Olympic sport since 1900, water polo reached its maturity in the mid-20th century when the whole world witnessed the historic match that showed the harshness of this aquatic sport. The Hungary-Soviet Union match at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 has been imprinted in the memories of all water polo enthusiasts, that have multiplied over the years, making water polo one of the most important team sports worldwide nowadays.
The traditional Hungarian supremacy has been followed by an incredible Serbian dominance, proven in every competition.
Before the end of the 20th Century women’s water polo became institutionalized and made its Olympic debut in Sidney 2000. There’s no question that it’s here to stay.
Paraphrasing Pepu Hernández and his famous “Ba-lon-ces-to” (“bas-ket-ball”), a chant used during the Spanish national team’s triumph in the 2007 World Championships, water polo has reached a point in its evolution that puts it at the same level as the other prestigious team sports.
The opportunity to keep growing is in the hands of the 2018 Barcelona European Championships, a remarkable opportunity to assess the level of the main teams of the Old Continent in one of the landmarks of this sport, the Bernat Picornell Pools.