Meet the women’s teams – group A

We present the participant of the 2022 European Championships in Split

Group A – Croatia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Netherlands, Romania

Women’s water polo in Croatia has neither such a long history nor successes comparable to those of the men. The first more concrete steps in the development of women’s water polo in this country were recorded at the very beginning of the 21st century, and the last 10-15 years have seen intense activity.

The Croatian senior women’s national team made its first appearance at the 2010 European Championships in Zagreb when Croatia was the host. For the first time, Croatian women qualified for European competition via the 2016 European Championship qualifiers in Belgrade and then did the same for the 2018 tournaments in Barcelona and 2020 in Budapest, making the European Championship in Split the fifth overall and fourth in a row for this representation.

After 9 consecutive defeats at European Championships, Croatia achieved their first victory in 2016 at the European Championships in Belgrade when they defeated Turkey in the 11th place match (12:4). It is characteristic of this national team that it usually the youngest national team at many tournaments, including the European Championships, and that there are very few older players in its composition.

The ratio at the European Championships
21 games 
3 wins
1 tie
17 lost


One of the teams that participate almost regularly in European championships. Of the 18 tournaments of this kind so far, the German women have even taken part in 17. Only the Netherlands and Hungary are better than Germany when it comes to the number of appearances of the women’s national team at European championships. The German women’s water polo team did not only compete at the 2014 European Championships in Budapest. Back then, they lost to France in the qualifiers.

Their greatest success is a bronze medal at the first women’s tournament in 1985 in Oslo, Norway. Germany regularly finishes between 4th and 8th place, the only exception being the last European Championships in Budapest when they only finished 11th after beating Serbia thanks to the better execution of the penalty shoot-out.

The German women’s team has qualified for the World Championships 6 times, with their best finish (6th place) coming in Madrid in 1986 and Perth in 1991. They come to Split with a fairly young team that they expect to peak after 2028. Sven Schulz, an experienced coach in women’s water polo, has led the team since 2020.

The ratio at the European Championships
111 games
28 wins
2 tie
82 lost


One of the strongest water polo countries in Europe and even in the world when it comes to women’s competition. This is not only true for the national team, but also the clubs, primarily Olympiacos from Athens.

The Greek female players have achieved great success and medals before their male counterparts and are even more successful than them. In women’s water polo, Greece boasts the title of a world champion (Shanghai 2011). At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, they won silver in front of their fans, which was logically accompanied by a big celebration. Basically, this success at the Athens Games was a kind of trigger for all the medals, successes, and great victories that followed.

Besides a gold medal at the World Championships, they also have a gold medal in the World League (2005) and three bronze medals (2007, 2010, and 2012). At the European Championships, they reached the final three times and won silver all three times – 2010 in Zagreb, 2012 in Eindhoven, and 2018 in Barcelona.

The ratio at the European Championships
91 games
43 wins
4 tie
44 lost


Just like the men from the same country, the strongest team in European water polo, i.e. the national team with the largest number of medals. Record holders in several different categories. Together with the Netherlands, Hungary is the only national team that has participated in all championships, since the first one in Oslo in 1985.

In terms of medals at the European Championships, no one has as many as the Hungarian women. In the last 18 European Women’s Championships, they won 14 medals – 3 gold, 5 silver, and 6 bronze. They were European champions in 1991 in Athens, 2001 in Budapest, and 2016 in Belgrade. Only twice has this national team failed to reach the semi-finals – in Seville in 1997 and Zagreb in 2010, where they finished fifth both times. No other national team in Europe can boast of these numbers and successes.

At the World Championships, the Hungarians won gold in the women’s competition in Rome in 1994 and Montreal in 2005. They have silver from the World Championships in Fukuoka in 2001 as well as in Budapest two months ago and bronze in Barcelona in 2013. It was at the World Championships in Budapest that they broke the streak of three consecutive World Championships without a medal by reaching the final and then putting up a very good resistance to the untouchable Americans at the world level in their capital in the summer of 2022.

At the Olympics, Hungary has been very unlucky in the women’s competition. At three consecutive Games, Beijing 2008, then London 2012, and Rio de Janeiro 2016, they finished 4th. At the last Olympics in Tokyo, they finally won their first Olympic medal, bronze.

Interestingly, they are not only successful in the World League, where they are still without a medal but even finished fourth four times. The last time was in January this year.

The ratio at the European Championships
110 games
80 wins
6 tie
25 lost


Dutch water polo is known in the world mainly because of the women’s national team. The Dutch team is one of the best in Europe and the world and has given water polo some of the best female water polo players in history. In many ways, they are similar to Hungarian women.

They have participated in all the European Championships so far and have been extremely successful. The Netherlands won the gold medal at the first three European Championships (1985, 1987, and 1989) and have repeated this success twice more (Leeds 1993 and Barcelona 2018). In total, the Netherlands have won 12 medals at the European Championships. Besides 5 European Championship titles (the most gold medals next to Italy), they have also won 4 silver and 3 bronze medals. Two records are linked to this national team and the European Championships.

The Netherlands are the national team with the most victories in European Championships overall, at the same time they have scored more than 100 goals in the tournament in no less than 7 European Championships and are the team with by far the most goals (13.3 on average per match).

The greatest success of Dutch women’s water polo is certainly the title of Olympic champion at the Beijing 2008 Games. At the 1991 World Championships in Perth, they won the title of the best national team as well as 4 silver medals (1986, 1994, 1998, and 2015). At this year’s World Championships in Budapest, they won the bronze medal.

They have brilliant results in World Cup or FINA Cup competition, which the Netherlands have won 8 times – 1980, 1983, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1993, 1997, and 1999.

Their best result in the World League was a silver medal in 2018 in Kunshan, China, after a bronze medal in 2015 in Shanghai, China.

The ratio at the European Championships
111 games
81 wins
8 tie
22 lost
1.516: 663


Split 2022 will certainly go down in the history of Romanian water polo, as it will be the first time that the Romanian women’s national team will participate in a European Championship. The team qualified for the tournament in Split based on the qualifying tournament held in Bucharest in February this year. At that time, Romania defeated Slovakia (9:8), Ukraine (17:9), and Ireland (15:4) and only lost to Germany (4:11). By winning second place, they earned their place in the Spaladium Arena.

The Romanian women’s national team is in the making, but with a solid rise, as some of their results in recent years show. None of the Romanian women expect to compete for a medal, but this is certainly a quality national team that can surprise anyone.