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 Press Release
Brazil is 2009 World League champion

Brazil topped the 2009 World League podium for the 8th time

Belgrade, Serbia, July 26, 2009 – Brazil is the 2009 World League Champion. In a packed Beogradska Arena (22,680 spectators is the record for a sporting event at the venue) Brazil beat Serbia in a thrilling 3-2 match (22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 15-12) on Sunday. It is Brazil’s eighth World League title, while Serbia won their fourth silver medal, second in a row. Cuba surrendered to Russia in the bronze medal match, Daniele Bagnoli’s team winning easily 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-16) to earn their 12th World League medal. Brazilian libero Sergio won the 30,000 USD prize as MVP of the final.



The block of Dragan Stankovic, Milos Nikic, Ivan Miljkovic won the first point of the match for the Serbian team. Serbia kept on rolling, taking a 5-2 lead. Owing to good serves from Giba, the Brazilian team leveled at 5-5. By the first technical timeout, Serbia enjoyed a 1-point difference. The teams traded points until the second TTO, when Serbia upped the tempo and took a 2-point advantage thanks to brilliant play from the “Blue Boys.” Miljkovic served an ace to take the biggest lead in the set. After a failed attack from Nikic, Brazil reduced the gap to only 1 point. Serbia scored the set point thanks to a fabulous smash from Miljkovic, the top scorer in the frame with 9 points on 18 attempts.

Brazil won the opening point of the second set. The teams traded points until the first TTO, Bernardo Rezende's men enjoying a 2-point difference. Brazil held the lead before the second TTO, winning a few good points despite the eagerness their opponent. Neither teams allowed the other to take the lead until 22-22, when Brazil took the initiative with 2 set points, the second of which was realized.

Brazil rushed out to a 3-0 lead in the third set and maintained it until the first TTO (8-4). Serbia coach Igor Kolakovic introduced Andrija Geric for Stankovic in an attempt to improve the block. In spite of that, Brazil led by 6 points, 12-6, and stretched the difference to 16-8 by the second TTO. After a block from Marko Podrascanin, Serbia scored 2 points in a row. Kolakovic's side managed to reduce the gap to 18-14 and with Sasa Starovic on for Miljkovic, Serbia won 2 extremely important points to close the gap to 21-17. Although they missed two set points, the Brazilians eventually secured the third set.
There wasn't any great advantage at the beginning of the fourth set, although Brazil led most of the time. After the second TTO, Serbia succeeded in taking a 2-point lead. Brazil reached the second TTO leading 16-15. The teams traded points until 21-21, when Brazil won a contentious point that was settled only after a long consultation between the referees. Two great serves from Podrascanin followed, and 2 points for Serbia were won. After a failed attack from Neves Leandro Vissoto, Serbia scored the set.

The fifth set began the same way and Brazil won the first two points. Serbia was the first to take a big advantage, 6-3, sustaining the lead to the TTO (8-5). Rezende's boys leveled at 10-10 and the match ended in favor of Brazil once again, even despite the absence of injured middle blocker Rodrigao.

“I'm so happy for this win” said Brazilian captain Giba. “This was a match with so many emotions. It's amazing to play a final in an arena with so many people. This victory is so important for this new generation. We will enjoy this victory, but we will be ready for the next competitions.”



Russia defeated a young and inexperienced Cuban team 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-16) to win the World League bronze medal at Belgrade Arena on Sunday.

Russia took advantage of a nervous start by Cuba, taking a quick 5-2 lead and maintaining the advantage until the first technical timeout (8-4). Cuba head coach Orlando Samuels called for a timeout in an attempt to stabilize his team but were unable to reduce the gap and entered the second TTO down 16-10. Russia continued to add to their advantage and won the set by 12 points.

The Cubans found their rhythm in the second set and took a 5-2 difference. By the first TTO, Cuba enjoyed a 2-point advantage. Russia stayed close and leveled the score at 9-9. The teams continued playing point by point until 14-14, when Russia scored 2 points in a row for a 16-14 lead. The teams traded points and after four successful blocks in a single rally, Cuba retook the lead, 23-22, but Russia scored the set.

In the third set Cuba led at the first TTO. The game continued point by point until 11-11, when Daniele Bagnoli's boys took a 2-point advantage. By the second TTO, Russia was still ahead 16-13. The Cubans unsuccessfully tried to get back in the match and Russia won the third set to secure the bronze medal.

Russian captain Sergey Tetyukhin was pleased with the final result: “We showed team spirit, we found our game and strength after yesterday's defeat to Brazil,” he said. “We played very well. It is not easy when you are beaten in the semifinals.”


Match descriptions, press conferences and free photos for media purposes are available at




Former Italian Volleyball world champion Andrea Zorzi is in Belgrade to blog on the FIVB website with his project “Follow Me.” A click away from the FIVB homepage, “Follow Me” will track all the technical and backstage aspects of the World League Final Round with videos and articles. All the press conferences are available as well on video.




1. Brazil

2. Serbia

3. Russia

4. Cuba

5. Argentina

6. USA

7. Italy

7. Finland

9. Bulgaria

9. France

9. Netherlands

9. Poland

13. China

13. Japan

13. Korea

13. Venezuela



BEST PLAYERS (best 4 teams)

Best Spiker: Roberlandy Simon (CUBA)

Best Blocker: Roberlandy Simon (CUBA)

Best Server: Wilfredo Leon (CUBA)

Best Libero: Alexey Verbov (RUSSIA)

Best Setter: Nikola Grbic (SERBIA)

Best Scorer: Ivan Miljkovic (SERBIA)

Most Valuable Player: Sergio Dutra Santos (BRAZIL)




Wednesday, July 22

Argentina – Cuba 1-3 (22-25, 25-22, 24-26, 24-26)

Serbia – USA 3-0 (25-20, 25-23, 25-22)

Thursday, July 23

Cuba – Brazil 1-3 (18-25, 25-23, 17-25, 19-25)

USA – Russia 0-3 (22-25, 22-25, 23-25)

Friday, July 24

Brazil – Argentina 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20)

Russia – Serbia 1-3 (23-25, 23-25, 25-23, 21-25)

Saturday, July 25


Brazil – Russia 3-0 (25-17, 25-21, 25-21)

Serbia – Cuba 3-1 (18-25, 25-13, 25-21, 27-25)

Sunday, July 26

Bronze medal match: Russia – Cuba 3-0 (25-13, 26-24, 25-16)

Gold medal match: Brazil – Serbia 3-2 (22-25, 25-23, 25-22, 23-25, 15-12)

More press releases
26/07/2009 Press conferences in video for first time on
25/07/2009 Brazil to battle Serbia for 2009 World League gold medal
24/07/2009 Brazil, Cuba, Russia, Serbia to battle for medals in World League semifinals
23/07/2009 Defending Olympic and World League champions USA sent packing after loss to Russia
23/07/2009 World League Final Round in Belgrade to be broadcast worldwide
22/07/2009 Serbia, Cuba off to winning starts in World League Final Round
22/07/2009 Serbian Olympic gold medalists honored in Belgrade before World League match
21/07/2009 Belgrade ready to host World League Final Round: Six teams to battle for crown
19/07/2009 Final Round distribution set for 2009 World League
15/07/2009 Four Final Six spots left to fill in last round of World League Pool play
12/07/2009 Bulgaria, Finland, France turn up the heat in Round 5 of World League
8/07/2009 Brazilian defeat gives hope to World League rivals in Round 5
8/07/2009 Venezuela to host Brazil with revamped lineup
6/07/2009 Finland gives Brazil wake-up call in Round 4 of World League
1/07/2009 It's now or never for laggards in Round 4 of World League
28/06/2009 Brazil continues to set pace in 2009 World League
24/06/2009 Crunch weekend ahead for all teams in Round 3 of 2009 World League
22/06/2009 Brazil stands tall as only undefeated team in 2009 World League
19/06/2009 Russia’s coach curious about hot weather and home crowd in Havana
18/06/2009 Horstink to play true home match against China in Apeldoorn
17/06/2009 Three teams aim to stay unbeaten as World League enters second weekend
15/06/2009 Brazil, Russia, Cuba go unbeaten on opening weekend of World League
12/06/2009 Anticipation builds in Ahoy
11/06/2009 Dutch hoping to relive World League glory
9/06/2009 Cuba ready for another run at World League title
8/06/2009 Press conference kicks off World League in Poland
3/06/2009 Japan announces its squad for World League 2009
28/04/2009 Italy switches 2009 FIVB World League match from Reggio Calabria to Florence
16/04/2009 Venezuela hires Herrera to coach men's team
9/04/2009 FIVB makes 2009 FIVB World League team lists available

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