Team Profile



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Current European champions and hosts of this year’s World League Final Round, Italy will be among the favourites to gain victory at the 2004 tournament. Italy is not only one of Volleyball's superpowers, it is the best men's team of the 20th century, according to the FIVB selection and certainly, with its spectacular history of eight World League titles, two seconds, two thirds and two fourth places, is the singularly most successful team in World League history. Although the national team had a good start in international competitions, finishing third at the European Championship in 1948 and eighth at the first World Championship in 1949, the country then had to wait for almost another 40 years for a significant success. The first breakthrough came in 1978 at the World Championships held in Rome where the Italians won the silver medal, but the best was yet to come.

Under the firm hand of head coach Julio Velasco of Argentina, Italy clearly dominated the sport in the 1990s, triumphing at the World Championship in 1990 in Brazil, in 1994 in Greece and again, under new coach, Brazilian Bebeto in Japan, 1998. No other team can match such a record in the history of this sport. During this splendid era Italy also captured the silver medal at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and the bronze in Sydney 2000 under coach Andrea Anastasi. Also from 1989 Italy won the European Championship four times, claimed the World Cup in 1995 and the Grand Champions Cup in 1993. However, following their fourth place finish in the World League two years ago and the disappointing fifth at the World Championship, a new coach Gian Paolo Montali, was appointed to lead the Azzurri back to the former glory.

Montali wants to focus on the 2004 Athens Olympics but given his winning attitude, Italy have been storming through tournaments as they approach the 2004 Olympics. The European Championship win followed a second-place finish at last year’s World Cup and a bronze medal at the 2003 World League.Currently second on the FIVB World ranking list, Italy will clash with China, Serbia & Montenegro and Cuba in Pool C of the 2004 World League.

Prize Money
Italy Total Prize money US$
13 543 315

Overall Standings for Italy
World League Played Total Matches played Win Lost % Wins
14 239 185 54 77.4