Milan, Italy, September 20, 2018 – Coaches and captain of Italy, Netherlands, Russia and Finland, the four team who will compete in Pool E of FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, issued some statements today during the meeting with local and international media. The show will start tomorrow at 5 pm at Mediolanum Forum in Assago, when Netherlands will face Russia for the first match of the pool.
Gianlorenzo Blengini, coach of Italy: "We just have to focus on the first match, the one against Finland. The rest will come later. We must keep in mind that the path we followed to get here doesn't matter anymore. Tomorrow's game will be decisive, just like any other in this tournament".
Gido Vermeulen, coach of Netherlands: "We are very happy that we made it so far. We're playing a good volleyball, so let's keep it like this and we will see what this round will bring; we're preparing the games and thinking step by step. Russia are the winner of the Volleyball Nations League and played at an incredible level during summer: in my opinion, it's one of the best teams in this tournament, but we will try to do our best".
Sergei Shliapnikov, coach of Russia: "Step by step we want to win every match and to qualify for the Final Six of the World Championship. The first round is the past, and we must think about the future."
Tuomas Sammelvuo, coach of Finland: "Our team is growing strong and we have already achieved so much by getting to this part of the world championship, so from now on everything is to be enjoyed. Though, we still want to get a say in the competition, so we are going to fight until the end. The first round has been amazing, with lots of fans coming to Bulgaria to cheer for us, and we hope we will see some fans here too, but even if they don’t make it, we will give our best to make them proud.”
Ivan Zaytsev, captain of Italy: "We start this pool with a good advantage on the opponents and of course we want to handle it at best, but we have to think about our ranking as an insurance for when we will be in trouble, which we hope will not happen. We need to be careful against Finland: we learned in Florence, during the previous round, that every team gives its best when it comes to face Italy".
Nimir Abdel Aziz, captain of Netherlands: "To us, being here is a nice surprise: before the World Championship we thought it would be difficult to qualify to the second round, but then we managed to win 4 games and we're very happy with this result. Now we have to face three other strong opponents: Italy and Russia doubtless are the favourite teams. It is a special emotion for me to play in Milan, the city where my club is based".
Eemi Tervaportti, captain of Finland: "Our main target was to get through the first round and we are more than happy to say we succeeded in that, but now we want to show that we can play a good volleyball, competing against big teams like Russia, Italy and Netherlands. Having our fans near is always a good boost to perform well. We hope that at least a few hundred finnish fans will get to be here and cheer for us.”
Sergey Grankin, captain of Russia: "In this pool we will face very strong teams and we will try to do our best. Our goal is to qualify for the next round."