Miguel de Toro: “We have the upper hand and a great opportunity to do something historic in 2024”

The Atlètic-Barceloneta and Spanish national team player is ambitious in an interview with Europa Press


The Sevillian water polo player Miguel de Toro believes that the Spanish team will have “the upper hand” in the European Championship, scheduled from January 4 to 16 in the Croatian cities of Dubrovnik and Zagreb, and also “a great opportunity to do something historic” both in the subsequent World Cup and, if they win a ticket, in the Paris Olympic Games next summer.

“We are Spain, we have the upper hand right now and a great opportunity to do something historic this year. It is true that there are very strong teams. Hungary was recently world champion and in fact the match we played with them was very close. “Very nice, also in a crowded pool. They are the rival to beat, obviously, since they are the world champions,” said De Toro in an exclusive interview with Europa Press.

“The usual teams, the ones that usually make it to the quarterfinals, are going to be the ones that have the best chance of winning the European Championship and that Olympic spot. Croatia is very strong and playing at home is a very difficult opponent to beat, but I think that we have the opportunity to get one of the toughest rivals out of our way. Both Italy and Greece, Hungary, even Montenegro, and Serbia will also be in the 'ointment'”, stated the right-handed player from CN Atlètic-Barceloneta.

But the imminent European Championship, which was to be held in Israel, remained uncertain after the outbreak of the war in Gaza. Soon, European Aquatics found new headquarters. “It did influence us in that in a very short time many options were considered. Specifically, Croatia emerged a few weeks later, but there had also been talk about the headquarters being Germany or even that it was not going to happen,” has confessed

“It kept us in suspense because we want to qualify for the Olympic Games by winning the European Championship. And if the European Championship were not held, we would have more pressure for the World Cup. But since we found out that it would be held, we are a little calmer “and we like the idea better because we are not stopped for so long. If the European Championship had not been held, we would have spent two months training like animals for only one option in the World Cup,” he alluded to the Doha event. .

With that goal, David Martín's pupils recently played the BENU Cup friendly tournament in Budapest. “It has been a very profitable trip because we have gone with almost 20 players and we have had the opportunity to rotate a lot. No game has been played by the 13 of previous championships, the ones we have had the longest, but we have mixed quite a bit with players who have recently joined and are young people with a lot of talent,” praised De Toro.

“Apart from the training we have done there, which has been very good, because we have won the tournament even doing these rotations. We are very happy because it is a sign that we are at a very high level, regardless of the 13 that we are used to to play the most important thing,” said one of the team's top players.

In that Spanish squad, Biel Gomila already stands out. “He is a kid with incredible talent, he has physical conditions that few in the national team have. Even though he is very young, he is still 17 years old, he has given a very good feeling and we are very happy that he comes with us to Dubrovnik and then to Zagreb,” De Toro remarked.

In fact, he has described as “something very positive” that there is competition with such young people. “The Catalan and Madrid federations are the two that are a little more involved with water polo, unfortunately in other Autonomous Communities there is not as much commitment because they need more financial support. These two institutions have been doing enormous work for many years now,” he said. argued.

“Incredible work is being done at the CAR in Sant Cugat and both girls and boys are making incredible progress, the coaches are working extremely well. We have been able to see in the last European Championship in Split that Spain came out champion, that in all the games they played always the young ones and they won the gold medal. Even in matches they left out pillars like Pili Peña or some other experienced player,” De Toro recalled.

“In our case it is also something very positive because we can rest assured. Previously it was more complicated to play games when a key player was injured and there was no replacement of such a high level, and now however we have a very large group of players who They give us an incredible facility to compete,” he highlighted.

Even so, he warned that the European Championship “is a very, very complicated competition because at the end of the day almost all of the best teams in the world are in Europe.” “This means that the rivals at the average level are higher than, for example, in the World Cup,” said De Toro. Not in vain, the European Championship will only give an Olympic ticket to the champion. “If we didn't get it, we would have to fight with whoever to get that place in the World Cup,” he insisted on his warning.

Finally, the Atlètic-Barceloneta player has revealed that “there are always many thorns” in top competition. “When you don't manage to win or you don't get the gold, obviously there always are. The hardest one may be the Olympic Games because in Tokyo 2020 we managed to be at the best level, I believe, of the championship; and at the time when we had “We had to kill the game, because we didn't know how to do it,” he lamented.

“And not only did we not qualify for the final, but we were then left without medals because, as devastated as we were, we did not know how to compete for that bronze that we would have won. I would say that the biggest corner could be getting an Olympic medal, Of course, and this year we have that opportunity,” concluded the Spanish team's buoyant.