2016 was a memorable year for the Italian men's team, who won silver at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, adding to their previous second-place finishes at the Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004 Games.
Despite winning a bronze medal at the inaugural 1948 European Championship, it wasn’t until the early 1970s that Italy became a major force in the sport. They won bronze at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, before a lengthy period of domination under coach Julio Velasco. From 1989 to 2005, Italy won three World Championship titles, one World Cup, six European Championship titles, eight World Leagues and three Olympic medals.
Qualification for the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Nations League Finals went down to the wire when Italy narrowly missed out on the final day, ranking 8th with an 8-7 record.
Italy remain one of the most successful teams since the World Championship began, having won the title three times consecutively, in 1990, 1994 and 1998. The home crowd will be hoping that Italy can replicate this success in Italy.