- Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo (#11 Seed)
- Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Ignacio Carambula Raurich (#34 Seed)
Not only has an Italian pairing never won the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships since its installation in 1997, but no team has even placed in the top three of the tournament. They’ll have their hopes riding on Nicolai/Lupo, who have played well in previous world events.
Although they are just the 11-seed in the men’s field, the Nicolai/Lupo pairing won silver at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. They were also recently named Athletes of the Year at the Parma Sports Awards. They’re currently ranked #4 in the world and have finished in the top-five of all but one World Tour event this season.