He likes the Atlètic Barceloneta when you look inside. So much so, that he intends to raid the Champions League that starts this Wednesday against ZF Eger of Hungary (7:00 pm) at home and with the same block as last year. "Keeping the team is our best signing", illustrates President Julián García. The third place in the last Champions, and the last double-League-Cup endorse the decision of the club; but it was the protagonism of nine players of the team in the Spanish team that got the silver in the European past of Barcelona which ended up convincing the sports management to play as little as possible. The only modifications were made in those contracts that ended and in which they needed an update to make forget the offers of the great teams of Europe. "We have increased the budget of 600,000 euros to about 700,000 euros for this," explains the president.
"We talked to him with Felipe [Perrone], and it is true that starting without signings had never happened to us, "agrees goalkeeper López Pinedo. But the Brazilian sees the positive side: "There is a risk of not having new contributions to the game; although with the projection of the block with young people, the reading is positive ". The projection is provided, for example, by the five of the seven under 25-year-olds of the team that competed in the European Championship and who already have a look at some of the best rivals in the world. "Sometimes you met an Olympic champion in the pool, and you could not back out," acknowledges Roger Tahull, a 21-year-old buoy, "but after the European Championship I think I can take out anybody and mark anyone" .
Few forget the emotions experienced in the Picornell pools during the past European championship. And after the effervescence, sometimes it's hard to start again. "You have to change the chip," warns Fernandez, one of the veterans. "Sometimes there are downs after the Olympic cycles or in situations like this in Europe. It's a delicate subject, but I assure you that we all want to keep winning. " And for the success to be complete, it must be continued, but after a great year, the Atlètic Barceloneta does not arrive discreetly to any competition: "High level sport is demanding on a daily basis. The first jump is the easiest; Keeping yourself is more difficult. Everyone is waiting for us ", reflects Perrone. Overcoming would mean reaching, at least, the final of the Champions League. "We are very clear that we are not of the four best teams in Europe," Lopez Pinedo admits, "but the goal is to reach the final eight, and once there, everyone can win. It happened to us in 2014. "
The uncertainty in Europe contrasts with the monopoly in Spain. Atlètic Barceloneta has 12 leagues and six consecutive Cups, and its dominance reopens the debate on whether a competitive league is preferable to always maintain the requirement or if it is favorable to rotate the group during the course. "It's the eternal question", López López assumes. "For water polo it would be beneficial to equalize the competition," he adds. "But in Hungary, where the league is very strong, the teams sometimes arrive just at the end of the Champions League." And until the end, Barceloneta also tries to reach Europe. No signings, but with a team that does not stop growing.