Luuk Gielen is again part of the Dutch water polo selection. The 30-year-old mid-back was naturalized as a German in 2019, but now opts again for his Dutch passport.

After a conversation with national coach Harry van der Meer, Gielen wants and can play for Orange again after a five-year absence.

Gielen had a difference of opinion in 2016 with the then national coach Robin van Galen, who has since been succeeded by Van der Meer. At that time, Gielen played at Spandau Berlin and was therefore able to apply for German nationality more quickly. “My departure was not fun at the time, but we have already discussed that with each other before,” says Gielen now.

Gielen thought that with Germany he would have a greater chance of participating in the Olympic Games. That turned out not to be true. Gielen played three international tournaments with Germany, but the team lost all matches at the Olympic qualifying tournament in February. Also the duel with the Netherlands, which, like the German team, ultimately did not qualify for Tokyo.

“I lived, trained and played day-in-day-out at Spandau for many years with a large part of the German national team. So it didn’t even feel strange to be a ‘water polo German’. But if it was up to me, We are well below that time and we are now looking forward to Paris with the Orange,” said Gielen.

Van der Meer is happy with Gielen’s return. “Luuk is a top player who, with his experience and qualities, we can use very well as a center back and shooter. It remains a very difficult task to make it to the Games every time, but with Luuk the chance simply increases,” said the director. national coach.

“Of course the older players will probably tease him a bit in the beginning with his choice for Germany. But I’m sure they would rather play with him than against him.”

Gielen became champion in Serbia and Germany before returning to UZSC in Utrecht this year.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here