There will be pioneers and legends in every sport that help elevate their sport to another level. Players such as Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson, and Lebron James have played that role for basketball. With baseball, players such as Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Hank Aaron have filled that void. This is also the case with water polo. Water polo enthusiasts and professionals can also look to the great players of the past for inspiration.
In this piece, we will examine who the best water polo players of all time are.
One of the best players ever is Aleksandar Sapic.
At the tender age of 17, Sapic joined the Yugoslavian national team and enjoyed a stellar international career. Yugoslavia would eventually become Serbia & Montenegro and then Serbia. He played in three Olympic games for Serbia and Montenegro (2000, 2004, and 2008). Sapic won a bronze in 2000, a silver in 2004, and would follow that with a bronze in the 2008 Olympic Games. Sapic was the leading scorer in the Olympic Games twice.
The highlight of his international career was the 2006 European Championships. During that tournament, Sapic led Serbia to the gold medal during the 2006 European Championships. He also was the tournament’s top scorer. During the World League Tournaments, he led the tournament in scoring four times.
Sapic had a stellar career in league play as he won 6 league championships and six league cups.
Tony Azevedo became one of the greatest American players of all time. This was in spite of the fact that doctors had told him that he would never play sports in his life after he survived a near-death experience as a child. Azevedo would win 2 NCAA championships and set an NCAA record for goals scored. Azevedo has played on every U.S Olympic team since the millennium started. He helped lead the U.S to the silver medal in the 2008 Olympic Games.
Dezso Gyarmati is the most decorated water polo athlete in Olympic history. He has three gold medals, a silver medal, and a bronze medal from being a player, and a gold medal from being a coach. Gyarmati appeared in 8 Olympic games as either a player or a coach.