Brussels, Belgium, March 14, 2018 - The Belgian Volleyball Federation has signed on Italian coach Andrea Anastasi as head coach for their Men's National Team, ahead of the Red Dragons' appearance in the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria next September, with a mandate extending to 2019, when Belgium will be one of the four host nations of that year's European Championship.
"I'm proud to be coaching Belgium and I want to help them achieve great results," said the 57-year-old following the announcement of his appointment.
Anastasi's contract includes an option for a one-year extension if Belgium qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
But the Italian's first challenge is far more imminent. "The most important goal this season is the World Championship in Italy and Bulgaria," he said.
And in 2019 Belgium hosts the European Championship (alongside France, the Netherlands and Slovenia), another stage where Anastasi and his Red Dragons could shine. "Belgium had a brilliant result in the European Championship last season and they have a great national team. Sam Deroo is an amazing player, although [in Poland] he plays for our opponent, Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle, but I'm sure he will do better for me," says Anastasi jokingly.
"Belgium have good players who play in France, Italy, Iran and all over the world. I'm proud to be the coach of Belgium."
Belgium is the fourth national team Anastasi will lead. In his first year as Italian head coach, in 1999, he stunned the world by winning both the FIVB Volleyball World League and the European Championship. One year later he managed to win the World League for the second time in a row and Italy claimed the bronze medal at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games.
In 2007 he again took European gold, this time as head coach of Spain. In his second period as Italian head coach he led the team to fourth places at the Beijing 2008 Olympics and the 2010 FIVB World Championship.
He later led Poland to the gold medal in the 2012 FIVB World League.
In the first round of the 2018 World Championship Belgium are in Pool A in Florence together with Argentina, the Dominican Republic, Italy, Japan and Slovenia.Quick links -Volleyball:FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Italy-Bulgaria 2018FIVB.com - VolleyballFIVB.comLatest VideosFacebookTwitterInstagram