Ratko Rudic, who was named this week by two Wall Street Journal writers as “the world’s greatest coach,” announced his retirement from coaching, for a 2nd time, earlier this year.
In an interview this week with Italian media, Rudic reaffirmed that decision, saying that there was no possibility of him returning to coach Italian side Pro Recco, the team he coached into the coronavirus shutdown. Saying he was attracted by the prospect of winning the European Champions League, one of the few honors not on the legendary coach’s resume, he now says that the dream is gone after the stoppage of play.
But, there might still be one match remaining for Rudic’s legendary direction.
The Executive Director of the Croatian Water Polo Association revealed to Croatian outlet Sportskse Novosti that the federation was working on organizing a spectacle for Rudic’s farewell.
Specifically, that is due to include a “Croatia vs. the World” match, with a target of roughly from the end of the summer. The match will bring together Rudic’s former players from a wide-spanning career, including legends that Rudic coached to Olympic gold, for a match for the ages.
Rudic has coached a number of countries around the world, including 4 Olympic gold medals and an additional bronze medal as a coach. In 1984 and 1988, he led Yugoslovia to back-to-back Olympic gold medals. Four years later, he led the Italians to the top of the podium in Barcelona. In 1996, the Italians won bronze, and in his final podium appearance as a coach, for his crowning achievement, he led his home Croatian team to another gold medal in Lond in 2012.