• The semis feature two sides which already clinched the trophy – Recco, the title-holder (10x champion) and Barceloneta (won in 2014) and two sides which never lifted the trophy: Novi Beograd were runner-up a year ago, while Vouliagmeni is a newcomer among the participants.
• Recco and Novi Beograd reached the semis last year as well, Barceloneta is back after 2021, while this is the first-ever appearance for Vouliagmeni.
• Both semis will see a Serbian v Croatian clash among the coaches. Novi Beograd is coached by Serbian Olympic champion Zivko Gocic, while Barceloneta is led by former Croatian great Elvis Fatovic. Pro Recco is led by Croatian Olympic champion Sandro Sukno, Vouliagmeni is coached by Serbian legend Vladimir Vujasinovic.
Novi Beograd (SRB) v Zodiac CNA Barceloneta (ESP)
• This is Novi Beograd’s second F8 and the second semi-final appearance. Last year they beat Brescia 14-13 in a thriller, Angelos Vlachopoulos scored the game winner 2 seconds from time.
• Since the new format was introduced, Barceloneta made the semis 5 times, won once, against Primorje (CRO) in the first edition played in Barcelona, in 2014, and lost all their other semis: 2015 to Recco, 2018 to Olympiacos, 2019 to FTC, 2021 to Recco.
• They met last year in the prelims. Here in Belgrade NBG won 11-9, while in Barcelona the game was tied at 12-12.
• However, there is a major difference – the Spaniards’ top scorer Alvaro Granados joined NBG for this season and he led the charge in the quarters against Olympiacos with 5 goals.
Pro Recco (ITA) v NC Vouliagmeni (GRE)
• This is the 8th consecutive semi-final appearance for Recco. They won 4: 2015 v Barceloneta, 2018 v Jug, 2021 v Barceloneta, 2022 v FTC – lost 3: 2016 to Jug, 2017 to Jug, 2019 to Olympiacos.
• This is the first-ever F8 appearance to Vouliagmeni and this is already their best-ever result. Previously they reached the quarter-finals once, in 2013.
• The two sides already met in the prelims, Recco won 14-7 at home and 13-7 in Greece.
• Vouliagmeni’s coach Vladimir Vujasinovic won three Champions League titles with Recco (2003, 2007, 2008) and also coached Recco to a silver medal in 2018.