After Bulgaria defeated Cuba 3-0 on the September 16th to claim their third win thus far at the 2018 FIVB World Championships, Bulgarian outside hitter Valentin Bratoev dedicated the win to his twin brother Georgi.
Georgi Bratoev, a setter who has spent more than a decade with the Bulgarian national team, underwent surgery for a broken ankle this August and was ruled out of playing at the World Championships.
According to sportal.bg, Valentin Bratoev said, “Georgi made this gesture for me in 2015 at the European Championship in Sofia. I dedicate this victory to him.”
Like the current World Championships, the 2015 European Championships were co-hosted by both Italy and Bulgaria. After a win, Georgi dedicated it to Valentin who was not part of the Bulgarian squad.
While the Bulgarian team is without their top setter, they’re still ranked third within pool D behind top ranked Poland and second place Iran.
After their win against Cuba, Bulgaria will face Poland on September 18th.
“The Cubans could not handle the meeting, we played a strong tactical match and it turned out to be decisive. We’ve got everything to win,” Valentin Bratoev said. “We are pleased to play in front of Bulgarian fans, Poland will not have much trouble with Iran, and I hope we will be at a level against them.”