All neighbourhoods have some emblematic enclaves where the history of
It was at the summer apartment. The first time we went, I jumped into the pool headfirst without knowing how to swim and my father had to run to get me out. I became famous for my falls into the pool and the neighbours were already saying “this kid will end up being a swimmer”.
Both Chus and Belén excelled at swimming in a school that had an agreement with the CN Barceloneta and they received a scholarship. And I was after doing short courses. Those years in the Paseo Marítimo pool were the best years of my life. What we experienced in this small club with friends from the neighbourhood is unforgettable. For a child like me, the pool was a world of total freedom. Per a un nen com jo, la piscina era un món de llibertat total.
And a lot of learning, many friends and references. Among those I would like to highlight: the Monso (Vicenç Monsonís). He marked a whole generation and of course my brothers and me. I think he is a legend and many of the things that have been achieved in water polo and in the Barceloneta club we owe thanks to him. Neither do I want to forget Dani Bonet who, when I was little, instilled in me that if I wanted to achieve something I had to be very consistent.
My growth was parallel to the growth of the club. I started training with the first team when we were still in the old pool. Then came the merger with Atlético, we changed facilities and the club began to bet on water polo, investing in the first team. Then I was lucky enough to share the locker room with true legends like Chava Gomez, Dejan Savic, Petar Trbojevic or Manel Estiarte, which allowed me to grow as a player. I have never felt the need to leave. I have been privileged to be able to make my whole career in my club.
I come from a complicated generation because we had the immediate reference of the golden generation of 92 and 96, Olympic and world champions, with whom I had the good fortune to start training in 2000. It was certainly very difficult to get into this national team. And yes, unfortunately in the 2003 World Championship and also in Athens 2004 I was the last discarded player of Joan Jané.
I don’t blame Juan for anything, on the contrary. Now I occupy his position and I think that at that time the decision was the one that had to be taken. I met him for coffee and that’s what I told him.
With the best farewell he could have dreamed of: the bronze medal in Belgrade 2013. The first European medal of the club and against Partizan in their pool.
Surprisingly he calls me to be his second in the senior national team for the 2013 World Championship.
These two years are unforgettable for me. Winning the Champions League, the first year you are in the dugout, with the club of your life and with your brother, this is priceless! We won the 5 titles that exist. Something historic.
In 2015 I felt that I wanted to try other things and I get the opportunity from the Federation through Enric Beltran. One more management job with the aim of making Catalan water polo grow.
At first the offer came as a surprise however, there are trains that only pass once and it is necessary to grab them.
It was the worst qualification in the history of the national team. It was hard, but I was a rookie, and I made a lot of mistakes. But we learn from mistakes and from 2018 we started to create a real team.
The roles and the distance change a little, but without them it would have been impossible. For me they are the real architects of what was created and still remains in this selection. They helped me to manage the locker room. Felipe, Fran and Dani have been my three musketeers.
That’s what I understand. We went from this 9th place mentioned in the European Championship at home with a lot of pressure, but the team made an impressive leap in quality, and we reached the final, which we lost against the great Serbia, in the penalty shootout. It had been 2 years since they had lost a match. In 2019, we deservedly lost the final against Italy. In 2020, we lost the European championship to Hungary at home, also on penalties….
And in the last Olympics we lose in the semis against Serbia, now I think undeservedly. For me, it was like another final. Until we finally won the final of the 2022 World Cup. I think that having lost finals before helped me and made me appreciate the values more, because you know how difficult it is.
That’s right, competing against these countries is very difficult, but it is even more difficult to do it for many years in a row, over and above a single result. The real merit is to be at least in all the semi-finals of the major championships in the last 5 years.
The women’s national team is doing something brutal. It will be valued in its right measure with time, since they have been winning medals for 10 years. The clubs are doing very well and there are more and more players. I expect them to achieve a lot.
Putting pressure on you, aren’t I? Heh, heh! We have always gone for the Olympic Gold. It is our dream. This team just needs an Olympic medal. Better if it’s gold, of course. We are ready to get it and we will do everything we can. Whichever prize comes, it will be welcomed, because the best prize is to give it all. And we will surely win that one.
There is no precedent in our elite sport like that of the Martin brothers. Champions leading their club and David, in addition, leading the national team. But the great success of these two brothers is perceived when you talk to Chus about David or to David about Chus. Admiration, affection and, on the part of Jesús “Chus”, zero resentment of that naughty brat who stole his motorcycle on the sly.
David is a water polo scholar. Technically and tactically, he is very advanced. But above all I would highlight his management of the group and knowing how to get the best out of each player. You can tell he is going to study psychology.
I have always tried to pass on to him what we were taught at home: humility, a sense of hard work, effort, trying to get along with everyone and tranquillity, which they say is something I have plenty of.
I would ask him what the most emotional moment has been.
We had a very bad year when we were coaches together. It was our father’s illness. When we knew he was going to die, we had a commitment with the team (the Champions League tie in Dubrovnik). We decided to go because we knew that he would have wanted it that way. We had a chance to win in a pool that few clubs had won. The team knew that, and it was very emotional. All just a month after he died, we were proclaimed European Champions. This will mark us forever. I don’t believe much in these things, but we always say that from above he was helping to achieve our dream.
I would say thank you. Thank you for everything. When I talk to my children, I always tell them “value your brother, because you will never have someone like him”. My brother has been my reference, my friend, my everything on a personal level. We have been together for 6 years and he has always protected me. For me, my brother is the greatest and luckily, he’s close to me. He is always there.
Belén is an example of an empowered, brave, and hardworking woman. Professionally she is a rock, but even more so as a person. As a little brother, with these two cracks by mi side, it was double the luck.
We have been fortunate to have two wonderful parents. My father taught us respect in our work, perseverance, and honesty. Our mother showed us that a mother is willing to do anything for her children. Every day she forced us to get up to train. She always accompanied us everywhere. What we are, the three siblings, is thanks to them.
I’m a Real Madrid fan “from my father’s side”. My mother’s family was so “culé” (FC Barcelona supporters) that my grandfather didn’t want to meet my mother’s fiancé when he found out he was from Madrid.
Monica has been the best thing that ever happened to me. We met when we were studying psychology. We have built a life project together. We have two children. She comes from the region of Verín (Ourense) and I am in love with Galicia.
I try to be a good parent to them. Zero pressure. They don’t have to prove anything because they are the sons of who they are. I want them to play water polo because I think it’s a wonderful, healthy sport. I want them to understand what the team is, the respect, the constancy of going to training every day. I want them to enjoy a few years that will be wonderful, that’s all.
You may also be interested in
All neighbourhoods have some emblematic enclaves where the history of
A project of Barceloneta Proa en el Mar. La Barceloneta
The Port of Barcelona, the company Comsa Corporación and the
The Centre de la Platja reopens its doors in April In the seas and oceans,
I am often asked what our business consists of because the superyacht world is a
Barceloneta was designed by military engineers who thought everything with a geometry of a framing
The smell of Sant Jordi It seems unbelievable, but we are approaching the Day of