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Club World Championship coaches: There's no favourites

Head coach of defending champions Zenit Kazan, Vladimir Alekno, sat down with members of the press at Media Day ahead of the 2018 FIVB Men's Club World Championship in Poland.
Plock / Rzeszow, Poland, November 25, 2018 - The coaches of the eight club teams now under starter's orders at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship were unanimous in agreeing that there are no clear favourites in this year's competition and that every single match will be as tough as they get, while speaking to the press in a Media Day ahead of the competition.

The 2018 FIVB Men's Club World Championship begins on Monday in the Polish cities of Plock and Rzeszow with two four-team pools, one each in the Polish cities of Plock and Rzeszow. The top two sides of each pool will gather in Czestochowa next weekend for the crosswise semifinals and medals matches.

Giampaolo Medei, Cucine Lube Civitanova:
"I don't know which match will be the hardest, but for sure the first one is very important. Our pool is very balanced and all four teams are very strong and playing great volleyball. So for us it's very important to win tomorrow. If you start in a losing position it will be very difficult to reach the finals."

Fellow Italians, coaches of Cucine Lube Civitanova Giampaolo Madei and of Fakel Novy Urengoy Camillo Placi during Media Day in Plock, ahead of the 2018 FIVB Men's Club World Championship.

Roberto Piazza, PGE Skra Belchatow:
"If you are not playing 100% you can't win this Championship, so we want to play as best we can. Each of the teams is dangerous for us, as much as we are dangerous for others. We are playing against some special teams like Lube or Zenit Kazan, but also Fakel have great players who can win in any situation. So right now I don't think about the others - I want to focus on our team and follow the system we have."

Camilo Placi, Fakel Novy Urengoy:
"Always the first match is the most important, and then the second is the most important and the third and the next one, until the final. Our goal is to reach the finals and we will play so that we can get there."

Coaches of PGE Skra Belachatow Roberto Piazza and of Zenit Kazan Vladimir Alekno have a chat before the commencement of Media Day in Plock, ahead of the 2018 FIVB Men's Club World Championship.

Vladimir Alekno, Zenit Kazan:
"The first match we play against Fakel and it will be a very important match. I expect my players to be one real team in the game and to show the best we can do."

Coaches of the teams in Pool B at Rzeszow, during Media Day of the 2018 FIVB Men's Club World Championship, left to right: Mohammad Reza (Khatam Ardakan), Angelo Lorenzetti (Trentino), Marcelo Mendez (Sada Cruzeiro) and Gheorghe Cretu (Asseco Resovia Rzeszow).

Angelo Lorenzetti, Trentino:
"Our focus is on good results. This is the most important thing for us. Our club has a very important history in this World Championship, so we want to thank our team for being here. We promise to play hard on our maximum skill, so we hope that we will make proud all the people who are supporting us. We know that here are some of the best clubs in the world and we want to prove that we are also here for a reason. We really want to stay in Poland until Sunday."

Gheorghe Cretu, Asseco Resovia Rzeszow:
"First, we will do our best to show the best possible volleyball we can. We know we are playing in front of our home-based fans, we need them a lot, and for them we will play the best we can. This tournament is not only for the team but also for fans here in Rzeszow. Every time when I come to this venue it feels incredible, making me full of energy and emotions when I see the Resovia fans. I don't feel any pressure because of them and for players it is also great and motivating. Every time we want to play a good game, no matter what kind of tournament, we always want to provide our best for our audience. We know they want to see us winning, so we do everything we can to make them happy."

Mohammad Reza, Khatam Ardakan:
"We are so happy to be here in Poland especially at this tournament. It means a lot to us, because we are here for the first time with our club. We also know volleyball is the most popular sport in Poland and we have already met lots of fans, so congratulations to Poland and the Polish people for being full of great passion! For sure, our target is to get the best possible result. Unfortunately, last night, just before our flight here we lost three players due to injuries. But we are here to play well and provide the best performance we can for the best result we can get under the circumstances. We want to feel we did the best we could."

Marcelo Mendez, Sada Cruzeiro:
"This is the biggest tournament for clubs and we will do our best to win, though we know it's going to be difficult for us. But we also know that our team is quite new, we have changed a lot of players, but we will do our best to win and stay till the end. It is a big honor to be here again. We are happy to be back - but firstly, big congratulations for the organisers and hosts here. This is a country of volleyball! We feel it and we are so happy to be here again. All the teams here are good. We know that Trentino are favourites but we don't know what will happen. Maybe we will provide some surprises."

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