More than thirty years ago Daniel Castellani was starting his brilliant international career as arguably the best player ever of Argentina along with Hugo Conte.
One of the most celebrated players in his native country, Daniel was a junior player back in 1978 and he would eventually make the move to the higher ranks where he achieved many honors including a bronze medal at the Olympic Games in Seoul 1988.
In a country with a tradition of children following the athletic careers of their parents, the time is now for Ivan Castellani, Daniel’s son, to start creating news as one of the members of the Argentina National Team.
The volleyball career, however, was not dictated by his father now coaching the men’s Finland Team and the Fenerbahce Istanbul in Turkey. It was a decision taken by Ivan himself when he was 15 years-old.
“Since I was a little kid I attended volleyball matches and I really liked the sport but I never had the influence of my dad to adopt the game of volleyball,” said Ivan hours after leading Argentina to a victory over India in the 2011 FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship, one that he contributed to by scoring 18 points.
His coach Juan Manuel Cichelo considers Ivan as a very nice young man, both as a player and as a friend.
“He is very funny and also a leader and has great physical and technical capabilities,” Cichelo says. “And he is a very intelligent person.”
About the relationship with his father, Cichelo says it is a beautiful one despite the fact that they are very far apart most of the time and the only contact is by telephone or internet.
Ivan confirms that assertion: “I love talking about this sport with him because I want to learn from his experience and I admire him a lot. I have never been coached by him, but that is one of my dreams.”
Following the conclusion of the Men’s Junior World Championship in Brazil, Ivan is to report to the training camp of the Senior National squad of Argentina to prepare for the South American Championship and later on to start thinking about a trip to play in the London Olympics.
Written by Adriana Maestrelli, senior student of Journalism at Pontificia Universidade Catolica de Parana and participant of the FIVB Program “Young Writers 4 Young Players”