Bari, Italy, September 18, 2018 – Nikola Grbic spent almost his whole career in Italy and many regard him as one of the best setters in volleyball history. The Serbian volleyball legend, born in 1973, has returned to Italy once again, this time as the head coach of the Serbian national team competing at the 2018 World Championship. Interestingly enough, he contested his last World Championship as a player on Italian soil as well – back in 2010 when Serbia beat Italy in the bronze medal match. Moreover, on that same occasion, he received the award for the ‘Best Setter’ of the competition. Quick links - Volleyball:
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He has been coaching the Serbian national team since 2015, taking bronze from last year’s European Championship in Poland. “I played my last World Championship in Italy and the emotions and memories are still very much alive,” Grbic said. “It has been truly special to see so many people again and feel their warmth in the arenas. I try to remain focused on the competition but am obviously happy to sense so much love and support from the Italian fans. It makes me proud.”
Grbic has had an incredibly long and successful career and is capable of analysing how volleyball has changed over the years. “I always tell my young players to feel the pride of wearing the shirt of our national team. This is not just something that can spearhead your career abroad, but in first instance you should be aware of what it means to be wearing that shirt. If I compare my own generation with today’s players, I see many differences, especially when it comes to the many distractions that people have because of social media, Internet and TV. This is something you can see across all nations and sports. Therefore, coaches have to be good enough to set priorities,” Grbic said.
Nikola has been coaching Italian clubs since 2014, first in Perugia before moving to Verona, where he will be spending the 2018-2019 season as well. “The next season is going to be an amazing one, especially with Leon, Lisinac and many more elite players having moved to Italy. It is going to be an incredible championship and I am confident that all fans will be enjoying a world-class show.”