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World League Finals provide boost to Italy's new era

Two of the key coaches at the World League Finals - Brazil's Bernardo Rezende and Javier Weber of Argentina - prove popular with the media
Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 16, 2013 – Italy coach Mauro Berruto stressed how important the World League Finals are for his young side on the eve of the last leg of the FIVB Volleyball World League 2013, which starts in Mar del Plata, Argentina on Wednesday.

Berruto, who has been in charge of the Italian national side since 2010, took the Azzurri to Olympic bronze last year however he said at the World League Finals press conference that the annual men’s competition is another key step in the exciting future of his team.

“We have a young, renewed team with some changes after the Olympic Games but these guys have a lot of potential,” Berruto said. “We are working for the future but of course we're here to do our best.

Italy will have a day off when the World League starts with their Group D counterparts Argentina and Bulgaria facing off on Wednesday at 21:00 (local time).

Berruto’s Italian compatriot Camillo Placi is the coach of Bulgaria and pointed out that being in Mar del Plata is not an accident for his side despite their last-minute qualification. “This result is the confirmation of what we did in the last Olympic Games,” explained Placi, remembering the fourth place the Europeans achieved in London.

Wrapping up the local side’s pool, Argentina coach Javier Weber gave a warm welcome to all the visiting teams and underlined the pride for hosting the World League Finals. About his guys, he added: ?
We’ve faced many different situations along the Intercontinental Round and now we know what we have to do in order to face the best teams in the world. We feel that we can do great in these Finals.”

A mouth-watering Pool E clash in a repeat of the 2012 Olympic Games final between Brazil and Russia starts proceedings on Wednesday at 17:30.

Brazilian coach Bernardo Rezende warned about the high difficulty of the group but at the same time he was confident: “We know we are at a good level and for us this will be a good experience if we reach the semifinals. Our goal is to stay here until the weekend.”

Coach Andrey Voronkov also agreed about the tough upcoming challenge: “These Finals are going to be a very tough one. I’m sure we will witness some very interesting matches in Mar del Plata. I hope my team will give its best.”

Last but not least, Canada represents the biggest surprise amongst the teams in Mar del Plata, arriving as Pool C winners. “Of course, we're ecstatic about being here,” coach Glenn Hoag said. “We have a young team and this is our second year of work, but the guys are getting good experience.”

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