”
He summarizes his year with the national team like: “Going to Budapest was incredible. I guess this is what happens to anyone that makes their debut in such a competition. I was lucky enough to have my dream come true.”
The numerous tournaments and clashes this Winter season has been great practice for De Toro: “These competitions have shaped us into a team and made us better as players – he declares – We are looking forward to competing at the European Championships.”
The difference between Budapest and Barcelona will be the crowd:” Competing in front of a home crowd is a unique experience not everyone is able to enjoy. My friends and family will be there, everyone who has been with me from the very beginning will be there. And the Picornell is an incredible pool. I am sure it is going to be a fantastic event.”
The 24-year-old has only one goal in mind, Barcelona 2018: “Teams usually get ready for the near future – he observes – but we are only thinking of the Europeans. They are our main priority. There’s still two years to go before Tokyo 2020 so we’ll have plenty of time to think about that.”
He prefers not to talk about specific objectives for Barcelona 2018, but he hopes “to grow, do our best and go through to the second stage.” De Toro is confident they will be able to surprise the audience and get a good result.
“In the future, he ads – we will be back in the race for the titles. There are so many young players in the team and we have been working together for a really long time. We have to keep working and correct the mistakes that keep us from being in the water polo elite.”
The giant of the national team sees himself in the water polo world after he retires. Right now he is in his third year in the Spanish sports institute, and he combines his education and water polo. He is confident Spanish water polo will be back where it deserves to be, and that he will be linked to water polo long after retirement. But there is still a long way to go.