Rome, Italy, October 3, 2010 – France coach Philippe Blain says "now the real World Championship begins" as the top 12 teams in the FIVB Men's World Championship prepare to begin the race for the semifinals and finals when the third round starts on Monday.
The third round consists of four pools of three teams with the winners of each pool advancing to the semifinals for 1-4, second place proceeding to the 5-8 semifinals and third place playing the 9-12 semifinals.
"To reach the semifinals is a dream for each and every national team," Blain explained. "The road to the final will be difficult since we will have to face two complicated teams, Italy and the United States."
France are in Pool O in Rome and will face Olympic champions USA on Monday at 5pm before taking on hosts Italy, the only unbeaten team in the competition with a 5:0 record, on Wednesday at 9pm.
The other third-round pools consist of:
Pool P (Florence): Serbia, Argentina, Russia.
Pool Q (Florence): Spain, Bulgaria, Cuba.
Pool R (Rome): Czech Republic, Brazil, Germany.
Pool O (Rome): 4/10 France-USA 17:00; 5/10 USA-Italy 21:00; 6/10 Italy-France 21:00.
Pool P (Florence): 4/10 Serbia-Argentina 17:00; 5/10 Russia-Serbia 17:00; 6/10 Argentina-Russia 17:00.
Pool Q (Florence): 4 /10 Spain-Bulgaria 21:00; 5/10 Cuba-Spain 21:00; 6/10 Bulgaria-Cuba 21:00.
Pool R (Rome): 4/10 Czech Republic-Brazil 21:00; 5/10 Germany-Czech Republic 17:00; 6/10 Brazil-Germany 17:00.
The other quotes from the press conference:
Italy coach Andrea Anastasi: Being in Rome in this third phase was our main goal, but remaining here until the evening of October 10 is even more crucial. We want to win, but first we will have to face two very strong opponents, United States and France. This will be the 'week of truth'. I think our defence-block capabilities are excellent, but we need to improve on the fluidity of the game and make sure that each player gives his best to contribute to the unity of the team.
France coach Philippe Blain: We are happy to have arrived at the third phase, but now the real World Championship begins. To reach the semifinals is a dream for each and every national team. The road to the final will be difficult since we will have to face two complicated teams, Italy and the United States.
Germany coach Raul Lozano: Like my colleagues, I am thrilled to be in Rome with the other teams. We are quite tired because of the hectic hours, but are thrilled as this is an incredible opportunity for an inexperienced Germany side.
USA coach Alan Knipe: My team is keyed up and our first objective was to reach the third phase in Rome. I would like to congratulate the other teams that made it to Rome. My goal is to improve our condition with each match, day by day. I have invested in many young players who will certainly be the future of this sport in the United States.
Czech coach Jan Svboda: We will have to confront strong teams and have to play important matches. Brazil will be our first opponents that play high-level Volleyball and it will be a challenge to face them on Monday.
Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende: We come from a difficult phase. Germany are a well- balanced group and have managed to defeat us in the past. One must keep in mind that I had a serious problem in yesterday's match, I had only one setter, and allowing him to play last night would have jeopardised his possibility of playing in this third phase. I still have to recuperate a few players, and hope to do so by Monday's game with the Czech Republic.
There has been a change in the schedule in Rome with Italy now playing all their matches at 9pm. Therefore, the new schedule for Rome is:
Oct 5: GER v CZE 17:00
Oct 5: USA v ITA 21:00
Oct 6: BRA v GER 17:00
Oct 6: ITA v FRA 21:00
FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
Mobile. +39 334 914 1332