Italian men's team ready for the challenges ahead
Italian Volleyball Federation President Carlo Magri offered his greetings to the team, who will see top action in the World League Final Six in Florence and in the World Championship in Poland.
“It’s always a pleasure before the start of a season that will see us in two major tournaments,” he said. “For us, as usual, it will be a season full of events that we hope we will play a major part in.”
Head coach Mauro Berruto then offered his comments: “We are all excited to begin an extraordinary season during which we will have the opportunity to play the Final Six at home. This will allow us to adequately prepare for the World Championship, an event that is second only to the Olympic Games. I would like to thank FIPAV for their organizational efforts and we will do everything to repay the trust placed in us.
“Having had to deal with Russia on numerous occasions, this year we will have the chance to face Brazil, another team that we respect and hold up as a model. The tournament formula for 2014, which has divided the teams based on ranking, will give us the opportunity to aim our training at the highest level. Starting off the season against the champions of the world will be a unique opportunity.”
Several players also commented:
Emanuele Birarelli: “We're coming off the club season, but the national team always gives you a little bit extra so that you don’t need too much time to feel ready. This year the goal is to do something a little bit special.”
Ivan Zaytsev: “Starting out against a team like Brazil will allow us to immediately get into the swing of games that count for a lot. We want to be prepared for Florence, where of course we want to show what we can do and give the spectators something to cheer about.”
Dragan Travica: “I am very happy to be back; for us to wear the shirt of the national team is an honour and a great responsibility. We are proud to represent our country, especially at a time when we are facing many hard challenges. We will do everything we can to put a smile on people’s faces.”