For the first time in the Final Six the game for the 5-6th place will not be an in-house battle for teams representing the same nation. In 2014 Recco and Brescia met in the consolation match, both from Italy, last year it was an all-Hungarian clash between Eger and Szolnok.
Here, in the quarters on Thursday, Eger lost to Jug (CRO) 8-6, while Barceloneta went down against Szolnok (HUN) 7-5.
The two sides already met in the prelims, in Barcelona it was a 6-6 tie with Norbert Hosnyanszky (Eger) scoring the equaliser 53 seconds from time. In Eger the Hungarians won 6-5, Barcelona missed a double man-up in the last 10 seconds of that match.
In the previous season the prelims brought the same outcome: 7-7 in Barcelona, 11-6 in Eger.
In 2014 the Spaniards dominated in the prelims, they won both in Eger (5-11) and at home (9-5).
The game is historical in one aspect: this is going to be the last match of a living legend, Peter Biros. He is the most decorated player in the current field: the 39 year-old Hungarian is a 3-time Olympic champion (2000, 2004, 2008), World (2003) and European champion (1999), World Cup (1999) and World League winner (2003, 2004), won the Champions League in 2004 and was runner-up 3 times. This encounter will be his farewell from water polo.
Eger plays in the final stage of the Champions League for the second time, the Hungarians had 7 unsuccessful attempts before making the finals last May for the first time. However, they couldn’t survive the quarters once more, had to settle for this game. Last year they beat fellow Hungarian side Szolnok 8-7.
Eger is the only team in the Final Six having arrived to the F6 without becoming national champion in recent weeks. They lost 3-2 to the other Hungarian F6 participant Szolnok in the domestic final. Though earlier this season they won the national cup, beating Szolnok in the final.
Eger has won the national title 3 times (2011, 2013, 2014).
Two years ago Barceloneta captured the trophy, this was the Spaniards’ first European title. Previously, they reached the last stage in 2013 for the first time and finished 3rd in the Final Four held in Belgrade. Last season they came third once more.
In home waters they are the rulers in Spain, they have won the national title for the 11th consecutive occasion on Monday. Altogether they were champions 16 times (first in 1970)