The Europeans, led by Giannelli, won the gold medal at the World Championship for the fourth time.
Italy’s 24-year wait for their fourth world title came to an end on Sunday, as the Italians silenced a packed Spodek Arena in Katowice and triumphed at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship 2022 by defeating the defending champions Poland 3-1 (22-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-20) in the gold medal match of the 20th edition of the tournament. This victory brought an end to Italy’s wait for their fourth world title.
A few hours earlier, Brazil defeated Slovenia 3-1 to win bronze, earning a spot on the podium for the sixth consecutive time at a World Championship. Prior to this, Brazil had won gold in 2002, 2006, and 2010, and silver in both 2014 and 2018.
The Italian team had previously triumphed in the competition in 1990, 1994, and 1998, bringing their total number of victories to four. Their nation is currently in second place with the most victories in the sport, following only the country that was formerly known as the Soviet Union. The former Soviet Union won the World Championship in 1949, 1952, 1960, 1962, 1978, and 1982. Their country won the competition in 1978.
Simone Giannelli, the team’s setter and captain, commented that the experience “doesn’t feel genuine.” “When we won the European Championship the previous year, I was overcome with emotion and cried a lot. But as of right now, I’m too thrilled and delighted to cry, so there’s no point. I am completely at a loss for words; all I can do is grin and giggle. I’m very proud of my team, and I’m so proud to be Italian, and I’m so proud to have won the world championship.
Ferdinando De Giorgi, Italy’s head coach, is the only member of Italy’s national team to have played a role in each of the country’s four victories
The 60-year-old veteran was a member of the national team and served as the team’s setter during the competitions that took place in 1990, 1994, and 1998. Subsequently, he coached the team from the bench during their successful run of seven victories this year in Poland and Slovenia.
Alessandro Michieletto, who is only 20 years old but plays outside hitter, found the victory to be particularly meaningful. After winning the U19 world title in 2019 and the U21 world title in 2018, he is now part of an elite group of players who have won gold medals at all three levels of competition. Other players in this group include Nalbert Bittencourt and Leandro Vissotto of Brazil, Jakub Kochanowski and Bartosz Kwolek of Poland, and Jakub Kochanowski of Poland.
The accomplishments of Michieletto, who is only 20 years old, reflect what is a very promising moment for the Italian national team. The Italian national team secured the world title while starting the gold medal match with six starters age 26 or younger. This comes after the Italian national team won the European title with an extremely young squad last year.
Italy’s victory in the match for the gold medal came as a direct result of the great play of their three primary attacking players. Outside hitter Daniele Lavia was the leader of the team, scoring the most points (19) of anyone during the match thanks to her 16 kills, two blocks, and one ace.
Michieletto, another outside hitter, finished in close second with 14 points (11 kills, two blocks, and one ace), one point more than Yuri Roman, an opposite hitter who produced all of his 13 points in the form of kills.
Giannelli continued by saying, “This is a fantastic group.” “We just compete fiercely. We just have to keep fighting and keep playing hard no matter what the scoreboard says or what the other team is doing. This is a game that both of us really enjoy, and we have a lot of fun playing it together. I have high hopes that this is the beginning of an amazing journey. We have a large number of younger guys who are extremely talented, and it is imperative that we continue to mature and develop into something significant. It’s a very exciting time for us, but we still have to keep our eyes on the prize.
Aleksander Sliwka, an outside hitter for Poland, finished with a total of 12 points, nine kills, and three blocks. He was Poland’s leading scorer. Kamil Semeniuk, another outside hitter for the team, also reached double digits with 11 points, all of which came from kills.
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