Grbic admits dream of playing in World Championship opening match venue
As was announced on Monday’s Drawing of Lots ceremony, the opening match of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014, which will launch the first round of the tournament, will take place at the National Stadium in Warsaw on August 30.
The match will be played between host country Poland and Serbia who are no strangers to each other on the volleyball court having met a total of 36 times in FIVB competitions.
The hosts of this year’s Men's World Championship have won 23 of these meetings against their Serbian counterparts. The two countries have also competed against each other a total of five times in the Men’s World Championships in 2006 and 2010 with Poland emerging as the winner each time.
Vladimir Grbic, Vice-President of the Volleyball Federation of Serbia was one of the volleyball stars invited to draw the lots to determine the composition of the pools for the first round of FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Poland 2014.
Grbic was a member of the national team of Yugoslavia and Serbia and Montenegro and won 13 medals: gold and bronze at the Olympic Games (1996 and 2000); a silver medal at the 1998 World Championships; gold, silver and two bronze medals at the European Championships (2001, 1997, 1995, and 1999); silver and two bronze medals at the World League (2003, 2002, 2004); bronze medals at the World Cup (2003), World Grand Champions Cup (2001), and the World Challenge Cup (1996).
When asked about the composition of the groups after the ceremony Grbic said, "Everybody keeps asking me the same question: What do you think about your Pool?
"In volleyball there are no easy rivals. After all, all teams will be here to win, and nobody lacks motivation for this kind of event. However, I think we were a bit lucky in this Draw not to get the French team, as they are a very strong and unpredictable side. But in the end it doesn’t mean anything. Sometimes it is better to have stronger matches in the beginning so the team can get into the right rhythm right from the start. You never know about these things.
"Through the Pool you have to build up your game so when the biggest challanges come you are ready to face them. Our main goal will be to reach the semifinal, like we did on four previous occasions.
"As for the match with Poland in a football stadium, I have to admit that this was my dream. I always wanted to play a match at the football stadium and even to finish my career in that fashion. In fact, I wanted volleyball to be that popular and in Poland I think it will peak."