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PRESS RELEASE LEN PR 64/2022

Edvin Calderara AN Brescia, Elvis Fatovic CNAB, Zsolt Varga FTC, Igor Milanovic Novi Beograd, Milos Scepanovic Marseille, Sandro Sukno Pro Recco Press Conference LEN Men's Water Polo Champions League Final Eight 2022 Hotel Falkenstainer - Novi Beograd - Serbia 01/06/22 Giorgio Scala / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto DBM/LEN Reserved Rights Author must be mentioned when published Picture: Deepbluemedia/G. Scala Editorial/media use only

Champions League, Final Eight, Belgrade, 2-4 June – Press Conference Highlights

Here are the highlights of the Opening Press Conference, held in Belgrade.

Kyriakos Giannopoulos, LEN Vice-President, Bureau Liaison for Water Polo
“We are happy to be here in Belgrade. On behalf of LEN and our President Antonio Silva, I’d like to
welcome all participating teams and thank for their efforts in this season. I’m sure we will enjoy a great
tournament in the next three days. Let me thank for the organisers and all partners for their support
which made it possible to have this great event here in Belgrade.”

Dejan Perisic, Secretary, LEN Technical Water Polo Committee
“First of all, I’d like to congratulate for all teams present for making the Final Eight. LEN and the water
polo family is really grateful for the organisers, for the local municipality and for all who offered its
support to stage this event here in Belgrade. I’m sure we will enjoy a great tournament with great
matches as we have the best players and the best clubs here.”

Marco Birri, LEN Operational Manager
“This is the coronation of the season as we have a quality field here. Six of the eight teams already won
European trophies and not only just once but multiple times. Also, seven of the eight participating clubs
just won its respective national championship – only Brescia did not, but because lost to the other Italian
participant, Recco – it’s also a demonstration that we have the best sides here. And they represent
quality as seven of them were here last year as well. We have more TV interest than a year ago, we have
new broadcasters and we expect great numbers for our live streaming.”

14.30 AN Brescia (ITA) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)

Edvin Calderara, assistant coach, Brescia
“OK, we are aware that Brescia is the only team which did not arrive here as the national champion, but
we still expect to win this tournament. At the same time, we also know that even our first game will
already be challenging against Hannover. But we are motivated to make the semi-final as we did last
year.”

Djordje Lazic, player, Brescia
“We are aware that our quarter-final is a hard game and I’m sure it’s going to be a great match. On
paper, we are the favourites, but we need to stay calm and focused.”

Karsten Seehafer, coach, Hannover
“We are in celebratory mood after winning the German championship and we also know that we are the
underdogs here but don’t forget, in a single game anything can happen. We finished two days earlier
than Brescia, so we had more time to recover, and we could also watch the Italian league final and
analysed our rival. I think we know what we want to do, then let’s see what happens tomorrow.”

16.30 Pro Recco (ITA) v Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP)

Sandro Sukno, coach, Recco
“We are not tired after this hard series of finals with Brescia. As a coach I should say that I’m happy to
have such challenging series of games. After the tense final, now we are waiting this tournament. It’s
going to be a really hard match against Barceloneta, I would say that had the best spring in Europe
among the teams. At this phase of the season, a coach can only help to its team and cannot do miracles.”

Aleksandar Ivovic, player, Recco
“We had a very difficult series of games against Brescia, but we are ready. For us, it’s a good sign to
start with Barceloneta. Whenever we played against them, we can all remember we had a good ending.
Seven years ago, we met them on the first day, beat them, won the tournament. Last year we met in the
semis, beat them, won the tournament. This is the coronation of the season and I think we can have an
even bigger success than last year as we won the domestic league, and we can win this trophy again. To
achieve that, we need to play with cold head and concentrated, this is the only way to be successful and
win this tournament.”

Elvis Fatovic, coach, Barcelona
“It is true we had some problems during the season, mostly in the pandemic phase when other teams
struggled too. Later on, we had a good series of games, and you can also remember that last year the
team also had some fine matches here. We had a very difficult group, great teams couldn’t make it to
the Final Eight, so we are happy to be back. As for our quarter-final, we respect Recco, but we are also
confident.”

Dani Lopez, player, Barceloneta
“Now we are like underdogs, and I’d say that our big goal to be here has already been achieved. We just
wish to enjoy being here and do our best. If we really do, we can cause problems to Recco, I guess.”

18.30 Olympique Marseille (FRA) v Novi Beograd (SRB)

Milos Scepanovic, coach, Marseille
“If you say Marseille is unique because of the great number of players from this region, I’d say that
almost every team has players from here. I hope that the team will reach its best level here and we can
play the same water polo we have been able to do in this season.”

Igor Kovacevic, player, Marseille
“I think we’ve matured a lot since last year. Our team is a good mix of French and foreign players and
it’s great to be here in New Belgrade. This tournament is going to be more interesting and challenging
now as spectators can finally come in.”

Igor Milanovic, coach, Novi Beograd
“Here all the matches will be difficult. We are ready and self-confident as we play without any pressure.
We had pressure in the domestic championship and in the Regional League where the expectations were
high and clear. Here we don’t have the same so we are full of optimism and I’m sure we will have
success. It’s already one that the pool will be full of fans as I know.”

Dusan Mandic, player, Novi Beograd
“I put the last season behind me, and we are looking into the future. We go step by step and as our
coach said we play without pressure. We had a nice result in the Serbian league and now we face
Marseille. We know their strength and we are aware what their team is capable of, so we need to bring
our very best to the pool.”

20.30 FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO)

Zsolt Varga, coach, Ferencvaros
“First of all, we are glad to be here, this season has been extremely hard for us, for months we played
with one centre-forward, health issues hit key players before important matches. In a season, for which
we changed five core players, our goal was building the team and I think despite all the setbacks we
managed to reach a good level. The team is getting ready for this tournament, the game against Jug will
be hard, they were in the same shoe, kind of reshaping their team, they had ups and downs but recently
played better and better and they were the only ones who could beat Recco.”

Denes Varga, player, Ferencvaros
“We came here with a great satisfaction based on the results already achieved this season. Still, now we
have a chance to put a crown on our run. We are aware of the strengths of Jug, and we focus solely on
that game and look no further. This time we have no pressure on us, so we belong to this circle here in
this company, we just want to enjoy the event. And at last, it’s great to have the spectators back – and
it’s even better that we can play in front of spectators.”

No quotes from Jug as they haven’t arrived to Belgrade yet.

Quarter-finals, 2 June
14.30 AN Brescia (ITA) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)
16.30 Pro Recco (ITA) v Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP)
18.30 CN Marseille (FRA) v Novi Beograd (SRB)
20.30 FTC-Telekom Budapest (HUN) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO)

Semi-finals, 3 June
14.30 Crossover for 5-8th places
16.30 Crossover for 5-8th places
18.30 Semi-final: Brescia/Hannover v Marseille/Novi B.
20.30 Semi-final: Recco/Barceloneta v FTC/Jug

Final Round, 4 June
12.00 For the 7-8th place
14.00 For the 5-6th place
17.00 Bronze medal match
19.30 Champions League Final

14.30 AN Brescia (ITA) v Waspo 98 Hannover (GER)

Brescia
1st in Group A, 9 wins, 3 ties, 2 losses, 162–133
2021: Bronze medallist
Best results: 4x Euro Cup winner (2002, 2003, 2006, 2016), 3rd in F8 (2021)

Hannover
4th in Group B, 6 wins, 3 draws, 5 losses, 150–180
2021: 6th in the F8
Best results: 6th in F8 (2021), 8th in F8 (2019)

Recent encounters: 2020-21, prelims: 19-11, 18-10. 2017-18, prelims: 11-9, 6-8.

16.30 Pro Recco (ITA) v Zodiac Atletic Barceloneta (ESP)

Recco
1st in Group B, 13 wins, 0 draws, 1 loss, 200-100
2021: Winner
Best results: 9x winner (1965, 1984, 2003, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2021)

Barceloneta
4th in Group A: 8 wins, 3 ties, 3 losses, 173-121
2021: 4th in F8
Best results: Winner (2014), 3rd (2013, 2015, 2018)

Recent encounters:
2021, semi-finals: 12-10. 2019: bronze medal: 8-7, prelims: 8-3, 15-11. 2016-17, prelims: 8-6, 11-6.

18.30 v CN Marseille (FRA) v Novi Beograd (SRB)

Marseille
2nd in Group B, 11 wins, 0 ties, 3 losses, 170–119
2021: 8th in F8
Best results: Winner of Euro Cup (2019)

Novi Beograd
3rd in Group A, 8 wins, 3 ties, 3 losses, 188–149
2021: played in Euro Cup
Best result: eight-finals in Euro Cup (2021)

Recent encounters: No matches before.

20.30 FTC-Telekom (HUN) v Jug Adriatic Osiguranje Dubrovnik (CRO)

FTC
2nd in Group A, 8 wins, 4 ties, 2 losses, 154-138
2021: runner-up
Best results: Winner (2019), Runner-up (2021), 4x winner of Cupwinners Cup (1975, 1978, 1980,
1998), 2x Euro Cup winner (2017, 2018)

Jug
3rd in Group B, 10 wins, 1 ties, 3 losses, 173–143
2021: 5th in F8
Best results: 4x winner (1981, 2001, 2006, 2016), LEN Trophy-winner (2000)

Recent encounter:
2018-19, quarter-final: 10-9.

Picture :Deepbluemedia/G. Scala

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