KATOWICE (POLAND) – The Men’s National team arrived in Poland today before lunchtime after the bus transfer from Ostrava where they played in the first phase and subsequently won the round of 16 and quarter-finals, respectively, against Latvia and Germany. Overall, De Giorgi’s boys have won seven games leaving their opponents only two sets; a clear path for a group renewed after the conclusion of the Olympic cycle and which saw him at the starting line with eight rookies in the event. Despite these premises, however, the squad set up by the Technical Commissioner immediately showed signs of great vitality and desire to emerge by showing a level volleyball that has paid off.
THE WORDS OF THE TECHNICAL COMMISSIONER FERDINANDO DE GIORGI-
« Honestly, I am very satisfied with what the lads have done so far, just as I can say that I am very happy to be the technical steward of a team with many qualities, not only technical but also character. Up to now the path has been good; despite the short time available, the boys are showing good things also in consideration of the fact that the European Championships have always represented a complex event, especially in such a strange season that saw them being played after the Olympic Games. Our goal has always been to improve race after race and in the end this attitude paid off by leading us this far. We immediately set up the work with the aim of working on the team concept, also insisting on the need to help each other during matches. We want to keep playing good volleyball by doing the things and situations we are working on; then we will see what the fruits of this attitude will be. Serbia, of course, in addition to being the team that holds the continental title, is a formation made up of great players accustomed to playing games of this level; but we will have the duty to try. I don’t know if this will be enough to beat them, but for sure we will try ».
THE WORDS OF CAPTAIN SIMONE GIANNELLI-
« We arrived at this European Championship with the aim of playing good volleyball starting a new path and not thinking about what the past was; we have always given everything, doing our best and, race after race, we have come this far. We are doing well and the way we have expressed ourselves so far gives us confidence also for the next matches. It is clear, however, that on Saturday we are going to face Serbia which is an excellent opponent, made up of great talents and who has great international experience. For us that on Saturday will represent another exciting challenge; I repeat, however, we have confidence in our means and at the same time great respect for our rivals, but at this point we will do our best to obtain the best possible result, aware of our means and our chances ».
THE WORDS OF ALESSANDRO MICHIELETTO-
« We are still feeling the adrenaline that yesterday’s game gave us we are naturally happy and proud of what we have done, but we don’t want to stop there. We still have two fundamental games to play with this team which is really a fantastic group; we want to close our first journey together in the best possible way. Against Germany we played a really great match, we were energized and concentrated; we played a great game and we never gave them the chance to get in trouble by managing to limit them to serve thanks to our good reception. Basically we never gave him the chance to react to our blows; this was very important for us and was the key to winning the game”.
The thought now naturally goes to Serbia: “Now we will face teams that are equally strong and equally well-established, so we have to prepare for real battles. Saturday will be a very difficult match against a team that has been at the top of world volleyball for years, so it will be necessary to play our best volleyball, but at the same time we have to have fun because it will be nice to be able to experience such intense emotions. We will have to leave the field aware that we have given our best. We will then see what will happen and what will be the final result ».
KATOWICE, SPODEK ARENA-
The Spodek Arena is now one of the symbols of Katowice. It was built fifty years ago, but its design continues to attract tourists from all over the world thanks to its design. Nowadays it is unthinkable to imagine the landscape of Katowice without the Spodek Arena. The plant has an area, as a whole, of about seven hectares. It has hosted sporting events of all kinds including the Men’s Volleyball World Championships. Likewise it has hosted thousands of musical events. A new area dedicated to culture and entertainment was recently created near the plant. Capacity: 11 thousand spectators
Katowice, September 18th
5.30 pm Poland vs Slovenia
9pm Serbia vs Italy
Katowice, September 19th
5.30 pm: 3rd-4th place
8.30 pm: 1st-2nd place