The most glorious and early past, the brightest present and the future that is guaranteed. The 14 players of the women’s water polo team mix three generations that exemplify the extraordinary work of the machinery of this sportwhich does not stop working mainly with the modernization centers, the clubs and the CAR of Sant Cugat, where the talent that mainly comes from Catalonia is molded.
There are four players who have been in the National Team since the first successes in London 2012, such as Laura Ester, Maica García, Anni Espar and the captain Pili Peña, who has been playing for two decades. Another group of four middle-aged water polo players, who have already had a long career in the National Team, such as Bea Ortiz, Judith Forca, Paula Leitón (halfway between the medium and small group since she is only 23 years old) and Paula Crespí. And the six smallest, many of them started the year before to be part of the team: Nona Pérez, Cristina Nogué, Paula Camus, Elena Ruiz, Ariadna Ruiz and the goalkeeper Martina Terré.
1. Laura Esther
Club: CN Sabadell
Age: 33 years
Nicknamed ‘Pajarito’ for her reflexes, she established herself as the National Team’s starter in 2012 and in 2013 she was named the best goalkeeper in the world. She is a leader in the locker room, although since 2022 she has been the second goalkeeper.
2. Cristina Nogué
Differential player in the junior teams, he already attended the World Cup in Budapest last year. He has grown up with Dani Ballart at CN Mataró. She is the daughter of fishermen, she has trained in the Maresme club and follows the saga of Marta Bach or Roser Tarragó.
3. Anni Espar
Cerebral player, the team’s compass. She has played leagues in countries like the United States or Australia. She now leads CN Mataró, the revelation of the league in recent seasons.
4. Bea Ortiz
Graduated in Audiovisual Communication, she trained at Rubí. She debuted in the National Team at the age of 20 and is one of the top filmmakers. She named best European player. She plays for CN Sabadell, current European champion.
5. Nona Perez
Although she is right-handed, she acts in position 1, the usual one for Pili Peña. She has been standing out at CN Sabadell for several seasons and has already been present at the past World Cups in Budapest.
6. Paula Crespi
CN Sant Andreu
The player made her debut at the Budapest World Cup in 2017 and had previously stood out in junior age. She excels at the buoy position and as a defender.
8. Elena Ruiz
CN Sant Andreu
At the age of 16, she already attended the Tokyo Games and despite her youth she has been an Olympic medalist, champion of the World League, of Europe, of the Champions League and now she is looking for world gold. The launch of it is a terror for defenses.
8. Pili Pena
The captain and leader of Miki Oca’s team, the only non-Catalan in the group although she has spent 15 years between CN Sabadell, CN Sant Andreu and now CN Terrassa. She already has ten World Cups.
9. Judith Forca
The golden left foot of the National Team, a cannon with its great shot. She trained and grew up in Sabadell and lives focused on water polo. Best player in Europe of 2022.
10. Paula Camus
Although at CN Terrassa she stands out as a scorer, the young player has established herself defending the buoy due to her anticipation in these World Cups and those buoy positions in attack. She trained at CN Boadilla.
11. Maica Garcia
The best in the world in her position. He rested in 2017 but has been present in all the successes and medals of the National Team. He has won more than five titles with CN Sabadell.
12. Paula Leiton
At the age of 15, he already attended the Kazan World Cup. Miki Oca has included her in the group’s dynamics from the beginning so that she can learn from Maica. After a stint at CN Terrassa, she returned to CN Sabadell, where she has won everything.
13. Martina Terre
CN Sant Andreu
After the Games, he took over from Laura Ester as the starting goal. His sister is also a goalkeeper. She lives in the Gracia neighborhood of Barcelona and her father, who is a firefighter, motivated them to play sports since they were girls.
14. Ariadne Ruiz
CN Sant Andreu
Elena Ruiz’s older sister, trained at CN Rubí. Left-handed, endowed with a great shot, she has entered the National Team in these World Cups to take over from the right side of the attack. She is a goalscorer, she has stood out in the matches in which she has participated.