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Press release

Young Vettori makes a point as Italy win bronze

Vettori had played for Italy 16 times prior to Sunday's bronze medal match

Mar del Plata, Argentina, July 21, 2013 - Young Italian star Luca Vettori led Italy to their first World League medal since 2004 with a 3-2 win against Bulgaria at the 2013 World League Finals on Sunday.

Vettori, the youngest member in Italy's Finals squad, was a late replacement for injured captain Cristian Savani and was the match's top scorer with an impressive 29-point total.

"I feel very good," he said. "I was a bit surprised [to play] because yesterday I didn't, but today I played a wonderful match. I didn't expect this so to do very well is surprising.

"It's incredible our victory and right now I'm really happy to have fun with my friends, my team."

Despite the late call and the match's importance, the 22-year-old said he wasn't nervous. "In the championship in Italy, I entered many times this way, so this sensation is normal."

"Yesterday [in the semifinal] we wanted to arrive in the first place for the gold medal, but today, we wanted to win. The team right now are similar in height and spiking, but there is something else we have - and the speciality is the heart and the desire to do more than the other teams.

"We are a young team and there are many prospects among us, so at the [2013] European Championships we hope that we'll do better than third place."

Meanwhile, Emanuele Birarelli described how difficult the match was to win:

“I’m so happy. It wasn’t easy to win this match, we were tired and our captain is injured which was a problem but we are very proud because we could manage our difficult moments.

“We are always expected to be among the best teams. Italy won eight World Leagues in the first editions but the team changes and I am very happy with this team, this medal is very important for us.

“I think in this moment we are the third team in the world because Russia and Brazil maybe have something more.

“Our next goal is European Championship and many teams can win this tournament, Russia is the favourite team but we have two months to work, prepare and play better.”

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