Men's World Championship 2002
 

- Teams & Pools
- Match
   schedule

- Overall
   schedule

- Live Scores
- Results
- Final Ranking
- Standings
- Best Players
 

- Press Contact
Match Reports
First round:

 - 28/29 Sept
 - 30 sept
 - 1 Oct
Second round:
 - 4 Oct
 - 5 Oct
 - 6 Oct
Quarterfinals:
 - 9 Oct
Semifinals:
 - 10 Oct
 - 11 Oct
Finals:
 - 12 Oct
 - 13 Oct

- Pictures
- Press Releases
- Watch it on TV
 

- Teams
   preparation

- Cities & Halls
- General info
- Qualifications
   tournaments

Facts & Figures

- History
- Honors


 

Brazil takes home the World Championship title
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 13, 2002 – The 2002 Men’s Volleyball World Championship came to a colorful close on Sunday night here in the Argentine capital when Brazil stole the trophy from Russia in a thrilling five set match that was a worthy conclusion to the tournament.
The final, a repeat of the same event here 20 years ago when Argentina was host and Russia was the Soviet Union and won the title, ended in a Brazilian celebration after the 72nd match ended in a blaze of green and gold and Brazil took home the cup after winning the tiebreaker.
Here in Argentina, where the country’s economic crisis had raised doubts about staging the Championship earlier in the year, spectators took the event to heart and turned the stadiums in the six host cities of Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Santa Fe, Salta, Mar del Plata and San Juan of into a fiesta of volleyball that drew more than 330,000 spectators.
Luna Park Stadium here in Buenos Aires was always sold out when the host team was playing and the crowd turned it into a sea of blue and white flags while they sang and danced their way through the championship. Indeed every player from the 24 competing countries will go home with the tune “Ole, ole, ola, Argentina!” ringing in their ears.
“It is a fantastic moment to play under these conditions, even if you are the opponent of Argentina,” the French head coach Philippe Blain said during the tournament. “This is something the players will always remember.”
The event was also broadcast worldwide to around 200 countries by host broadcaster ESPN, expanding to millions the numbers of volleyball fans who enjoyed this quality tournament.
The 2002 Men’s World Championship also launched a new era in volleyball with the emergence of European teams into the spotlight. France, with their creative play and talented individual players thrilled the crowds and finished with the bronze medal – their first ever at a world championship. Greece and Portugal also delivered great results and finished in the top eight of the tournament. Both teams, and especially Portugal, who have a great selection of very young players, will definitely be a team to watch closely in the coming years.
For Italy, the event was a disappointment. They came here to defend the title they won three times in a row and went away with fifth place after beating Argentina on Sunday. Cuba, bronze medalist in 1998, didn’t survive the first round and Netherlands, a team that was always in the Top Eight since 1988, didn’t make it to the quarterfinal.
The next World Championship, in four years time, will be in Japan.

Brazil defeats Russia 3-2 in title match

Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 13 – Twenty years down the road, same teams, same stadium, different winner. On Sunday Brazil triumphed over Russia to reverse the result of 1982, when the Soviet Union team won their last major title.
Victory for Brazil in five hard sets was also sweet revenge for the defeat at the hands of Russia in August in the final of the World League.
In an all or nothing opening set, Brazil scrambled to an early two-point set that the Russians finally narrowed to one at 19-18 for Brazil. 
The big Russian block held tight and they leveled at 20-20. Gilberto Godoy Fihlo, the much adored “Giba” spiked for Brazil. The shot went over the line and Russia edged ahead one point, enough to infuriate the eternally nervous Bernardo Rezende.
Andrei Egortchev served for set point for Russia. Brazil survived the first but not the second set point and Russia was ahead.
Russia, with the help of big hitting Pavel Abramov steamed to a four point advantage to send Rezende’s blood pressure up a notch, but at 18-all Brazil seemed to have settled.
Brazil’s Nalbert Bitencourt then leveled the match with a huge spike that fell just inside the line and gave them the second set at 27-25 and sent the fans into a frenzy.
Anderson Rodrigues put Brazil’s first point on the board in the third set, which they quickly converted to a 4-1 lead. Russia fired several shots long and Brazil was suddenly three points ahead at 12-9.
Nalbert, who went on to be top scorer in the final, closed out two critical points the closing stage of the third set, then a three-man Brazilian block took them to 23-19. Brazil spiked deep into the Russian court for set point and the charismatic Giba hammered home the closing point to put Brazil 2-1 in front. 
Russia, deploying heavy artillery in the hands of Sergei Tetioukhine and Egortchev took a two-point lead in the fourth set, and well supported by Pavel Abramov, ran it up to 14-11.
Then, after Giba closed out two valuable points to take Brazil 21-22, they had the trophy in their line of vision. Abramov skidded a shot over the net, and then Tetioukhine gave Russia the set point before Alexei Koulechev powered home the winning spike and Russia was back in the match.
Russia leveled the tiebreaker at 8-all with a massive block by Tetioukhine and Egortchev but two quick responses by Brazil put them in front again. Russia closed, but Giba’s aim was perfect and Brazil was again within three points of the title. Tetioukhine added a point to draw 12-all and the match was again open.
 But it was Brazil’s night and when the decision fell, the Green and Golds dissolved into wild scenes of celebration. Nalbert was the final’s top scorer with 23 points while Tetioukhine added 22 for Russia.
Earlier, Argentina’s lineup played with what was left of their strength and all of they heart to try to pull off one last victory for the host country in the match against Italy for fifth place on Sunday. In the end, Italy squeezed out a 3-2 victory to finish fifth at the 2002 Men’s World Championship in a worthy battle for fifth place.
Results: Brazil 3, Russia 2 (23-25, 27-25, 25-20, 23-25, 15-13)
Individual awards

Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 13, 2002  - The following awards were made for the best individual players at the Men’s World Volleyball Championship that concluded on Sunday in the Argentine capital after Brazil won the title, defeating Russia 3-2.
Most Valuable Player: Marcos Milinkovic (ARG)
Top Scorer
: Marcos Milinkovic (ARG)
Top Spiker: Andre Nascimento  (BRA)
Top Blocker
: Jose Joao (POR)
Top Server
: Franz Granvorka (FRA)
Top Digger
: Hubert Henno (FRA)
Top Setter
: Maurico Lima (BRA)
Top Receiver
: Pablo Meana (ARG)

Super Seven Selection:
Setter: Nikola Grbic (YUG), Opposite: Marcos Milinkovic (ARG), Wing Spikers: Serguei Tetioukhine (RUS); Stephane Antiga (FRA), Middle Blockers: Gustavo Endres (BRA); Jose Joao (POR), Libero: Hubert Henno (FRA)

All anti-doping tests at championship
negative

Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 13, 2002 -  Comprehensive anti-doping tests carried out during all matches at the 2002 Men’s World Championship, have all proved negative, according to the FIVB Medical Delegate Prof. Dr. Manfred Holzgraefe of Germany.
 “I have received all results up to the last four matches and all tests were negative,” Dr. Holzgraefe said. “Co-operation between the FIVB and Argentina’s CENARD laboratory was excellent.”
During the semifinals and final, the numbers of test were doubled, and more than 150 tests were conducted during the 72 matched of the tournament. 
The CENARD laboratory was responsible for all the tests from the six cities of this tournament.
 

Italy beats Argentina to finish fifth


Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 13 – Argentina’s lineup played with what was left of their strength and all of they heart to try to pull off one last victory for the host country in the match against Italy for fifth place on Sunday. In the end, Italy squeezed out a 3-2 victory to finish fifth at the 2002 Men’s World Championship in a worthy last ditch battle.
Both sides traded sets in the early stages and perhaps the turning point came when veteran Hugo Conte came on for Argentina during the fourth set. He put them in front 16-14 and brought the capacity crowd to their feet. Italy’s coach Andrea Anastasi responded quickly and brought on missile hitting Hristo Zlatanov who put Italy back in the match.
Carlos Getzelevich rested Marcos Milinkovic for a handful of points, then slipped him back on to seal the defense that gave them set point in the fourth. Milinkovic, weary but heroic, found the strength to hammer a shot across the net to level at 2 sets-all
By now, the crowd was on their feet, cheering and chanting while the stadium vibrated under their stamping feet, a clear invitation to Argentina to find a few grams more energy and make it through the tiebreaker.

Jorge Elgueta was one who did, and together with Conte ran up a handy 3-1 lead in the decider. Gaston Giani also wove a little magic for Argentina to extend the lead to 6-2 and again it seemed as though the crowd would inspire the home team to give everything in the final stages.
Argentina hung onto the lead and a service error by Italy extended it to 10-7, but Italy was not through and drew back to 12-10.
Santiago Darraidou dived to rescue a shot for the Blue and Whites that extended score to 13-11, but Italy drew back to 13-all. Argentina took the first match point, but Italy leveled again and the agile Italian Valerio Vermiglio drifted a shot across the net to go 15-14.
The teams, now running on pure adrenalin, traded points back and forth until Elgueta pounded home a shot to level 17-all.
It was again Elgueta’s spike that put Argentina in front 19-18 but his service went out and Italy was back in the running with the score at 21-all.
Italy went on to settle the marathon tiebreaker and the crowd gave both teams the ovation they deserved. Andrea Giani was top score for italy with 17 points and Elgueta added 16 for Argentina.
Three times World Champion, this is Italy’s poorest showing at this four-yearly event in 12 years, while twenty years ago, when Argentina hosted the World Championship here at the Luna Park Stadium, they won the bronze medal.
Brazil and Russia now contest the final.

Result:
Italy 3 Argentina 2 (27-29, 25-17, 25-22, 22-25, 24-22

France defeats Yugoslavia for Bronze; Greece finish 7th
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 12, 2002 – France overwhelmed Olympic champions Yugoslavia in straight sets on Saturday to claim the bronze medal at the 2002 Men’s Volleyball World Championship, often applying applied sly tactics and delicate shots to neutralize the big hitters like Ivan Miljkovic and staple talents of the caliber of Nikola Grbic
It was their first ever medal at a World Championship.
The first two sets were evenly contested but France scored the breakthrough in the closing stages of the third set when they came from behind to take two solid block points with Dominique Daquin and Frantz Granvorka impassable on the net, to level at 20-all. An ace by Laurent Capet then set the tone for the remainder of the match. The quick change of fortunes seemed to unsettle the Yugoslav side, who from then on never really looked comfortable. France then began to weave the magic that has brought them so far in this tournament.
Stephanie Antiga again proved invaluable, along with Loic DeKergret, the player with the mane of dreadlocks whose setting skills set up perfect shots for Daquin, Granvorka and other big hitters in the French lineup.
Miljkovic missed a few vital serves for Yugoslavia, including one that gave the French set point, then Antiga served out the match. France took the bronze medal on a final set score of 25-16 that left no doubt they were the best team on the court.
When the final whistle blew, Daquin whooped, threw his hands in the air and hugged teammates with pure joy.
Capet was top scorer for the match with 23 points, and Miljkovic added 19 for Yugoslavia
Earlier Greece had triumphed over Portugal 3-2 victory to conclude their World Championship in seventh place in just five minutes short of two hours.
The match went to tiebreaker after each side claimed alternate sets, and it was perhaps superior height and experience that won the day for the Greeks in their final appearance on the court at the Luna Park Stadium.
Throughout the tournament the young an fresh Portuguese side has indicated they are one of the world’s emerging teams, but with some players as young as 17, and only their bright young star Hugo Gaspar topping 200cm, they did not have the resources to finish higher in the standings.
Greece was also a surprise in the tournament and performed solidly, sending a strong signal about the determination of their preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Helped by players of the caliber of their key spiker Nikolaos Roumeliotis Greece simply wore down the opposition and held onto their concentration when it counted most, in the deciding tiebreaker.
Roumeliotis was the best scorer of the match with 25 points, followed by Marios Gkiourdas who made 18 points.
France 3, Yugoslavia 0 (25-23, 25-23, 25-16)
Greece 3, Portugal 2 (21-25, 25-20, 23-25, 25-21, 15-12)

Greece wears down Portugal to claim 7th place
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 12, 2002 - Greece ran the marathon on Saturday with Portugal, finally taking a 3-2 victory to conclude their World Championship in seventh place in just five minutes short of two hours.
The match went to tiebreaker after each side claimed alternate sets, and it was perhaps superior height and experience that won the day for the Greeks in their final appearance on the court at the Luna Park Stadium.
Throughout the tournament the young an fresh Portuguese side has indicated they are one of the world's emerging teams, but with some players as young as 17, and only their bright young star Hugo Gaspar topping 200cm, they did not have the resources to finish higher in the standings.
Greece was also a surprise in the tournament and performed solidly, sending a strong signal about the determination of their preparation for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. Helped by players of the caliber of their key spiker Nikolaos Roumeliotis Greece simply wore down the opposition and held onto their concentration when it counted most, in the deciding tiebreaker.
Roumeliotis was the best scorer of the match with 25 points, followed by Marios Gkiourdas who made 18 points.
Both European teams can be satisfied with their elite eight finish at this prestigious four-yearly event.
France and Italy play for the bronze medal later in the evening.

Russia defeats France to meet Brazil in final, Argentina defeats Greece to play Italy for fifth
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 11 – In a replay of this year’s prestigious World League final Russia will meet Brazil on Sunday for the Men’s Volleyball World Championship title here in the Argentine capital. Russia secured their place by dismissing France in the second semifinal on Friday night.
France now plays Yugoslavia for the bronze medal.
In the night’s second match, Argentinean fans turned out in force to support the home team when they met Greece in the semifinal for places 5-8 in a match that gave the local heroes, especially “Prince” Marcos Milinkovic, a chance once again to shine for their nation. Argentina won the match 3-0 to earn the right to play three-times World Champion Italy for fifth place.
Clearly nervous in the opening phase of their semifinal, France allowed themselves to be intimidated by the height and firepower of the Russians who ran up a five-point lead at 13-8 in the opening action. Pavel Abramov deployed powerful spikes that often knocked the French off their balance, while even France’s Frantz Granvorka and captain Dominique Daquin were unable to settle the team, allowing Russia to wrap up the first set with a comfortable six-point margin.
But France overcame their early nerves and took a confidence-boosting 2-point lead to 10-8 in the second to hit the front for the first time in the match. French captain Daquin, Oliver Kieffer and Stephanie Antiga combined well and France leveled one-set all.
Russia went on the offensive in the third set and had the advantage at 23-18, France fended off one set point before the Russian block kicked in to put them 2-1 in front.
The French refused to be intimidated, quickly found their rhythm and forced the tiebreaker, but ultimately the legendary Russian defense foiled their bid for a shot at the title and will have to settle for going for the bronze medal.
Argentina in their match allowed themselves to be elevated by the euphoric crowd who again turned the Luna Park Stadium into a moving sea of blue and white flags.
With more than 10,000 vocal fans on their feet and waving, the Greek team had a seventh powerful psychological “opponent” in addition to the six inspired Argentina players on the court. After tidying away two neat sets, Argentina rode home on a wave of glory to finish 25-20 and clinch the straight sets victory.
In return, they were feted by the capacity crowd in scenes usually reserved for title winners and now they play Italy on Sunday for fifth place.
 
Russia 3, France 2 (25-19, 16-26, 25-20, 21-25, 15-9)
Argentina 3, Greece 0, (25-21, 25-21, 25-20)

Russia beats France to meet Brazil in final
Buenos Aires, Argentina, Oct. 11 - In a replay of this year's prestigious World League final, Russia will meet Brazil on Sunday for the Men's Volleyball World Championship title here in the Argentine capital. Russia secured their place by dismissing France in the second semifinal on Friday night in a five set thriller.
France now plays Yugoslavia for the bronze medal after delivering a semifinal sprinkled with the kind of aerial magic that brought them this far in the tournament. In the end it was the Russian block that won the day in a match that more than paid tribute to the FIVB slogan "Keep the ball flying!"
Clearly nervous in the opening phase, France gave away several valuable points while they struggled to find their serving rhythm, while the Russians presented their classic wall of defense, with giants like Andrei Egortchev stretching high above his 205cm height. The Russians looked comfortable with a five-point lead at 13-8 in the opening action.
Pavel Abramov deployed powerful spikes that often knocked the French off their feet, while even France's Frantz Granvorka and captain Dominique Daquin were unable to settle the team, allowing Russia wrapped up the first set with a comfortable six-point margin.
France presented a more consolidated front at the beginning of the second set, although still clearly intimidated by the superior height and firepower of the Russian six. They took a confidence-boosting 2-point lead to 10-8 to hit the front for the first time in the match, then when they extended it to four handy points, a pocket of French fans in the stands were on their feet and cheering wildly. French captain Daquin began to find form and without showing any signs of a nasty twisted knee he incurred in their last match, tucked away several shots to extend France's advantage to 17-12. Abramov delivered an unusual loose serve that took the French to 22-15 then Stephanie Antiga tucked away to flick shot to give them set point. Russia defended, but Oliver Keiffer drove home the point that leveled the score one-set all.
Russia went on the offensive in the third set and had the advantage at 23-18. France fended off one set point before the Russian block kicked in to put them 2-1 in front.
But France was not finished. Avoiding the rocket serve and instead letting soft balls drift across the net, they again had the Russians on the back foot and trailing 12-9 in the fourth. Granvorka teamed with Antiga to pile on the points and a failed Russian serve let them back into the match at 2-sets all.
Anxious to wrap up the action, the Russians played no games in the final set and quickly went ahead 5-3. Granvorka and Antiga tried hard to narrow the gap, but they could not get past the wall at the net and Russia prevailed 15-9 to advance to the final.
Russia 3, France 2 (25-19, 16-26, 25-20, 21-25, 15-9)
 

Brazil first finalist after defeating Yugoslavia
Buenos Aires, Argentina - Deploying rapid fire tactics, Brazil on Thursday pulled off a stunning 3-1 victory over Olympic champions Yugoslavia to launch their bid for the 2002 World title in the Argentina city of Cordoba.
The Green and Golds glistened from the first whistle, when they shocked the Yugoslav team with a cleverly adjusted lineup and a rapid style of play that frequently saw the ball pierce through the opposition's defense lines like a missile.
Brazil's charismatic Gilberto Godoy Fihlo, the much adored Giba, was a shining light, electric in his reflexes and smashing with deadly accuracy.
Yugoslavia deployed all of their traditional power but often in the opening phases, was without their usually feared triple block. Nevertheless, they fought the first set to the bitter end, and then did their best to turn the match around by claiming the second set.
By now Brazil's head coach Bernardo Rezende's blood pressure was up a few notches as he paced the sidelines like a caged tiger. In the final analysis, he didn't have to worry and his team delivered a display of brilliant shots capable of beating the best in the business to take the third set.
Yugoslavia's traditional fighting spirit allowed them to power their way back into the fourth and the set was drawn at 21-all before an ace by Giba gave the Brazilians the edge. The rest was volleyball magic and they broke into wild celebration when the final shot fell their way.
The ever reliable Ivan Miljkovic for Yugoslavia was the match's top scorer with 21 points, while Anderson Rodrigues was top scorer for Brazil with 19. Giba put away 14 spike points and two serves for another major contribution to the Brazilian scoreboard.
Brazil will now play the winner of the second semifinal between Russia and France, to be contested in Buenos Aires on Friday.
In the semifinal match for places 5-8 Italy triumphed over the young Portuguese team 3-0, who managed to keep up with the 3-times World Champion in the first two sets, but who let the match slip though their fingers. Portugal however has been one of the delights of the Championship and their young team will have a brilliant future when matured with the necessary big tournament experience.
Italy's Alessandro Fei was top scorer with 14 points and said after the match that his team had played as well as it was possible after being knocked out contention for defending their title the previous day. Hugo Gaspar, Portugal's bright young star, was top scorer for his team, adding 10 points.
The championship concludes Sunday with the final.

President Acosta honored by Argentina's President
Buenos Aires, Argentina - FIVB President Dr. Ruben Acosta on Thursday was honored by Argentina's President Eduardo Duhalde at a special reception held at the Presidential Palace.
The two dignitaries exchanged gifts and the President of the Republic thanked the FIVB for giving Argentina a vote of confidence by staging their 28th World Congress and the Men's World Championship here in his country, currently beset with economic problems.
Also present at the reception was Argentina's Minister for Sport and Tourism, Mr. Daniel Scioli, who has been a staunch supporter of the FIVB events in Argentina, Mrs. Malu Acosta, FIVB Vice Presidents and other dignitaries.
In response, Dr. Acosta paid tribute to the Argentine authorities and offered his thanks for the wealth of support that had come from all the regions and cities involved in the World Championship.
Matches have been played not only in the capital, but also in the cities of Cordoba, Mar del Plata, San Juan, Santa Fe and Salta, and in each case, the events had been supported by the tireless work of the local organizing committees and a virtual army of more than 1,000 volunteers. The public had also been marvelous in their support for the matches, President Acosta said.
The Men's World Championship concludes on Sunday with the final in Buenos Aires.

France defeats Argentina to take the final semifinals berth
Buenos Aires, Argentina - France and Argentina fought a battle of attrition for the final semifinals berth at the Men's Volleyball World Championship on Wednesday, where France turned around a weak first set to triumph 3-1 against the host team and join Russia, Brazil and Yugoslavia in the semifinals of this four-yearly tournament
Argentina opened strongly, playing like a team inspired in front of a capacity stadium of wildly cheering and stamping Argentina fans, but after the shock of the opener, where Argentina allowed the visitors a mere 14 points, France literally took to the air and produced some of the most spectacular play of the championship, even if at the cost of losing their captain, the elegant Dominique Daquin and middle blocker extraordinaire. Daquin came down hard and heavy on his knee in the closing stages of the last set and was carried off by teammates.
"Even after losing the first set we stayed calm, "said French coach Philippe Blain. "When our reception became better and we brought a new setter (Loic De Kergret) in, our game was more stable."
Earlier, Russia and Brazil joined Yugoslavia to fill the other semifinal places when they defeated Greece and title defender Italy in quarterfinal matches, while in the opening match, Yugoslavia beat Portugal 3-0 in Cordoba.
France performed admirably under the pressure applied by the very vocal crowd that has helped Argentina advance this far into the championship and indeed seemed inspired by the adversity. Luc Marquet, Vincent Montmeat, and Oliver Kieffer all excelled, ably supported by a compact French side that turned the match around by their integrated teamwork that labels them as medal favorites.
In other action neither Russia nor Brazil had an easy time of it. Russia came off with a 3-0 win but Greece put up a spirited fight against the team that won the 2002 World League in August.
Italy too met Brazilian creativity with determination. They brought on the earlier injured wing spiker Samuele Papi to help pull the third set out of the fire, then held up well in the fourth set, leveling at 24-all, before going on to level 2-sets all at 28-26 and force a nail-biter tiebreaker.
Brazil edged ahead, but three-times world champion Italy hung on to level 9-all in the final set, while Italy coach Andre Anastasi and his Brazilian counterpart Bernardo Rezente both made impassioned pleas from the sidelines. Brazil had a two-point advantage at 13-11, but Italy drew back one point before the green-and-golds had match point and went on to take the tiebreaker 15-13 and seal their place in the semifinals.
Brazil must now face Yugoslavia in the semifinals while Russia meets France.
Earlier the talented young Portuguese side held up well under pressure from Olympic champions Yugoslavia, especially in the first two sets, but it was lack of accuracy in serving, probably from nerves, that cost them valuable points.

Russia and Brazil join Yugoslavia as semifinalists
Buenos Aires, Argentina - Russia and Brazil on Wednesday joined Yugoslavia to fill three of the four semifinal places at the Men's Volleyball World Championship when they defeated Greece and title defender Italy in quarterfinal matches.
Earlier Yugoslavia beat Portugal 3-0 in Cordoba in the day's opening quarterfinal match.
But neither the Russia nor Brazil had an easy time. Russia came off with a 3-0 win but Greece put up a spirited fight against the team that won the 2002 World League in August.
Italy too met Brazilian creativity with determination. They brought on the earlier injured wing spiker Samuele Papi to help pull the third set out of the fire, then held up well in the fourth set, leveling at 24-all, before going on to level 2-sets all at 28-26 and force a nail-biter tiebreaker.
Brazil edged ahead, but three-times world champion Italy hung on to level 9-all in the final set, while Italy coach Andre Anastasi and his Brazilian counterpart Bernardo Rezente both made impassioned pleas from the sidelines. Brazil had a two-point advantage at 13-11, but Italy drew back one point before the green-and-golds had match point and went on to take the tiebreaker 15-13 and seal their place in the semifinals.
Brazil must now face Yugoslavia in the semifinals while Russia meets either Argentina or France, depending on the outcome of the last quarterfinal match here in the Luna Park stadium later Wednesday.
Earlier the talented young Portuguese side held up well under pressure from Olympic champions Yugoslavia, especially in the first two sets.
Since 18 months under the guidance of Cuban coach Juan Diaz, the Portuguese attacked with bravado and held up will in defense, but it was accuracy in serving, probably from nerves, that cost them the points that made the difference.
Yugoslavia were solid, wily when necessary and almost impenetrable in their classic triple block at the net, but their big scorer Ivan Miljovic was only able to add 14 points for top scorer, while young Jorge Alves was just one point behind for Portugal with 13 points.

Yugoslavia beats Portugal to become first semifinalist
Buenos Aires, Argentina - Yugoslavia on Wednesday became the first team safely through to the semifinals of the Men's World Championship when they defeated Portugal in Cordoba in the day's opening quarterfinal match.
The Olympic champions may have won in straight sets 3-0 (25-20, 25-23 and 25-16) but the talented young Portuguese side held up well under pressure from a team that is a recognized giant in the sport - especially in the first two sets.
Since 18 months under the guidance of Cuban coach Juan Diaz, the Portuguese attacked with bravado and held up will in defense, but it was accuracy in serving, probably from nerves, that cost them the points that made the difference.
Yugoslavia, who were solid, wily when necessary and almost impenetrable in their classic triple block at the net, will now meet the winner of the match between Italy and Brazil in the semifinals. Either way, they still have plenty of work ahead of them, if they are to take the title.
Other quarterfinals matches to be played here in Buenos Aires and Cordoba Wednesday are Russia vs. Greece and France vs. hosts Argentina.
A full report will follow after the conclusion of the day's play.

World Championship a magnet for spectators
Buenos Aires, Argentina - The Men's Volleyball World
Championship, now about to enter the quarterfinals of the tournament, has proved a magnet for spectators here in Argentina.
So far some 249,347 spectators have watched the 60 first and second round matches, an average of 4,156 per match.
The first round was played in six host cities - Buenos Aires, Cordoba, Santa Fe, Salta, Mar del Plata and San Juan, where 143,172 people watched the 36 matches, an average of 3,977 per match.
The competition then concentrated on the first four cities for the second round when 106,175 people watched 24 matches, an average of 4,424 per match.
Spectators have flocked to support the host team at the Luna Park Stadium in the capital where they have four times played before capacity crowds of 10,250.
The quarterfinals are being played in Buenos Aires and Cordoba on Wednesday evening ands tickets for remaining quarter- semifinal and Sunday's final matches at the Luna Park Stadium are already sold out.
Best attendance: 4 matches of Argentina's national team at Luna Park (10,250 each - stadium sold out).


What they said before the quarterfinals
Statements from the head coaches of Argentina, France, Greece and Russia playing in Buenos Aires

Carlos Getzelevich (ARG): "The Argentine team has improved during this event. We have played very well. Now we will face France, another strong team. France is a compact team and makes no unforced errors. We have to be very concentrated. The matches we played prior to the World Championship against France will not have any influence on this quarterfinal match. Those were just games, although we wanted to win them. Now it will be a new match. I believe that the two rest days have had a positive affect on my players. It has given them a chance to recover. My team improved game by game and against France it will be a win/lose situation. We have to give our absolute best, because we are playing for a place in the semifinal. In my opinion, France is favorite because they play very well during the entire year."
Philippe Blain (FRA): "We are very happy to be in the quarterfinal of the World Championship. We played great games. The match against Argentina will be one more hard game. Argentina is a good team and plays excellent matches in a full stadium. Argentina is playing better and better. With Marcos Milinkovic and Jorge Elgueta they have two strong hitters and the team has a lot of experience. They found the right spirit between the players and the public. The fans are the seventh player. We played well so far, but Argentina did too. It will be a close match. The team that closes out the important points will be the one that wins. We know that a quarterfinal match is always a hard game. It will be a great experience to play for so many enthusiastic fans. It will be a good memory for the players and the coaches."
Guennadi Chipouline (RUS): "My team started with a lot of difficulties. It is difficult to maintain a high level during the entire year, both technical and psychical. We won the World League and we definitely wanted to maintain our high level, but this was not possible. We are hoping to improve in the quarterfinals again. Our match against Greece will be spectacular. The spectators will see a great show. It is true that we lost four matches against Greece last year, but we learned our lesson and we will not make the same mistakes again. It will be a big match and I cannot make any comments about the result yet."
Stellios Prosalikas (GRE): "I am very glad to play in Luna Park. I agree with the other coaches that the quarterfinals will be difficult matches. Everyone knows the power of Russia. We will play freely and I really don't know what the result will be. It will be spectacular for all spectators. I hope the spectators will be as excited as they were in Salta. The support during the six matches we played there was fantastic. The Greek flag has the same white and blue colors as the Argentine flag and Argentina is also a Mediterranean style of country, so there are no major differences. I hope there will be some support for us. We are on the road to the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. To be here is a great opportunity to learn. The people in Greece are following us closely and the media is writing constantly about this event. Our performance has been very important for Greek volleyball."

Preview quarterfinals
Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 8, 20002 - The 2002 Men's World Volleyball Championship on Wednesday enters the quarterfinal phase where the world's eight best teams will face off in two cities - here in the Argentina capital and in the city of Cordoba.
Argentina vs. France, Wednesday October 9, 2100, Buenos Aires
More than 10,000 fans will be in the stadium to support as yet undefeated Argentina in their match against France on Wednesday. The Argentine lineup, currently enjoying national hero status has so far sailed through their six matches and clearly gaining confidence. France is also playing a great tournament and has won all their matches, including a victory over Russia, except their second round clash against Brazil in the second round. Argentina will have the psychological edge with their near fanatical followers packing home territory at Luna Park Stadium. Coach Carlos Getzelevich also has a good number of useful players at his disposal and captain and opposite attacker Marcos Milinkovic and middle blocker Alejandro Spajic remain in devastating form. In addition, Jeronimo Bidegain and Jorge Elgueta are playing a great tournament.
On the French side, middle blockers Dominique Daquin and Olivier Kieffer are in a good shape, while outside hitters Luc Marquet, Franz Granvorka and Stephane Antigua are making a major contribution. The French will need to deploy absolute concentration so as not to be distracted by the Argentine fans. 
Russia vs. Greece, Wednesday October 9, 1830, Buenos Aires
Russia, winners of the prestigious $15 million World League in August, was the pre-tournament favorite but are yet to display the kind of performance that won them that prize. Russia lost in the first round against Bulgaria and France and also conceded some sets in the second round. The 2000 Olympic silver medallist will be looking to prove in their quarterfinal match against Greece that they are still one of the medal candidates.
Greece is one of the quarterfinal surprises and last reached the final eight of a World Championship in 1994, when the country hosted the event. They have already done well to reach the quarterfinals and can go into the match already satisfied with their performance in this championship. Because of this they can easily pull off a surprise and must be considered a dangerous opponent.
Italy vs. Brazil, Wednesday October 9, 1830, Buenos Aires
The quarterfinal between Italy and Brazil will be the battle of the giants of the 2002 Men's World Championship. The Italian team won the last three World Championships, but is not in their best form having lost clashes against Poland and Argentina and without the services of wing spiker Samuele Papi, who was injured in their match against Japan.
Brazil also struggled at the beginning of the tournament, losing 3-2 against USA. But the South Americans showed in the second round that they are still among the best. Brazil dismissed France, Czech Republic and Netherlands all in straight sets during the second round. The young Andre Nascimento has emerged to be one of their most effective players in this tournament and has been pounding on the points for the green and yellows. He is well supported by the charismatic Gilberto Godoy Filho (Giba) and Nalbert Bitencourt who are also scoring many points.
All previous battles between Italy and Brazil have been great matches. Four years ago, Italy won the semifinal against Brazil after an exciting fifth set tiebreaker. This time, Brazil is the slight favorite, but when the Italians get a whiff of a title, they are extremely dangerous.
Portugal vs. Yugoslavia, Wednesday October 9, 1600, Cordoba
Yugoslavia has steamed through the 2002 Men's World Championship and seems unstoppable. The Olympic and European Champion has only lost two sets in the six matches played in this event and they are looking to add the coveted title to their trophy collection. The team has been among the medal winners in all Olympic Games, World Championships and Continental Championships since 1995.
Star setter Nikola Grbic is a pivotal member of the team, elegantly distributing shots to his powerful attackers like Ivan Miljkovic and Goran Vujevic, who seem unstoppable here in Argentina.
But the young and talented Portuguese side is producing their best volleyball ever. Hugo Gaspar is the big star and is back on track after a small injury in the first round.
Yugoslavia should advance to the semifinal without any problems, but Portugal has nothing to lose and if they can hold their nerves, they are capable of causing an upset in this important phase of the tournament.


 

Minto, the official World Championship Mascot

LLEARN TO CALCULATE POINTS SCORED BY PLAYERS
 

History in the Making

How it all Started
Volleyball World Championships have come a ling way from the first men's World Championship held on a converted outdoor tennis court in Prague, Czechoslovakia in 194, where only European teams were present. Today it is truly a global media event, not only enjoyed by thousands who watch the matches live, but to millions of television viewers on every continent.
Teams from the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe dominated the first decades, but it has been the boys in Blue - Italy's amazing Squadra Azzurra who have stolen the limelight right through the 1990's. They won three World Championships (1990, 1994, 1998) and eight of the twelve World League titles.
So who will take the first honors of the 21st Century? Will Italy make it four in a row? Will brilliant Brazil be able to continue the form that gave them last year's World League? Will Yugoslavia relive its glory of the Sydney Olympic Games? Or will a new star be born in Argentina?


 

The Teams and their World Championship History

The world’s best Volleyball teams meet in six cities across Argentina to battle it out for the 2002 World Championship title.  

Only two of the 24 teams qualify automatically – Italy, the titleholders from 1998 and the host country. The rest worked their way through a lengthy qualification process that encompassed five continents, 60 teams and 18 qualification tournaments. 

The finalists include three previous World Champions: Russia (1949, 1952, 1960, 1962, 1878, 1982 [as USSR]), Czech Republic (1956 and 1966 as Czechoslovakia) and USA (1986).  

Six other teams have taken minor places at World Championships: Bulgaria (2nd - 1970, 3rd - 1949, 1952, 1986), Brazil (2nd - 1982), Japan (3rd - 1970, 1974), Cuba (2nd - 1990, 3rd - 1978, 1998) and Netherlands (2nd - 1994). Olympic Champion Yugoslavia was also second in 1998.  

Eight teams have competed in three or more World Championships: France (11), China (9), Korea and Venezuela (7), Canada (6), Egypt and Tunisia (4) and Greece (3).  

Australia has competed in two previous World Championships, with Portugal and Spain only one each. Croatia and Kazakhstan are making their first appearance.