It seems like Italian teams are doing everything in their power to lure Cuban superstar Wilfredo Leon from Russia’s Zenit Kazan and into their A1 league. The player has been recently linked with Sir Safety Perugia and PowerVolley Revivre Milano.
This week, rumors on the Italian media reported talks between Leon and Lube Civitanova, after a representative of the club traveled to Kazan. It has been reported that Lube offered the Russian powerhouse another Cuban superstar in exchange for Leon, Osmany Juantorena.
The trade would indeed be one of the biggest volleyball blockbusters in recent memory, but very much unlikely to happen. Although a superstar in his own right, Juantorena is 32 years old, while Leon is only 24, which means that Lube would have to package a serious amount of money for the deal to go through. In addition, it was also reported that Juantorena has already made clear that he does not intend to play in Russia.
Also on VolleyMob
32-year-old Osmany Juantorena is also one of the world’s top paid players. Having played for the Cuban national team from 2003 to 2006, he won a bronze medal at the 2005 FIVB World League. He then defected from Cuba on the same year to join Russian Club Ural Ulfa.
After many years playing in Italy, he applied for Italian citizenship, which was granted, and now is one of Italy’s national team most important players, having won a silver medal with the squad at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. Juantorena is 6’7″ tall and is able to attack at over 12’5″. Here s a list of his MVP awards:
- CEV Champions League – 2009-10 and 2010-11
- FIVB Club World Championship – 2010, 2011, 2012, 2017
- Italian Championship – 2011-12
- Turkish Championship – 2013-14