Sada Cruzeiro demonstrate that times have changed
Lausanne, Switzerland, April 28, 2014 - Trentino are the most successful club in the history
of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship. They won four successive
titles between 2009 and 2012, before finishing third last year in Betim,
Sada Cruzeiro won the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship in 2013|
After being knocked out in the European Champions League
quarterfinals, they missed out on qualifying for this year’s FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World
Championship Belo Horizonte 2014, but were allocated one of two wild cards to complete the eight-team line-up for the competition.
Times have changed. A look back at the history of the
event reveals that last season’s winners - Sada Cruzeiro - were the first non-Italian
club to win the competition.
After four World Championship titles in a row, the
star team from Trentino crashed out to 2013 European Champions League winners
Lokomotiv Novosibirsk from Russia at the semifinal stage. The title went to a non-European
team for the first time, with local heroes Sada Cruzeiro and their MVP Wallace
Souza emerging victorious after an outstanding achievement in their 3-0 victory
over Novosibirsk in the final in front of 7200 fans.
It really was a historic moment. Since its debut in
1989, the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship had been dominated by
Italian teams. The prestigious competition was originally started as a way of
comparing the best volleyball teams from different continents. Six teams took
part in the inaugural competition in Parma, Italy. Hosts Maxicono Parma, with
stars Andrea Zorzi and Andrea Giani in their squad, were victorious over CSKA
Moscow and two Brazilian teams.
In later editions of the competition, which grew to
include eight participating clubs, South America’s volleyball stars proved to
be the biggest challenge for the dominant Italians. Mediolanum Milano and Messaggero Ravenna won
the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship titles in 1990 and 1991
respectively, with Banespa São Paulo finishing second on both occasions. Italian
superiority, however, was reaffirmed when Misura Milano won ahead of hosts
Sisley Treviso at the fourth edition in 1992. Olympiakos Piraeus finished third
that year, making them the only Greek club to have stood on the podium.
The competition in 1992 was followed by a 17-year break
during which the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship was not held. In
2009 it made its comeback, hosted by Doha, and this heralded the spectacular
run of success for the volleyball players from Trentino. The team coached by Radostin
Stoytchev was victorious in the final, beating Polish side PGE Skra Belchatow
3-0, while captain Matey Kaziyski was awarded MVP.
“It was a very important tournament for us and we were
very keen to emerge as champions here. This is my third year with the team and
we have won three major titles. Previously we bagged the Italian League and
European Champions’ League crowns”, said Kaziyski. The reward was 250,000
dollars in prize money.
A year later, both clubs met again in the final – and
once again it was Trentino celebrating after the match ended 3-1, although they
had previously suffered a 0-3 defeat at the hands of the Poles in the European
Champions League. Osmany Juantorena was awarded MVP. Paykan Tehran were the
first team from Iran to finish third in a world championship.
In 2011, the final was contested by teams from Italy and Poland for the third
time in a row. This time, Trentino’s Juantorena was awarded MVP. The Italians
went on to beat Jastrzębski Węgiel 3-1.
“It was an incredible final,” said Kaziyski, Trentino
captain. “Both teams played at a very high level. We have taken part in this
championship for several years now and are looking forward to returning next
And what a return it turned out to be for Trentino,
who defeated Brazilian side Sada Cruzeiro 3-0 in the 2012 edition of the FIVB
Men’s Club World Championship in Doha. Everything was almost the way it had
been in previous years. Osmany Juantorena completed the MVP hat-trick and
Trentino's leader Kazyiski celebrated a fourth successive victory: “We are part
of history now.”
In 2013, however, Sada Cruzeiro wrote a new chapter in the history of the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship and became
the first non-Italian team to win the competition. Will they hold on to their
title this year or could it go to
another unexpected winner?