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Q&A as Club World Championship about to start

 
Russia's Zenit Kazan celebrate during their victorious final of last year against Brazil's Sada Cruzeiro - but can they claim another gold as they begin the defence of their title at the 2018 FIVB Club World Championship starting Monday in Poland?
Plock, Poland, November 24, 2018 - Eight of the top volleyball clubs of the world are on the starting line in the Polish cities of Plock and Rzeszow, as the 14th edition of the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship begins on Monday. Here's the questions we'll be expecting answers to at the end of the week-long tournament - and make sure to check back here to see these answers.

Can Zenit Kazan become the third team to claim back-to-back titles?
The reigning Russia and European champions have been collecting title after title across the board at domestic and continental levels, but only managed to get their first world title last year in Krakow, after two losses in the finals of 2016 and 2017 (both to Brazil's Sada Cruzeiro of Contagem). If Zenit manage to retain their world title this year in Czestochowa, they will become the third club to collect back-to-back titles after Italy's Trentino (four in a row) and Sada Cruzeiro (two in a row).

Can Sada Cruzeiro return to the top of the world to tie the overall record of four titles in the FIVB Men's Club World Championship?
Sada Cruzeiro, the reigning Brazil and South American champions, have won world titles in 2013, 2015 and 2016, when they hosted the competition in Betim. A fourth title this year would be their first away from home and would tie the overall record of four held by Italy's Trentino.


Yoandy Leal spikes for Sada Cruzeiro against Zenit Kazan's block of Wilfredo Leon and Andrey Ashchev in the 2013 Club World Championship final in Betim, as he leads the Brazilian side to their first of two world titles. Leal is back again this year - though now playing for Italy's Lube.

Can Trentino claim a record fifth world title - their first in six years?
Trentino won four back-to-back titles from 2009 until 2012, all of them in Doha, but have only made it on the podium twice more, in 2013 and 2016, both for bronze. They are still the most decorated club in the history of the competition.

On the same note, can an Italian team regain the throne for the first time in six years and after having won gold in all the first eight?
Since the introduction of the FIVB Club World Championship in 1989, Italy claimed the titles in the first eight editions, with Maxicono Parma, Volley Gonzaga Milan (twice) and Il Messaggero Ravenna, before Trentino took over for the next four. An Italian team has not climbed the top step of the podium since.

Can a team other than from Italy, Brazil or Russia claim the title this year?
Only Italian (8), Brazilian (3, all with Sada Cruzeiro) and Russian (2, with Belogorie Belgorod and Zenit Kazan) sides have ever won an FIVB Club World Championship. This year's edition also features the two Polish teams of PGE Skra Belchatow and Asseco Resovia Rzeszow, as well as the reigning Asian champions Khatam Ardakan of Iran - but if any of those win the trophy it will be a first for their country.


Bartosz Kurek in action for PGE Skra Belchatow against Trentino in the final of the 2009 Club World Championship in Doha, for one of his 118 points in the competition. This scoring record still stands, nine years later.

Which, if any players, will get to break the 30-point mark in a single match?
Only six players have done so in the past in this competition, with the all-time record still held by Bartosz Kurek who scored 33 points for PGE Skra Belchatow against Brazil's Cimed Florianopolis in the Polish side's 3-1 win in 2009.

Can any player beat the overall all-time scoring record of the Club World Championship?
Bartosz Kurek scored 118 points in five matches in 2009 for PGE Skra Belchatow. The next best is Tsvetan Sokolov who bagged 108 for Trentino in 2013.


Osmany Juantorena receiving for Trentino in the final of the 2010 Club World Championship in Doha against PGE Skra Belchatow, where he claimed the first of his four MVP awards.

Who will succeed Osmany Junatorena as MVP of the FIVB Club World Championship?
The Cuba-born 33-year-old Italian was named MVP of the competition three times in a row in 2010, 2011 and 2012 while playing for Trentino. Last year he was amazingly awarded with a fourth MVP title for his contribution to the silver medal of Cucine Lube Civitanova. The man himself is still going strong this year and features on the roster of Lube.

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