Zivko Gocic and Slobodan Nikic played their last match in the Serbian water polo team on Friday night in the Tasmajdan Pool in Belgrade, as the reigning olympic and world champion beat an international dream team. The two legendary players will have the opportunity, however, to support their former team mates in the Alfréd Hajós National Complex at the 2017 FINA World Championships.
Zivko Gocic and Slobodan Nikic announced their retirements from the Serbian national water polo team after the Rio Olympics, and they said farewell in a match full of emotions against an international dream team in the legendary Tasmajdan Pool in Belgrade on Friday. Gocic and Nikic will thus miss the 2017 FINA World Championships (hopefully we will meet them in the grandstand), but the pool was full with other big stars who will definitely be in Budapest next summer.
The Serbian team included Gojko Pijetlovic, Branislav Mitrovics, Dusan Mandic, Sava Randelovic, Milos Cuk, Dusko Pijetlovic, Milan Aleksic, Filip Filipovic, Nikola Jaksic, Andrija Prlainovic and Stefan Mitrovic.
The following was the roster of the international dream team: Gábor Kis, Norbert Madaras, Dániel Varga, Dénes Varga (Hungary), Milos Scepanovic, Predrag Jokic, Aleksandar Ivovic (Montenegro), Paolo Obradovic, Luka Loncar (Croatia), Hristos Afroudakis (Greece), Guillermo Molina (Spain), Lukas Seman (Slovakia), Slobodan Soro, Marko Avramovic (Serbia).
The Serbs won the farewell match 14-12, but this time the result was not that important.
"This is one of the happiest days of my life. Thank you with all my heart to my teammates, without them this would not have happened. I want the team to continue to lower these results" – Nikic said to waterpoloserbia.org.
„It was incredible, the Tasmajdan was full. Thank you guys, my brothers, you are all amazing people. Thanks to the coaching staff, the water polo federation, and the members of the international team who came here to take part in this beautiful event” – said Gocic.
Legendary players of the FINA World Championships said farewell
Zivko Gocic is a double FINA world champion, he won the gold medal in 2009 (Rome) and in 2015 (Kazan). He finished second with the Serbian team in Shanghai in 2011.
Slobodan Nikic won three gold medals (Montreal 2005, Rome 2009 and Kazan 2015), one silver (Shanghai 2011) and one bronze (Barcelona 2003) in the world championships.
(Bp2017 Media, waterpoloserbia.org)