The #4-ranked Italian men’s volleyball team has become the most significant country yet to declare their 14-man roster for the upcoming FIVB Men’s Volleyball World Championship. Teams are allowed to travel 14 players for the tournament, though for each match they have to declare a roster of 12.
Italian Men’s Roster, 2018 FIVB World Championships
- Setters: Simone Simone Giannelli, Michele Baranowicz
- Middle Blockers: Simone Anzani, Daniele Mazzone, Davide Candellaro, Enrico Cester
- Outside Hitters: Filippo Lanza, Osmany Juantorena, Gabriele Maruotti, Luigi Randazzo
- Opposites: Ivan Zaytsev, Gabriele Nelli
- Liberos: Massimo Colaci, Salvatore Rossini
The last two left off the roster were Oleg Antonov and Roberto Russo, who had been training with the team. Antonov was on the team last year that lost in the quarterfinals of the European Championship and was a member of the Olympic silver medal winning team in 2016. With the exception of superstar Osmany Juantorena, it’s the same roster that Itlay used in the 5th week of the Nations League tournamen earlier this summer, which was Italy’s last week in the competition.
“It’s never easy to make these choices, but it is part of the job of being a coach, especially for an appointment as important as the World Championships. The nature of the decision to keep the group with 16 players until now has been made based on the need to manage and share the workloads, reducing as much as possible the risks of medical or technical hiccups in the event that some players had to stop training because they were at risk. The choices always take into account many factors, not just the individual ones, including the chemistry and the technical balance that each position group has within the make up of a team.”