Catania, Italy, September 29, 2010 – Hosts Italy and world No2 Russia are the early favourites in FIVB 2010 Men's World Championship Pools G and I, which get under way on Thursday at the PalaCatania.
The coaches of these teams, Andrea Anastasi of Italy and Daniele Bagnoli of Russia, offered differing views on their prospects during a press conference held at Catania's Sheraton Hotel in Catania on the eve of the start of the second round.
While Anastasi was in what can be described as conservative mood, Bagnoli rated his side as the clear favourites to win their pool. "I only hope that my team plays well,” said Anastasi, who agreed with other coaches about the difficulties of the round and the high level of competition.
Bagnoli offered a bolder view when he said: "We come here as big favorites and our goal is clearly to improve the quality of our game. According to the FIVB rankings we are favourites but we are in another round and all the matches are important, so we have to improve."
Here are excerpts of the coaches' statements during the press conference:
Egypt coach Antonio Giacobbi: "The pool is very difficult with Russia and Spain as opponents. The technical level of course is very high and our first match is against Russia. I can understand that some teams have more chances than others so our hope is to play well."
Spain coach Julio Velasco: "Our match against Egypt is going to be a crucial one for our status. The biggest goal of Spain is to finish among the top 12 teams in the world championship so we have to go to the next round."
Germany coach Raul Lozano: "The most important thing is that our team is in good shape even though I admit the other teams are also in good condition and have a very good level. We are very happy to be here and it's going to be difficult for all the teams."
Italy coach Andrea Anastasi: "I just would say the same as the other coaches about the difficulties and the high level. So I only hope that my team play well."
Puerto Rico coach Carlos Cardona: "This is a great event and I agree with my colleagues about the conditions we are going to face."
Russia coach Daniele Bagnoli: "To say something different, we come here as big favourites and our goal is clearly to improve the quality of our game. According to the FIVB rankings we are favourites but we are in another round and all the matches are important, so we have to improve."
FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
Mobile. +39 334 914 1332