FINA Best Male Water Polo Team 2017

Croatia in 10 clicks

December 14th, 2017

Avoiding pressure

“My best friends do not even call me, do not ask if we shall win, because I always answer ‘We will see, we will see’. I’ve already got bored with them. When the important tournaments are in progress I don’t ever read newspapers, and if I run into some article on websites, I try to read as little as I can” – Marko Bijac, Croatian player

European dominace

Only European teams/players have been consecrated as the Best of the Year since 2010: Serbia in 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Croatia in 2012 and 2017 and Hungary in 2013


It is the second time since 2010 that Croatia is honoured with the FINA prize. In 2012, Josip Pavic was elected the Best Player of the Year, when the accolade was given to individual players rather than teams

Always present

Croatia’s first appearance as autonomous country (following the dissolution of Yugoslavia) at the FINA World Championships was in 1994 at the Rome rendezvous. Since then, they have participated in all editions of the FINA showcase

Six on six

At the 2017 FINA World Championships, Croatia won all the six matches of the tournament. The closest outcome was a 12-11 win over Serbia in the semi-final

London calling

Craotia’s biggest achievement so far was the Olympic title in 2012, at the London Olympic Games, when they beat Italy in the decisive game

Hard road

“It was hard. We had the toughest possible road to the top of the podium. Italy in the quarterfinals – a very unpleasant match but we won. Then a fantastic battle with Serbia in the semi-finals, against the Olympic and world champions. And finally, against the Hungarians in front of their, I do not even know how many, fans. Thousands and thousands...”


The best Croatian scorer at the 2017 FINA World Championships was Sandro Sukno, with 16 goals throughout the tournament. He was also decisive in the final, with three successful shots

Torrid atmosphere

In a very special atmosphere, the mythical Margaret Island in Budapest, Croatia almost did the impossible by beating Hungary 8-6 in front of their supporters in the final of the 2017 FINA World Championships