Thrilling ties await in Champions League and Euro Cup after Friday’s draw

Credit: Jovo Karanovic

The last two Champions League finals between Pro Recco and Novi Beograd, as well as the 2019 gold medal match contested by FTC-Telekom and Olympiacos Piraeus, will be replayed in the quarter-final round.

The highly-anticipated draw for the quarter-final round was conducted on Friday morning and it was inevitable it would produce thrilling pairings as the top eight teams represent the highest class in the world of water polo.

Thanks to the new playing format, more excitement is guaranteed for the fans after the European Championships in January and the World Championships in February, as the Champions League will see more action featuring the best players from March and beyond.

The eight teams have been drawn into two groups and they will clash for the Final Four spots in the newly introduced quarter-final round – only the top two ranked sides will have a shot at the trophy in June.

In Group A the finalists of the last two editions – 11-times winner Pro Recco and 2022, 2023 runners-up Novi Beograd – will add more chapters to their epic battles.

Jadran Split, making the cut for the first time, and CN Marseille, securing its berth in the last round, are definitely the underdogs in this quartet (neither of them made the F8 last season).

On contrary, in Group B, all four participants were part of the show in Belgrade last June, and, what’s more, in recent years, all four have at least made the semi-finals.

Barceloneta claimed the bronze in the last edition, FTC achieved the same in 2022 (beating Brescia), while FTC and Olympiacos are to replay the 2019 final when they meet right away in the first round.

Champions League, Quarter-Final Round

Group A

Pro Recco (ITA), Novi Beograd (SRB), Jadran Split (CRO), CN Marseille (FRA)

Day 1 (8/9 March) fixtures: NBG v Jadran, Recco v Marseille

Group B

Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP), FTC-Telekom (HUN), AN Brescia (ITA), Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE)

Day 1 fixtures: FTC v Olympiacos, Barceloneta v Brescia

Euro Cup Men, Eight-finalsTitle-holder Vasas to clash with Jug

Introducing the third and fourth ranked teams from the Champions League group stage, the already entertaining Euro Cup is now even tougher and attractive.

The draw for the eight-finals paired the best teams of the group stage against the sides dropped from the Champions League.

It’s hard to pick a top clash as all eight promise something special.

Perhaps the duel of Jug Dubrovnik, which reached the Final 6/8 in the last eight editions in the Champions League, and Vasas, title-holder in the Euro Cup stands out.

One may also keep an eye on the encounters of CN Barcelona and Vouliagmeni, the surprise side of last season, finishing in the top four in the Champions League.

Euro Cup Men, Eight-finals

Jug Adriatic Osiguranje (CRO) v A Hid-Vasas-Plaket (HUN)

BVSC-Zuglo (HUN) v Crvena Zvezda (SRB)

Spandau 04 Berlin (GER) v CC Ortigia (ITA)

Astralpool Sabadell (ESP) v EN Tourcoing (FRA)

Panionios GSS (GRE) v Steaua Bucharest (ROU)

Primorje Erste Bank (CRO) v Dinamo Tbilisi (GEO)

RN Savona (ITA) v Jadran Herceg Novi (MNE)

CN Barcelona (ESP) v Vouliagmeni NC (GRE)