Trieste looks forward to hosting world's best teams
The 56-year old Michelli has a strong connection with volleyball: he played in the second division of the Italian league with Solaris Trieste, then in Gorizia and finally in Villa Vicentina, where he was both player and coach. He was general manager of Adriavolley Trieste, when the club competed in Italy’s first division, and vice president of the Regional Volleyball Committee, which is responsible for major events. Until one month ago, he was also a member of the board of directors of the Pallacanestro Trieste basketball club.
Michelli, first the prelims of the FIVB World Grand Prix and now the Finals have confirmed that Brazil, who will play in Trieste during the upcoming World Championship, is a dream team.
For Trieste, it’s a big chance and a great honour to host Brazil in the first round. The presence of this top team, who are the biggest favourites, enhances the interest of our Pool.
Also due to some injuries, Italy did not make the Finals of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix. What do you think about Italy’s performance?
Our team has great potential. They were not lucky, but you have to deserve to be lucky. They have enough time to improve. Lucia Bosetti’s injury is undoubtedly serious, but I saw that there are good alternatives and possible comebacks, like Carolina Costagrande; at the moment we have no information about Francesca Ferretti’s injury. I think that Italy is a work in progress. The head coach will have the ideal squad in his mind.
Coach Bonitta didn’t seem too disappointed about the results achieved in the World Grand Prix.
We don’t know the opinion of the Italian Volleyball Federation; of course, if you qualify for the Finals you get prize money. Probably Bonitta, who has been working for just a few months with the team, needed to see all the players at work.
Turkey, who we will see in Trieste during the FIVB Women’s World Championship, defeated Italy and has drawn a lot of attention from the media.
And they receive much more attention than the men’s team also from the public opinion in their home country. We cannot forget that in the match against Italy, the second best scorer with 18 points was Neriman Ozsoy, who will play with Imoco Conegliano, a club which is aiming to get excellent results at an international level and win the next edition of the Italian national league.
Serbia were beaten by Korea. Do you think the same will happen at the FIVB Women’s World Championship?
Serbia are a rising star, and sometimes can suffer a setback. In a year when the World Championship is scheduled, the FIVB World Grand Prix can be seen as a kind of warm-up; the results have to be read with added caution. I think that Serbia are a team who can give any opponent a hard time, also in the second round.
China and Japan will play the first round in Bari and most probably the second round in Trieste. Amazing China seem to have much room for improvement.
China’s performances have been impressive, as confirmed by their world ranking. China have a powerful team, with a good coach and even our best squad suffered in the match against the Asian team. They will be one of the stars to shine at the World Championship.
Japan will get an extra boost after hosting the World Grand Prix Finals.
Japan are a team of international stature, even if less strong from the physical point of view. Playing the FIVB Grand Prix Finals at home will ensure added value. Anyway, I think that Brazil and China stand head and shoulders above their rivals.
In your opinion, which team will be the revelation at this FIVB Women’s World Championship?
I think Turkey; they have very strong players competing in their championship and their volleyball is improving and gaining popularity. Turkey have an interesting team from the physical as well as the technical point of view, and have an excellent coach, Massimo Barbolini.
Belgium just won the World Grand Prix Group 2 Finals. Can Belgium become the sensation of the World Championship?
Some underdogs like Belgium can challenge teams which are much stronger, at least on paper.
Which player are you looking forward to seeing in Trieste?
I’m eager to see Brazilian player Jaqueline [Pereira De Carvalho Endres] because of her power, beauty and personality.
What do you expect from the fans in Trieste as the FIVB Women’s World Championship comes to town?
Times are difficult; the organising committee and the Italian Volleyball Federation have therefore provided tickets at very low prices. I think that our region and the neighbouring countries will take this unique opportunity to watch world-class volleyball. In Trieste, we will be hosting the world’s best volleyball teams for two weeks.
Michelli, what are your plans for the future after the FIVB Women’s World Championship?
It’s a question I have asked myself. I started my work for this FIVB Women’s World Championship in 2011 and now I have to concentrate on this event. Anyway it will be difficult to keep me away from the sports arena that I like so much.