Fantastic Italy regain world title after 24 years

Italy’s 24-year wait for their fourth world title came to an end on Sunday, as the Italians silenced a packed Spodek Arena in Katowice and triumphed at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship 2022 by downing defending champions Poland 3-1 (22-25, 25-21, 25-18, 25-20) in the gold medal match of the 20th edition of the tournament.

A few hours earlier, Brazil defeated Slovenia 3-1 to claim bronze, taking their place on the podium for the sixth-straight time at a World Championship, following golds in 2002, 2006 and 2010, and silvers in 2014 and 2018.

The title was the fourth won by the Italians, who also topped the podium in 1990, 1994 and 1998. Their country is now the second with the most triumphs in the competition, trailing only the former Soviet Union, who won the World Championship in 1949, 1952, 1960, 1962, 1978 and 1982.

“It doesn’t feel real,” setter and team captain Simone Giannelli said. “Last year, when we won the European Championship, I cried a lot. But now I can’t cry because I’m so happy and so excited. I can’t think of anything, I can only smile and laugh. I’m so proud of my team, proud to be Italian and proud to be a world champion.”

 

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