De Giorgi: ‘Extraordinary base of Italian volleyball but we needed to leave and take risks’

The base of Italian volleyball is extraordinary but it was necessary to restart and take risks“. A few kilometers from the airport for the return to Salento, the Italvolley coach Fefè De Giorgi, interviewed by the newspaper La Ragione, with his mind is still at the Quirinale. «President Mattarella was affectionate. He had already invited us after the success at the European Championships, he saw the whole final, he joked on the first set given to the Poles as a gesture of sportsmanship. Like us, he knew that it was a more complicated competition than the Europeans won in 2021. Once again it went well ».

The Federation – continues De Giorgi – supported my project which started after the Tokyo Olympics. Focusing on talented young people was not a leap into the void. The base of Italian volleyball is extraordinary but it was necessary to restart and take risks ». The revolution of courage. Twenty-year-olds called up with little playing time in the Italian league, never questioned even in defeats. The results arrived immediately – European and World Championships – and it was not taken for granted: «Clear projects must be completed until the end. If the youngsters are strong, they go out on the pitch. Andrea Giani made his debut in the national team at the age of 17 ».

There were risky steps. How to tell Ivan Zaytsev, symbol of Italian volleyball of the last decade, that there was no place for him among the squads for the World Cup. Shortly before, Italy had lost to France in the Nations League semifinal. A hen maybe came in handy. “The working group is like a mosaic. Only the technical aspect is not taken into account: in this way a base of players is created who help each other, on and off the court“. Fefè tells it as if it were easy, like taking one step after another. Calm and awareness are his strength. It was like that ten years ago when he went to Fakel, in Russia, at -30 degrees for the apprenticeship which then led him to win everything: championships, cups and Champions League in Poland as well as in Italy, in Macerata.

Now we enjoy the European-World Cup double, there will be time for new challenges. “The successes certainly will not change my way of being, this World Cup must be valued by the environment and by the athletes who now know how to win and who can only improve“. Of course, Italy that collects medals lacks the Olympic sharpness. De Giorgi, director of the golden generation between the eighties and nineties, has never been called up to the Games. «It is right to dream and prepare for that success, which will come sooner or later. There will be great opponents but we will arrive ready. By focusing on these guys, even if the door is not closed to anyone ».