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Once more Brazil were too strong: Gold Medal!

Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro, July 10, 2005 – Gold for Brazil, silver for Serbia and Montenegro and bronze for Cuba! Golden final for a 2005 World League golden champion – Brazil! – and some dust of gold everywhere in the Beogradska Arena: in the shouts of the public, in the eyes of all the medal holders, in the hands of all the young volunteers who made possible this great yearly celebration of Volleyball. Very good score outside of the court also: 18,140 people attended this dream evening! Among them, the President of the Republic of Serbia Mr Boris Tadic, together with the FIVB President, Dr Rubén Acosta, and the President of the National Federation of Volleyball of Serbia and Montenegro, Mr Aleksandar Boricic.

“Congratulations to the 2005 World League champions Brazil and to all the teams who competed in this year’s Final Round of the premier annual event in men’s Volleyball. The FIVB wants to thank warmly the National Federation of Volleyball of Serbia and Montenegro, the City of Belgrade and the State Government who all contributed to make this fantastic event possible”, said Dr Rubén Acosta. “The organizers, with the support of the public authorities, did all their best to insure the quality of this final in Belgrade. The 2005 World League was a huge success all over the world - during the Intercontinental Round as well as during the Final Round - and contributed to bring people together around a magnificent celebration of Volleyball!” The Final match for gold was covered by 21 TV channels in 22 different languages in more than 100 countries worldwide! Another record in the prestigious history of the World League.

Brazil obtained the gold medal by the score of 3-1 (14-25, 25-14, 25-19, 25-16) against Serbia and Montenegro. In the first set the players of Bernardo Rezende seemed to be very nervous (most of the fans present had come for bringing their pride, their friendship and full support to the Serbian players). But during the following three sets, the South Americans showed all their talent with masterly skill, playing a constructive game, conducting the dance until the final victory. Brazil was much stronger tonight and won the World League title for the fifth time. But on the other side, Serbia and Montenegro can be very proud of the silver medal for their national team, just like in 2003.

No words can describe the fantastic support for the hosts. In the first minutes of this ultimate match, the psychological pressure on the Olympic champion Brazil was incredible. Accordingly, Serbia and Montenegro made a very good start in the first set. Then Brazil came back. As coach Rezende said; “There were two demonstrations of good play during these finals in Belgrade - the match of Serbia and Montenegro against Poland on Saturday because they could fight back after two sets and the second demonstration was the game of Brazil’s tonight, who did the same in the second set.”

Brazil and Serbia & Montenegro have both a proud history in the World League. Prior to the 2005 final, Brazil had won the title four times and Serbia and Montenegro had collected three medals from the past three years. In the 2003 final, Brazil beat Serbia and Montenegro 3-2 (25-16, 21-25, 19-25, 25-23, 31-29). In the semifinals of the 2004 World League Brazil had won again 3-0 (25-23, 32-30, 25-20). Last Friday, both teams played each other in the opening day of these finals in Belgrade with Brazil winning 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 26-24, 25-21).

Against Poland, Cuba showed how talented their young and athletic players are. The balance between both teams was very good until the last and decisive second. Stretch of straight road to the bronze medal. Poland committed big mistakes in defence and while receiving the Cuban serves, but the solidity of the Polish team allowed them to put Cuba in trouble. Finally Cuba could win the bronze! A wonderful gift for these children of hope. “We are on the podium, it’s important for our families and for all the people of Cuba. This victory was hard to get and it means we will have to work even more in the future,” said captain Pavel Pimienta during the press conference following the match.

Individual Awards of the 2005 World League

During the official Award Ceremony, the following individual prizes were distributed. A unique fact in the history of the World League: the silver medal winning player Ivan Milkovic, from Serbia and Montenegro, received the award of Best Scorer / MVP (Most Valuable Player) for the fourth time this year, after receiving the award in 2001, 2002 and 2003.

The players ranking by skills: Best Scorer / MVP: Ivan Milkovic (SCG); Best Spiker: Henry C. Bell (CUB); Best Blocker: Dante Amaral (BRA); Best Server: Ivan Milkovic (SCG); Best Libero: Marko Samarzic (SCG).

Great TV Coverage

The gold medal match was covered by 21 TV Channels in 22 different languages in more than 100 countries worldwide. A one hour slot on July 12 on Eurosport 2 has been dedicated to the Final Round of the 2005 World League. Eurosport 2 was available in four languages in 13 million households across 35 European countries. Eurosport is the most widely available channel in Europe, reaching over 95 million homes and 250 million viewers in 54 countries by simultaneous broadcast in 18 European languages. Of course, you can also watch the gold medal match on Eurosport International, on July 12!

The entire 2005 Final Round was broadcasted by 28 different major TV Channels in over 140 countries worldwide in no less than 23 different languages. “In the history of the World League this is a unique record and we will do everything to increase and develop international Volleyball coverage continuously,” said Mr Franz Schmied, World League Managing Director.

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