Xavi Garcia, born in Spain, debuted with Croatia at the European Water Polo Championships Barcelona 2018. The number 12 of the Croatian team, current world champions, played for the first time at the Picornell Pool since switching national team allegiances. The last time that he made an appearance at the legendary venue was at the World Championships back in 2013 when he still played for the Spanish national team, who will be one of Croatia’s rivals in this edition of the competition.
“I know the Picornell Pool very well – he stated several weeks ago in an interview for the Official Programme of Barcelona 2018 -, but I have never played here with Croatia before. Every competition at this pool is special. I had the pleasure of competing here in 2014 and 2015 with my Croatian club team for the Final Six. Coming back to compete in Barcelona is a fantastic feeling.”
Croatia cruised to victory in their debut at the European Championships against Netherlands (15-8) and García was decisive in the match as he provided two assists and scored a goal. The left-handed player, who was born in Barcelona, is key for Ivica Tukac´s team, who are regarded as strong candidates to take the crown home.
Croatia are in group C alongside the Netherlands, Greece, and Turkey. Their next match is Wednesday at 11 a.m. against the Turkish side.