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World League 2009
20th Edition

 ITA / Italy - Team Composition

Team manager GAVAZZI Alberto
Head coach ANASTASI Andrea
Assistant coach GARDINI Andrea
Doctor BENELLI Piero
Therapist / trainer LAMBERTI Christian
Journalist LISI Carlo
  No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
  1 Roberto Cazzaniga Cazzaniga 28/10/1979 200 85 351 335 Samgas
  2   Simone Parodi Parodi 16/06/1986 196 95 350 335 Biancorosso Volley ssdrl
  3 Mauro Gavotto Gavotto 16/04/1979 201 88 350 330 Acqua Paradiso
  L 4   Loris Manià Manià 27/01/1979 190 76 330 315 Trenkwalder
  C 5 Valerio Vermiglio Vermiglio 1/03/1976 193 85 342 320 UPCN San Juan Voley
  6   Davide Saitta Saitta 23/06/1987 187 92 335 328 Tonno Callipo VV
  7 Michal Lasko Lasko 11/03/1981 202 104 348 337 Jastrzebski Wegel
  8   Alberto Cisolla Cisolla 10/10/1977 197 86 355 340 Macerata
  9 Matteo Martino Martino 28/01/1987 198 98 340 322 Lube Banca Marche
  10   Giacomo Sintini Sintini 16/01/1979 196 85 320 305 Trentino Volley
  11 Cristian Savani Savani 22/02/1982 0 0 354 335 Lube Banca Marche
  L 12   Andrea Bari Bari 5/03/1980 185 81 327 310 Trentino Diatec
  13 Francesco Fortunato Fortunato 23/07/1977 201 96 363 335 Bre Banca Lannutti
  14   Dragan Travica Travica 28/08/1986 200 101 335 320 Belogorie Belgorod
  15 Emanuele Birarelli Birarelli 8/02/1981 202 95 340 316 Sir Safety Umbria Volley
  16   Rocco Barone Barone 14/12/1987 200 91 346 327 Tonno Callipo
  17 Andrea Sala Sala 27/12/1978 202 96 359 340 Trentino Betclic
  18   Matej Cernic Cernic 13/09/1978 192 80 354 335 Assecco Resovia
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team profile

The first success of the Italian Men's National Team was the bronze medal won at the European Championships in 1948, but it was only in the early 1970s, after winning gold at the World University Games in Turin, that Italy remained consistently near the top of the Volleyball tree, attending every Olympic Games from 1976 onwards.

In 1978, Italy was the host country of the FIVB Men's World Championship and a team led by Carmelo Pittera won the silver medal.

Then in 1984, the Italian team won the bronze medal at the Los Angeles Olympics, with Silvano Prandi coach of the Italians.

It was in 1985 that those who were to become the stars of the 1990s gave a glimpse of their future success by claiming the silver medal at the Junior World Championships in Italy.

In 1989, with Julio Velasco now the leader of the "azzurri," Italy began a long series of victories: in that year the first European title was secured in Stockholm, while a second-place finish was claimed at the World Cup in Japan.

Italy then won the World Championship in Brazil in 1990, defeating Cuba in the final. It was also the year of the first triumph for Italy in the World League and of gold at the Goodwill Games.

Italy won their second World League in 1991 and finished second behind Russia at the European Championships in Berlin. The following year there was a third successive triumph in the World League, after a disappointing Olympics in Barcelona.

In 1993, Italy set off on another series uninterrupted successes. The Velasco boys conquered again in Europe, winning the continental title in Finland and prevailed in the first edition of the World Champions Cup, and then in 1994 defeated the Netherlands in the World Championship Final in Athens, gained the World League title for the fourth time and crowned a remarkable run at the World Super Four event.

Again, the "azzurri" team claimed gold at the 1995 edition of the World League. Italy, playing with a very young crew including many new athletes, beat Brazil in the Final, despite playing in front of 25,000 home fans in Rio de Janeiro.

In September, Gardini and Co. won the European Championships in Athens for the third time and in December increased the number of victories in their Roll of Honour by winning the World Cup with a perfect record. They also won the Centennial Match versus the World All-Stars team.

The Velasco era ended in 1996. The Italians missed out on the Olympic gold medal in the Final of the Atlanta Games, surrendering to the Dutch in a tie-break. But the Italian team still took second place in the World League and first place in the FIVB World Super Six.

Led by Brazilian Bebeto, Italy played a major role in international Volleyball in 1997: they conquered the World League Finals in Moscow and claimed the bronze medal at the European Championships in Eindhoven. In 1998, a fourth-place finish was then secured in the World League in Milan before a third World Championship title was won in Japan.

At the beginning of 1999, there was a new change on the bench with the arrival of Andrea Anastasi. The Italian trainer immediately started winning. In Mar del Plata, Italy claimed the World League for the seventh time. In Vienna, Italy beat Russia to win their fourth European Championship, and in the World Cup in Tokyo the Italians claimed bronze and qualified for the Olympic Games.

In the 2000 edition of the World League, Italy won their eighth gold medal, defeating Russia. At the Olympic Games in Sydney, Italy took bronze.

There were then two silver medals for the azzurri in 2001, one in the World League and one in the European Championship. In 2002, they finished fifth in the World Championship and fourth in the World League.

The year 2003 started with new coach Gianpaolo Montali and the team took third place in the World League, gold in the European Championship and second place in the World Cup.

In 2004 Italy won the World League silver medal and Olympic Games silver medal before another gold medal at the European Championships the following year.

There has been no additional silverware since then, with the team finishing fourth at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and seventh in the 2008 FIVB World League.

Coach profile

Andrea Anastasi was born in Poggiorusco, a province of Mantova, on Oct. 9, 1960. He is married and has two children.

When he was playing for the Italian Junior National Team, his trainer used to call him the "Dwarf" due to his relatively small stature (181cm) compared the giants he was surrounded by.

Anastasi enjoyed a long career as a player. As a member of the Italian National Team he played 141 matches (starting with an Italy vs. All Stars match on Feb. 8, 1981). He won the World Championship in 1990, the European Championship in 1989 and the World League in 1990, ending his career as a National Team player in Athens, where he won the Mediterranean Games in 1991. In Italy, he played in several cities, including Parma, Modena, Falconara and Treviso.

In 1994, he started his coaching career in the Italian Championship, series A2, with the Bipop Brescia Team. From 1995-1999, Anastasi coached the Gabeca Montichiari Team. Under his guidance, the team always competed in the playoffs.

Anastasi is the 19th trainer of the Italian National Team. He began training the Italian National Team during the first match of the 1999 World League, on May 28 in Sydney. He enjoyed a successful first season as a coach, finishing first in the World League held in Mar del Plata, first at the European Championships in Vienna, and third in the World Cup in Japan, which booked the team a spot at the Olympic Games in Sydney.

In his second season as National Team coach, he won the World League in Rotterdam and the bronze medal at the Olympic Games. His winning ways did not abate in 2001, as he guided his team to second place in the World League and second at the European Championship in Ostrava.

Anastasi stepped down from his role as trainer in 2002 after Italy finished a disappointing fifth at the World Championships in Argentina.

From 2006-2007 he led the Spanish National Team, which won the European Championship in Moscow in 2007.

On Oct. 16, 2007, the Italian Volleyball Federation brought Anastasi back to coach the National Team until the 2010 World Championships.

Most recently, Anastasi coached Italy to 4th place at the Beijing Olympics.


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