Sofia, Bulgaria, September 23, 2018 – Bulgaria’s end to the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship was bitter as the co-hosts lost 3-2 (25-19, 25-14, 21-25, 19-25, 15-10) to Canada failing to get revenge for the five-setter dropped to Poland four years ago.
Stephane Antiga, head coach of Canada: “I’m happy for my boys as they kept fighting for every point from the beginning to the end. In this tournament I saw in my team a huge performance, leadership improvement. It was important for each of us to go back home with a victory in the last match against the home team. Of course, we wanted more. Now, it’s time to analyse the mistakes, to watch a bunch of videos. We need to keep working, to be consistent at that high level. I know we can be! We’re a strong team, but we need more experience! If I have to mention an element that escapes us – this is the service. I was impressed with that of the United States and Italy.”
John Gordon Perrin, player of Canada: “We knew it would be a good and interesting game in a great atmosphere. As we saw tonight, it was fantastic! I’m happy for Bulgaria that they were able to play better in the end, and made the game more interesting for everybody!”
Teodor Salparov, player of Bulgaria: “I'm sorry we couldn’t get a 3-2 win because it would be a great finish for our matches in Bulgaria. Great for us, players, and for our incredible audience. This was the last World championship for me and I wanted to win, to leave positively in front of the unique Bulgarian audience and most of all to get a decent place in the final standings. Having missed the chance to be in the Final Six it hurts me most that we were unable to qualify in seventh or eighth place. The only good thing from the match against Canada was that despite the gruesome first two sets we played, we managed to get back into the match. It would have been terrible if we had continued to play that outrageously bad in the third set. We had to get up and to change our behavior because of those great people who were close to us during all the hard moments. Thanks to all Bulgarians for the incredible support!”
Plamen Konstantinov, coach of Bulgaria: “Disgusting first two sets! It may happen to play such a set, but you can‘t count on winning if you give two without even getting into the game. The good thing was the boys have come back. Unfortunately, we were unable to win the tiebreak. We had to switch to another gear not in the third but in the second set, then we could have won the match. I wanted to win the last match, in order to achieve a higher place in the final standings. We can mostly regret the first match against Iran in Varna. We had to play it more concentrated, attentive and at maximum speed, like the second one in Sofia. If we had won in Varna and against Canada we had played for a place in the Final six, the mood would have been radically different. The second key point was the match against Poland. We missed a great opportunity to go to a tiebreak. A point or victory could have left us with a chance to the very last moment. The luck wasn’t on our side as well. For the two major championships we hosted – the European Championship in 2015 and the World Championship in 2018, we had key absentees in the squad. Back then and now we were without Tsvetan Sokolov. And it wasn’t only him. We were definitely not lucky. To finish – thanks to all Bulgarians for the great support!”