[Photo gallery] Dubrovnik Welcomed Golden Water Polo Players

Croatia Dethrones Hungary to Become European Champion after 12 Years

Marko Bijač, Loren Fatović, Marko Žuvela, Toni Popadić and Filip Kržić – the golden Dubrovnik water polo players, European champions were welcomed this Sunday by a crowd in front of the Church of St. Blaise.

Everyone came to Stradun to congratulate our ‘Barracudas’. They came to show how much pride our hearts are filled with because they led Croatia to the second European Championship title in history – with dignity, courage and heart.

The Croats defeated the 2020 champion Hungary in a brilliant battle in the final in the Spaladium Arena in Split – 10:9. As Total Water Polo team writes, Croatia led for most of the match, played in front of 9.000 people, but Hungary was always just behind the hosts and managed to level the score on a number of occasions. Everything was open until the very end and in the fourth quarter, which saw four penalty shots. The decision came in the last few minutes. A Split-born Jerko Marinic Kragic gave Croatia a 10:8 lead in the 30th minute. In the remaining time, Hungary scored only a consolation goal.

Croatia became the European champion for the second time. The Croats won their first title also in front of the home crowd – in Zagreb in 2010. Now, Croatia has five European medals in its treasury (2,2,1), and Hungary 26 (13,7,6).

Individual awards – Best scorer: Tudor Andrei Fulea (ROM) – 19 goals, Best goalkeeper: Marko Bijac (CRO), MVP of the tournament: Szilard Jansik (HUN)

2022 European Men’s Championships Split, game stats, can be found here.