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Host country Brazil ready to face Russian block on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro at FIVB World League Final Round

World League advertisements along the roads in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, July 22, 2008 – The first two matches of the FIVB World League Final Round will take place on Wednesday in the amazing Maracanazinho, a 12,000-seat hall which has hosted in the past some of the FIVB’s best events, such as the 1990 Men’s World Championships Finals. Brazil are the host country of the top FIVB Men’s event this year and are looking for their sixth successive gold medal and joint-record eighth overall in 19 World Leagues. The Brazilians and eight-time winners Italy -- not qualified for this Final Round -- have taken part in every World League since the start of the competition.

“It is time to show all we have practiced over the last months,” said Brazilian Captain Giba to the media. “We know that our rivals will do all that is possible to beat us and we need to do our best to overcome them.”

Added Brazilian Head Coach Bernardo “Bernardinho” Rezende, “We are going to face teams that will do everything to beat Brazil. They will use the matches against us to study our way of playing. So we need to do our best to win the matches and be in a good condition for the Olympics.”

Russia will be Brazil’s first opponent. Vladimir Alekno, Russian Head Coach, is looking forward to the challenge: “Facing Brazil some weeks before the Olympics will be great. That is our best motivation to be here with the main players. We do not think Russia is the favourite, the same way Brazil does not think this is their status.”

Russia captain Vadim Khamuttskikh said, “This will be our last important competition before the Beijing Olympic Games and it is a great opportunity to adjust the team. We will have hard and important matches here in Rio.”

Serbia challenged France until the last moments of the preliminary rounds to book their tickets to Rio. Igor Kolakovic, Serbian Head Coach, said, “We are going to face two impressive teams in the Final Round like USA and Poland. We spent three weeks travelling around the world in the Intercontinental Round and that left the players tired. In the end, the team was in a good rhythm and we hope to keep that in the Final Round.”

USA captain Thomas Hoff explained their way to Rio: “During the Intercontinental Round, the USA could alternate the players on the matches. That was really good, so we could make our preparations and rest the necessary time. Now, it is time to do our best and then keep our best shape for Beijing.” 

Hugh McCutcheon, USA Head Coach, stressed the importance of the World League: “We are very happy to have made the Final Round. It will be an important part of our preparation to Beijing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not just a test. The World League is a really big event. Poland and Serbia will be fantastic opponents for us.”


Raul Lozano, Polish Head Coach, explained to the press the difficulties of a tough season for his team: “We had to dispute the Portuguese Olympic Qualification Tournament, so our preparations were pointed to it. We had not much time to prepare for the World League even if in the Intercontinental Round we were probably not in the hardest pool. The Final Round will be a great opportunity to play and try also to adjust us for the Olympics. All the teams are in good shape to fight for the gold medal, I see a very balanced competition here in Rio.”


Match info, press conference reports, standings and free pictures for media use are available at


Pools Composition

Pool E

Brazil, Japan, Russia

Pool F

Serbia, USA, Poland


Match schedule (local time)

Wednesday, July 23

10:00 RussiaBrazil

13:15 SerbiaUSA


Thursday, July 24

10:00 JapanRussia

13:15 USAPoland


Friday, July 25

10:00 BrazilJapan

13:15 PolandSerbia


Saturday, July 26

10:00 Semi-final 1st F – 2nd E
13:15 Semi-final 1st E – 2nd F


Sunday, July 27

09:30 Bronze-medal match

12:30 Gold-medal match


"Follow me" by Andrea Zorzi

The FIVB website is enriched with a special blog written by former World Champion Andrea Zorzi. Video interviews and articles are displayed every day from Rio, showing to all Volleyball fans what is happening backstage at FIVB’s premier annual Men’s event.



More press releases
27.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: First-ever gold medal for USA; Brazil off podium after 10 years  
26.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Serbia and USA for the gold medal on Sunday  
25.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Brazil, Serbia, Russia and USA make semi-finals  
24.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: An easy task for Russia against Japan, USA win long battle with Poland  
23.07.2008 A yellow wave of support for Serbia  
23.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Brazil and Serbia earn straight wins on 1st day in Rio  
23.07.2008 More than 75 countries will watch first match of World League Finals on TV  
20.07.2008 Serbia, Poland join hosts Brazil, Russia, USA, wild-card Japan in FIVB World League Final Round after exciting end to Intercontinental Round action  
16.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: France, Serbia, Poland, China chasing remaining two Final Round places  
15.07.2008 Japan is granted the wild card for the 2008 World League Final  
13.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: Russia and USA reach Brazil as qualified teams for Final Round in Rio  
10.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: France, Russia, USA, Poland in pole positions as other teams get ready to mount challenge on fifth weekend of Intercontinental Round  
06.07.2008 France, Russia, USA, Poland sit in qualifying positions to join Brazil in FIVB World League Final Round after fourth weekend of Intercontinental Round  
02.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: Excitement builds as fourth weekend of Intercontinental Round action approaches  
30.06.2008 Brazil, Russia, China, USA lead pools after third weekend of FIVB World League Intercontinental Rounds  
27.06.2008 I am very satisfied with this victory, says French Coach Philippe Blain  
25.06.2008 Only one team still with 100 percent record as FIVB 2008 World League enters third weekend of Intercontinental Round action  
22.06.2008 Russia still unbeaten after second weekend in 2008 FIVB World League  
22.06.2008 Venezuela make history in beating Serbia  
19.06.2008 Big teams face tricky away trips as 2008 FIVB World League heats up on second weekend of Intercontinental Round action  
16.06.2008 Overall Report (June.14th ~June.15th)  
16.06.2008 Brazil, USA, Russia, Bulgaria, France get off to perfect starts as fans flock to start of 2008 FIVB World League  
12.06.2008 2008 FIVB World League to start Friday with exciting clashes between top teams  
06.06.2008 Countdown to 2008 FIVB World League: 'Match of the Week' Brazil vs. Serbia and China vs. Japan stand out ahead of first weekend of Intercontinental Rounds  
03.06.2008 FIVB approves Chinese request to switch host city from Chengdu to Hangzhou for 2008 World League matches after devastation caused by earthquake  
28.05.2008 U.S Men hold of Argentina in five-set friendly win  
28.05.2008 FIVB confirms World League 'Match of the Week' schedule: Six live Intercontinental Round matches made available free of charge to TV channels  
16.05.2008 Egypt Head Coach selects squad for 2008 FIVB World League; Iran camp cancelled  
30.04.2008 FIVB confirms receipt of World League team lists  
15.04.2008 USA Men to play against Argentina  
03.04.2008 FIVB confirms 2008 World League match schedule  
21.02.2008 USA Volleyball announces host cities for 2008 World League  
12.02.2008 Venezuela to compete in the 2008 FIVB World League  
23.01.2008 A bid for a place in the FIVB World League 2008, after Canada’s withdrawal  
15.10.2007 Spain returns to the FIVB World League 2008  
28.09.2007 FIVB World League 2008: a confirmation of success. Brazil will organize the Final Round. Francesco Franchi nominated President of the World League Council