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Argentina ready to measure themselves against Serbia

Rodrigo Quiroga will lead Argentina once more as captain
Rosario, Argentina, May 24, 2011 – Argentina coach Javier Weber has said that the side’s opening 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League match against Serbia will give them a good indicator as to where they stand on the world stage as the countdown continues to the start of the premier annual men’s contest this Friday.

Argentina begin their campaign on Saturday and Sunday against last year’s bronze medalists with both games at 18:00 local time and the roster is built around the core of the 2010 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship team that finished ninth in Italy.

“Even though our main goal is Olympic qualification, the FIVB World League is a great challenge each season,” Weber said. “To play against Serbia on our debut, when we are searching for our best game is very important and can tell us our real level at international standard.”

Weber ran his team through a double training session on Monday and they will continue training on Tuesday before travelling to Rosario on Thursday, where the match will be played at Newell’s Stadium. With tickets still selling for the match it is likely that a healthy crowd will turn out for both contests, with local fans hoping that Rosario-born Sebastián Solé and Pablo Crer make it on to the court.

Serbia is playing with a young but experienced team with and average age of 24 that has been steadily growing for the last two seasons with important names like Petkovic, Starovic, Podrascanin, Stankovic, Janic, Nikic and Kovacevic.

Argentina and Serbia have met on 17 occasions in total with Serbia having won 13 matches in all, including their last clash during the Final Round of last year’s edition of the tournament. However fans will be hoping that the venue will bring out another level in the home side after it hosted one of Argentina’s most memorable World League matches in 2000. That year, with Serbia under the Yugoslavia banner, saw the hosts go down 2-0 before launching an ambitious come back to beat the soon-to-be crowned Olympic champions 3-2 in front of an emotional and lively home crowd.

The 2011 FIVB Volleyball World League will take place from May 27 to July 10 with the Final Round due to be held in Gdansk-Sopot, Poland.

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