FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship wild cards go to Trentino and Al-Rayyan
Trentino are the most successful club in FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship history having won four successive titles from 2009 to 2012 before finishing third last year in Betim. They missed out on qualifying for the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship this year after being knocked in the European Champions League quarterfinals. The three time European champions also failed to defend their Italian League title after also being knocked out in the quarterfinals last month by Modena.
Meanwhile, Al-Rayyan’s only previous appearance in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship was in 2012 when they finished fifth with one victory over Mexico’s Tigres UANL after participating as the host club. However, their silver medal performance at the Asian Men’s Club Championship, where they lost to reigning champions Matin Varamin of Iran 3-1 (19-25, 25-17, 26-24, 25-16) despite the best efforts of their Italian star player Cristian Savani in the final on Wednesday, earned them the coveted second wild card.
The wild card decisions, which were made jointly between the FIVB and the organisers, completes the eight-team qualification process for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship Belo Horizonte 2014.
Defending champions Sada Cruzeiro, who finished second to Italy’s Trentino in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship Doha 2012, are joined by UPCN of Argentina, who qualified after finishing as runner-up at the South American Men’s Club Championship, Europe champions Belogorie Belgorod of Russia, African champions Esperance of Tunisia, the NORCECA representative Guaynabo Mets along with the Asia champions Matin Varamin of Iran.
The FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship Belo Horizonte 2014 will be followed by the women's tournament, which will take place from May 7 to 11 in Zurich, Switzerland.