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Anastasi backing Iran to challenge at Tokyo 2020

Andrea Anastasi ended his time as Belgium coach in 2018
Rome, Italy, August 14, 2020 – Andrea Anastasi expects Iran to be among the leading sides when the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games take place in 2021. 

The Italian knows what it takes to win an Olympic medal having led Italy to bronze at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, and he twice came close to taking over as Iran coach. 

Iran qualified for Tokyo 2020 by winning the Asian Tokyo Volleyball Qualification tournament in January. They start as reigning Asian champions having beaten Australia in the final of the Iran 2019 AVC Asian Volleyball Championship.

The Italian is currently in charge of Polish side VERVA Warszawa Orlen Paliwa and has not coached internationally since he stood down as Belgium coach in December 2018. 

“It can be a good opportunity because the team is really very good at this moment,” Anastasi said in an interview with Iran TV. 

“I think you have really huge players and an interesting team. Now there is a lot of respect for this team around the world, and yes why not. I can think about this.” 

The 59-year-old’s current concern is with whether his team can pick up where they left off when the Polish PlusLiga restarts on September 12.

The team from the Polish capital were second in the table before lockdown caused the season to end prematurely. 

However, with world champions Damian Wojtaszek, Bartosz Kwolek and Piotr Nowakowski in their ranks and 27-year-old Spanish international setter Angel Trinidad boosting their ranks, Anastasi is looking forward to seeing his team be as competitive as before. 

“I have been back to work since July,” Anastasi said. 

“Here the situation is better than most places, we are a bit lucky. We started our preparation again after four months. It was a lot of time, but now we can work. I am positive.

“We attracted Angel, a young setter,” Anastasi said. “He is the setter of the Spanish men’s national team, he is Angel, Angel Trinidad.

“We have mixed team with a lot of younger players, who are basically from Poland.”

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