Eindhoven all set to host a thrilling tournament

Credit: European Aquatics

Eindhoven is ready to put on a spectacular show of water polo – that was the overriding message from today\’s opening press conference for the 2024 European Championships.

European Aquatics Vice President Kyriakos Giannopoulos addressed members of the accredited media on Thursday afternoon to officially welcome all the players, coaches and fans to the city.

“I was here in 2012 when Eindhoven last hosted the European Championships. It was perfect. Our good friends from the Netherlands have a lot of experience and have put in a lot of effort to organise this tournament,” said Kyriakos. 

“Everyone knows that the last three months were very difficult for all of us after the cancellation of the European Championships in Netanya, so European Aquatics ran a lot, and finally we’re here in Eindhoven, and also in Zagreb and Dubrovnik in Croatia.

“We’re all very proud and I’d like to thank the Netherlands and Croatian federations, and all the authorities, because they’ve given us a chance (for the athletes) to compete.

“As a fan of water polo, I’m expecting strong and competitive games. All the best to everybody, I wish you good luck and I hope everyone enjoys the event.”

Here are some other highlights from the press conference and interviews held shortly afterwards.

Credit: European Aquatics

Dorottya Szilágyi (Hungary)  

“We are here to win. Our group is hard and our job isn\’t easy. We will give our best and see what happens. Obviously, winning the Europeans will qualify us for the Olympics, but I don\’t think there\’s any big rush, and I think our team is prepared for anything. We don\’t have too much pressure to qualify from these European Championships, but we\’ll be happy if we do so. 

“Our first game is against Greece tomorrow. We\’re very excited to play because it has been a while since we had a national team game. And also, obviously our coaches are different. The whole team is different. So we\’re very excited to see how we play with all these differences.

“We prepare game to game, but obviously we\’ve been preparing for the Greece game because that\’s first, but I think at this level, there are no easy games, so you always have to keep on top, and I think we\’ve had a good preparation and, really, I believe that we\’re going to do well.

“We went to the pool today and the atmosphere was great. The stadium is big, so a lot of people can come to watch all of the games. So I really hope the stands will be full.

“I like to think that water polo is Hungary’s sport, so we\’re kind of used to playing in front of big crowds. Even our club games are in front of big crowds, so it\’s something that we\’re used to, it\’s something that we\’re comfortable with and it\’s something that I think most of us enjoy.”

Credit: European Aquatics

Eleftheria Plevritou (Greece)

“We are coming here as the European silver medallists. We want to show that this team has more to show after Split. We will try to finish as high as we can. We will try to reach the finals. 

“I\’m really happy to play in another European Championships, this is my sixth in my career. We want to do our best in these Europeans. There is also an extra stress because there is also a ticket to Paris (available), which is really important for us.

“We want to achieve that, but it\’s really difficult because the European teams are really strong. There are five teams that are super strong, but as the other girls say, every day is different.

“Maybe one day, you win, the other you don’t. It just depends which day that will be for that game. So it\’s really difficult our group, but we will try to finish as high as we can.

“This Europeans is different because you play every day (in) the group stage, so every day we have a game, which we are not used to it, but we will try.

“Okay, we\’ll be tired by the end of the group games, and we have really difficult opponents – Hungary first and then the Netherlands.

“We want to play good in both games. And, for sure, if we win, it will be the best for us, and to be first in the group.

“But the mentality of my team is always to play every game different. We want to be our best selves in each game and achieve the best that we can in these Europeans.”

Every game from Eindhoven will be streamed live via the Eurovision Sport website and app, and a full schedule of the tournament can be found by clicking here.

Tickets can also be purchased by clicking here.