A bronze with a taste of glory

“The first thing was silence,” explains Felipe Perrone, used to falling infinitely “into the well” but getting up like a spring, named by World Aquatics the best player of 2022. When Manhrecz scored 12-11 against Unai Aguirre in In the last second of the game, the men’s team raised their hands to their heads and their minds filled with key moments of a game they had in their hands (9-11 in favor with three minutes to go). “Each one thought about what they could have done, there were no reproaches, we all did our own”repeats the captain, who acknowledges that “It was not easy to sleep, we were tossing and turning”but who expect to quickly close this folder (“We’ll watch the game, we always do, but I think we all have it in our memory”) to focus on what is important: the bronze against Serbia this Saturday morning (6:00, Teledeporte).

As has happened in the women’s tournament, the boys will end the tournament by repeating the match of its premiere. In that debut, the National Team was far superior to Serbia, which they won 10-16 in the last quarter but finally the piston dropped somewhat to end with a tighter score (14-16). Perrone considers that he is not going to have anything to do with it: “It will be totally different, the first day has nothing to do with the last. There are many youngsters in the Serbian team and they know that if they win a medal they have a pension for life. Despite not having the pension, it is just as important for us as it is for them. It will be a battle, the war will be hard”, argued the Spanish-Brazilian.

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“The bronze has merit, the equality is very great, you have to play a great game against Serbia,” proclaims David Martín, who did analyze the match and found a more tactical explanation: “There are two different parts: for three quarters we played a great game. Then it changed, they worked with the double buoys and their pitchers hurt us. It was a cross for us, it looked like penalties”, valued. The ‘stick’ was great, the duel will last a long time, but there is no time to recreate in the anguish. The bronze would mean staying on the podium for three World Cups in a row and feeding the list of winners of a generation that with David Martín adds one world gold and one silver, two silvers and one European bronze, apart from one gold and one bronze in the World League ( World Cup now).

“We want more, we want this medal, we want to go win the championships. This ambition makes you grow, our results are incredible. You have to keep working and growing. Winning this bronze is an important step”, remarks Perrone. It happened at the Tokyo Games, when the National Team lost in a similar way to Serbia in the semifinals and was left without an Olympic final. Hungary easily beat them to bronze (9-5), sunk in the post-traumatic depression of defeat. In the European Championship in Split, on the other hand, Spain turned that feeling around and won a bronze medal of merit. Today he wants history to repeat itself. Bronze also tastes of glory. The difference between the final and third and fourth place in current water polo, so balanced, is simply several centimeters.

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