Oliver Kieffer, France (Captain): “The team had to react after the defeat with the USA. We played a good match but at the end Italy won. Our goal was to arrive at the tie-break but it did not happen.
Valerio Vermiglio Italy (Captain): “It was an intense match even though quite difficult. We started out strong, but later lost our concentration which made us nervous and we failed to react immediately. With the help of our coach who incited us, we managed to regain our concentration and played in unison. The next match with Brazil will be important since they are the favorites but we will try our best since playing in the semi-final is an honor.”
Philippe Blain, France (Coach): “We knew prior to the match that we could not win, and the fact that they played in an incredible manner and the public cheered them on continuously helped them out. We encountered a few difficulties, but after managed to regain confidence .Our team is united and used to playing in unison and we can thank our libero for a great match. In such a difficult match one need to react, which unfortunately we did not manage to do.”
Andrea Anastasi Italy (Coach): “I am quite content that we will be playing the semi-final in Rome. France gave it their best shot since they knew it was the final match for them. Italy had problems in reception tonight at the end of the third set and at the beginning of the fourth, but this is probably common to all the teams that have arrived at this point. With Brazil it will be a true battle, but one does not necessarily need perfection in volleyball; it is fundamental to play with heart and passion.”
Mixed zone after France-Italy
Simone Parodi (Italy): “We started out in an aggressive manner since we were not satisfied with yesterday’s performance. Tonight we demonstrated that we can play well. We have been practicing and aiming at this goal for the last five months. We managed to recuperate our momentum lost in the third set thanks to our desire to win, our pride and the thought of reaching the semi-finals. The public was fundamental in our victory tonight.
Emanuele Birarelli: (Italy): “It was a totally different match from yesterday with the United States. The third set we felt the pressure put on by our opponent. France pulled out its pride and we did not serve well. We regained rhythm in the second half of the fourth set, thanks to Savani’s ace and the two blocks by Mastrangelo.”
Alessandro Fei (Italy): “It is an incredible sensation to win in this venue with such support from our fans.We have centered our goal which was to reach the semifinals. Now the difficult part commences.”
Benjamin Toniutti (France): “We played much better than with the USA and were able to win a set, never making things simple for Italy. We fought until the end despite the difficulty of playing without any support from the public.”
Guillame Samica (France): “It was a battle and we rediscovered our team, but Italy deserved each point and never gave up. We lost the match, but not 3-0.”
FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
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