All posts tagged waterpolo hall of fame

We are retaking this session in relation to the BIWPA Camp Manel Estiarte that will be held in the end of June in the facilities of Club Natació Barcelona.

Manel Estiarte is, if not the best, then one of the best water polo players that this sport has ever seen. For his merits he was inducted to the International Swimming Hall of Fame in 2007. He was the Olympic Champion in Atlanta 1996 and won Olympic silver in Barcelona 1992, he was the World Champion in Perth 1998, got silver in Perth 1991 and Rome 1994, he won silver in the European Championship in Athens  1991 and bronze in Sheffield 1993.

On the club level he obtained two European Cups – one with CN Barcelona and another one with an Italian club, Pescara. Among his merits are also found 9 national leagues (5 with CNB and 4 with Pescara), 11 national cups (5 in Spain and 6 in Italy), and the Prince of Asturias Award in sports, along with other individual titles… oh! And the world’s best water polo player 7 years consecutively… next to nothing.

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Manel Estiarte was born in Manresa (Catalonia) in 1961. He started practicing swimming early, and from there moved to water polo. From his early years he showed remarkable skills at ball possession. During his sport career he formed part of the Spanish senior national water polo team on 580 occasions and scored over 1.500 goals for Spain in international competitions. With 19 years he debuted in the Olympic Games in Moscow in 1980, and since then he did not miss any Olympics till Sydney 2000 where he bore the flag of the Spanish delegation during the opening ceremony. After the Olympic Games in Sydney Manel Estiarte decided to finish his career.

Since his retirement from the swimming pool his life has been being connected with sports through clubs, such as FC Barcelona and, currently, FC Bayern Münich, always together with his friend Pep Guardiola.

The club of his life is CN Barcelona, on the facilities of which will take place the Camp that is named after him. Manel Estiarte certainly possesses the widest variety of personal and team awards  and is considered to be the best of all times for his talent and dexterity. For all that, a chance to visit the Camp and to meet personally the greatest athlete is a unique opportunity for all the promising waterpolo players who are forming the future of our sport.

By Xavi Gómez.

The International Swimmining Hall of Fame, ISHOF for its acronym in English and headquartered in Florida (USA), aims to promote healthy habits of aquatic sports. Among other initiatives, has a specifically that catches the eye: the ‘Hall of Fame‘.

55 international players of all time to fire their names recorded in this hall of memories. In future editions of this section, we will go shelling the names and stories of these players, all with a life behind their victories and defeats.

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There are two Spaniards who have the privilege of being among the largest: Manel Estiarte and Jesus Rollán. For the Castilian public, is somewhat unknown both players have been recognized by this prestigious institution.

Personally I could not help brand this section with Jesus Rollán for various reasons, including his tragic end and fragile memory of man. Serve these modest lines for younger never forget that the Spanish water polo was over two decades defended by one of the best-if not the best- goalkeepers in history, Jesus Rollán.

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‘The Guardian’s Pool’

Rollán Jesus was born on April 4, 1968 in Madrid. A few years of his childhood and it was decided by the pool after a knee injury. It was in its infancy when he Mariano García, coach of the ‘old school’ which was one of the promoters of one of the most brilliant generations who gave Madrid water polo.

They are characterized by their self-confidence in the water, ‘Chava’, ‘Toto’, ‘Miki’ … soon became hollow on the national scene. At age 18, Jesus Rollán left Madrid and settled in Barcelona with his friend Pedro Garcia ‘Toto’. During his stay as a player of historic CN Catalunya Rollán enviable record was garnering nationwide that opened wide the doors of the selection.

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It was with the state assembly with which he forged a reputation within very few goalkeepers. Jesus came to instill such respect that many players from rival teams think twice whether to shoot. Fruit of the union between Catalans and madrilians, Spain went from a selection of ‘second order’ to fight for medals along the nineties and early part of this century.

To always remain in the memories tears of Jesus in Atlanta 1996 after winning the final to Croatia and gain gold. The same cry, but pain this time was that accompanied all international waterpolo after learning the tragic event that led to the end of this great goalkeeper who won many victories and the most successful water polo awards, including his posthumous entry in the Hall of Fame.