FIVB Volleyball Girls' U18 World Championship

Press release

Volleyball made my dreams a reality- Moroccan captain

Marocco captain Zouhair El Graoui with flag of his country

 Izmir, Turkey, August 29, 2013- From a small volleyball club to the National team training center and then to Moroccan Youth and Junior National team and finally here in Turkey the dreams become a truth for the Moroccan captain Zouhair El Graoui, but it was beyond his dreams to be one day the top scorer of the World Championship. 

 El Graoui scored 34 points in their Wednesday's match against Estonia and it was enough to lead the competition scorers so far with a total of 118 points in 5 matches i.e. 9 points ahead of the Italian Opposite spiker Luigi Randazzo.

 The Moroccan outside hitter who started real volleyball career only 5 years ago thinks that volleyball made a dramatic in his life both locally in his city, and internationally through making a lot of friends from the whole world, but of course the World Championship was another big step in his life.

 In Pool A in Ankara,he played against Turkey, China, India and Egypt. But Morocco's captain had a fantastic contribute against Egypt, on their last match in Pool A. He scored 31 points and brought the victory for his team against Egypt with a record of scorers' performance in the whole competition during the preliminary round. Even they couldn't make it to the round of 16, they were happy to beat North African rivals. Then again he broke the record and scored 34 against Estonia to lead the scorers on Wednesday. 

“Men's U21 World Championship is very big challenge for us. We played against big teams and big international competition such as this championship is always a good experience,” said Graoui.

“I started playing volleyball in Morocco in 2007 in my club Ettihad of Morocco. Many of my colleagues were playing other sports like football and basketball, but I insist to choose volleyball as a sport and not any other sport else. I was selected for Youth national team for the first time in 2008," he remembered.

 I started training in the development centre of Morocco with the youth national team. Everyday after the training I was waiting for the day we can raise the Moroccan flag at the international level,”

 The captain continues to tell about his national carrier; “I was selected in national team in 2010 for both African Volleyball championships U19 and U21, but we couldn't make it to the world championship. Early this year the dream became a truth when we qualified for Men's U21 World Championship during the Junior African Nations Championship in Tunisia”. 

He thinks qualifying for such international competitions increase their popularity, “Volleyball added a lot to me. People from different counties asking to get in touch with me. This increased my popularity in my country Morocco and also in the whole world. Now we are raising our flag at the international events. This gives us a lot of satisfaction and National sense.” 

While he's playing volleyball, he continues his education in Morocco. “I am studying in a faculty of science in Morocco and I believe volleyball will help me in practical life beside my personal study.”

Download highresolution


| More

More press releases

17.09.2013 15:05:20
Anti-doping education outreach programme gains momentum at U21 Championship
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 13, 2013 – The International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) in collaboration with the FIVB Heroes project and the World... More...
06.09.2013 14:56:26
Men's U21 MVP looking to hard work for success
Kazan, Russia, September 4, 2013 –Russia has a new “golden boy” in volleyball. In only six months, 18-year-old Viktor Poletaev has won gold in all the... More...
03.09.2013 09:27:10
Russian “player factory” dominates the volleyball world
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 3, 2013 - The world of men’s volleyball is currently dominated by Russia and that could remain the case for quite a w... More...
02.09.2013 12:26:37
Mohamed Lazreug whistles his last FIVB match to give way to young Algerian referees
Ankara, Turkey, September 1, 2013 – The Algerian referee Mohamed Lazreug had a tear in his eye as he started whistling the fifth place classification ... More...
02.09.2013 10:00:07
Men's Under 21 World Championship FIVB Web TV highlights
Lausanne, Switzerland, September 2, 2013 - If you missed any of the action from the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Under 21 Championship last week, make sure y... More...
01.09.2013 21:29:58
Russia defend world title in fantastic display of volleyball
Ankara, Turkey, September 1, 2013 – Russia claimed the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship title with a fantastic performance in the gold med... More...
01.09.2013 20:02:39
If we had not been favourites, it would have been easier - coach Nikolaev
Ankara, Turkey, September 1, 2013 – It was only natural that after such an impressive 3-0 (25-16, 25-16, 25-20) victory for Russia over Brazil in the ... More...
01.09.2013 19:43:40
Russian machine too powerful for Brazil
Ankara, Turkey, September 1, 2013 – Russia claimed the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship title with a fantastic performance in the gold med... More...
01.09.2013 17:52:28
I want to thank all my players for the incredible results - coach Bonitta
Ankara, Turkey, September 1, 2013 – Italy’s coach Marco Bonitta is happy to have won bronze from the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship afte... More...
01.09.2013 17:33:31
Italy win U21 World Championship bronze
Ankara, Turkey, September 1, 2013 – Italy triumphed with the bronze medals from the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship in Turkey. The Europe... More...