Lausanne, Switzerland, May 17, 2018 - Introducing the top teams in the world rankings, the sixth installment in this series takes a look at 2014 world champions Poland.
Reigning world champions and ranked third in the world, Poland would normally be expected to go into the inaugural FIVB Volleyball Nations League as favourites. Quick links - Volleyball:
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Since Poland’s spectacular triumph at the 2014 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, however, the “Bialo-Czerwoni” (red and whites) have struggled to repeat that form.
2015 did produce a bronze medal at the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup in Japan. Since that competition, however, Polish fans have waited for another opportunity to celebrate their players stepping onto the podium at a major international event.
Coach Stephane Antiga's contract was not extended at the end of 2016, and the Frenchman went on to finish third leading Canada in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball World League. Poland finished a disappointing eighth.
The European Championships which were played in Poland that year were to prove even more difficult as the hosts failed to make it to the quarterfinals and had to settle for a lowly tenth place. Antiga’s successor, Fernando de Giorgi, was replaced by the Polish federation after only nine months in the job.
With Vital Heynen now on board as their new coach, however, the prospects of a new era of success are looking good.
The Polish youngsters also won the FIVB Volleyball Men's U21 World Championship last year, crowning an incredible run of 47 matches in a row without defeat. The Polish “wonder” squad had previously picked up gold medals at the U19 World Championship in 2015, the U20 European Championship in 2016, the U19 European Championship in 2015 and the European Youth Olympic Festival in 2015. With an unbeatable generation of youngsters coming through, the reigning men’s world champions can be confident about the future.