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Repeat of 2003 as Brazil take on Serbia and Montenegro in final

Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro, July 10, 2005 – The final of the 2005 World League is set to go for 17:00 GMT in Belgrade with defending champions Brazil taking on last year’s bronze medalists and hosts Serbia and Montenegro in what is set to be a classic.

Both teams have a proud history in the World League with Brazil having won the title four times and Serbia and Montenegro having collected three medals from the past three years.
Pic: Brazil beat Serbia and Montenegro 3-2 (25-16, 21-25, 19-25, 25-23, 31-29) in the 2003 final
Both teams played each other just two days ago in the opening day of the finals with Brazil winning 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 26-24, 25-21) but prior to that, these two teams met in the semifinals of the 2004 World League with Brazil winning again 3-0 (25-23, 32-30, 25-20). But the match that will be most remembered between these two teams was in the 2003 final in Madrid in what is arguably one of the most outstanding matches in World League history.

Having both progressed through their pools and finals matches with great authority the two heavyweights clashed in an epic final which saw world champions Brazil prevail 3-2 (25-16, 21-25, 19-25, 25-23, 31-29), which at the time was a tie break record until Serbia and Montenegro and Argentina broke it in this year’s Intercontinental Round.

Brazil, not surprisingly, are hot favourites, with the last two (and the last three of four) World League titles in their bag and having just lost one of their last 35 World League matches. The Olympic champions and world number one finished the Intercontinental Round 11-1.

But in Serbia and Montenegro’s favour is the venue and a proud record which has seen the 2000 Olympic champions finish no worse than fourth in the World League since 2000. Their passionate home fans will be worth a healthy head start and will make for a terrific atmosphere and as coach Ljubomir Travica says “in a Final, anything is possible."

The playoff between the bronze medal between Cuba and Poland starts at 14:00 GMT (16:00 local time) before Brazil take on Serbia and Montenegro at 17:00 GMT (19:00 local time).

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