COACH PROFILE

Italy

Gian Paolo Montali

 

 
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Gian Paolo Montali had a difficult beginning to his stewardship of the national team immediately after replacing Andrea Anastasi. The most successful team in the history of the World League stuttered to only fourth place in the 2002 tournament and things got even worse for the once invincible Squadra Azzuri at the World Championship in Argentina in the same year where they finished fifth.

However, Montali had a recipe to revert the downhill course which, although quite simple, proved very effective: "Attitude, attitude, attitude," he said, underlining that he expected all his star players to dedicate themselves to every competition, match, set and even rally. The national team improved dramatically in 2003, claiming silver at the World Cup, winning the European Championships and gaining bronze at the World League.

Montali had already scored a string of achievements in his native land where he coached teams from four cities to five different championships.

"Coaching the national team is a great," he once said. He intends to focus on the 2004 Olympics in Athens, which, in his view, is the best way to motivate his team and to show how powerful they can be.