CEV Men’s European Championship 2019 - hosts France, Slovenia, Belgium and the Netherlands

  • EurovolleyTV blocked my country from viewing Slovenia-Poland semifinal but other matches are playable. :wall:

    Favorite players: M: Maxim Mikhaylov, Murilo, Serginho, Aaron Russell, Otavio, Simone Giannelli, Ivan Zaytsev, Tsvetan Sokolov, Michał Kubiak, Mariusz Wlazly, Pawel Zagummy W: Sheilla, Zhu Ting, Natalia, Fe Garay, Fofao, Gabi, Thaisa, Foluke Akinradewo, Wei Qiuyue, Ding Xia, Carli Lloyd, Fabi, Natalia Goncharova, Yuko Sano, Saoris Kimura and Sakoda

  • What matters is their most recent performance. They didn't win only against one favourite, they did it TWICE! It wasn't like a lucky draw that could allow them skip strongest team. They have beaten two so-called strongest teams in this tournament with a convincing performance (not even playing a tie-break). It is very unfair to call their success as luck.

    In history each team has one bad day in tournament (see Poland-Argentina or USA-Poland last WCH) and together with exceptional high level of opponent means surprise. I do not underestimate Slovenia but we have to see their real strenght in Paris without home crowd ???

  • Thank you, FlyingCrow for the comment, it saved me a lot of typing :D Also, definitely not a bad way to write your first post here!


    Who cares if Slovenia can be considered a real world-class team, a strong team, or just a very good team? What matters is how they play, even achievements are sometimes unobjective. Yes, they don't even have proper subs, their starting 7 are not necessarily all super stars or even amazing players, but it seems to work quite well at times when they play together and under the guidance of a good coach. It's not just a one-time wonder, they repeated this success 4 years ago in Bulgaria, playing abroad. They even won their right to participate at the World League/VNL twice, if I recall correctly, making it actually to the group of the world's strongest teams. Yes, I wrote it correctly, strongest teams. For they are undoubtedly a strong team. With that limited amount of good players for the NT, they can't win tournaments, although they can make bigger teams like Russia, Italy, Poleonia, Bulgaria suffer, yet 2 finals is quite a remarkable achievement. By the way, no one claims that after Greece won the football Euro or Slovenia won the Basket Euro they miraculously become the best in the world, yet they don't have to be at all. Winning that trophy, or in Slovenia's volleyball case, reaching 2 finals in a span of 4 years, is totally enough for a place in history. And that for a country that is 20-something years old. Product of the Yugoslavian school, but young nevertheless.


    By the way, the first signs that this Slovenian generation can play volleyball came already in 2007 when Autocommerce Bled, predecessor of ACH Volley, won the Top Teams Cup in Italy against Modena with Urnaut and Gasparini in the roster. Plus a few other former NT members, such as Skorc, Flajs, Kamnik, Smuc, Cuturic, Cebron, Plesko, Satler.


    I am happy with how the championship unfolded. This tournament proved that the expansion wasn't such a bad idea. It took a few upsets before this thread attracted people again, last night there were a lot of visitors here. And judging by the amount of posts I had to read today, too. Not necessarily a great discussion, but I will take it as it is :) I guess even the ones who were complaining at the beginning found some joy watching the ECH. That's why it IS a serious tournament and we, the Europeans, like it a lot.

  • Heynen and his captain gave statemens with lots of insolence, it's time to go back home and think.

    sorry but when?

    actually in this tournament they considered all teams they played with as teams to watch out for and teams you can't disrespect.

    so its some bullshit right there imho.


    congrats to slovenia, their fans were great. hope they will win this ECH.

    poland underperformed and made too many unnecessary mistakes (nerves?) and thats the reason why they lost bc let’s be honest - slovenia didnt played a perfect match either.

  • In history each team has one bad day in tournament (see Poland-Argentina or USA-Poland last WCH) and together with exceptional high level of opponent means surprise. I do not underestimate Slovenia but we have to see their real strenght in Paris without home crowd ???

    Sorry, I have to write something here. This is the Polish arrogance people here are talking about, coming from fans, players, media, and their federation. You can 'see' whatever you want in Paris, the rest of Europe/the world saw it already years ago, regardless of how the final will end. I would be waaaay more humble if my team lost 3 times in a row at, in this case, consecutive ECHs.

  • Next thing you know, we're gonna have to read that Poland threw away the game because why care about this match when you're a two-time WCH champion with the OG ahead next year?

    Poland lost because they played awful and focused their game on Leon. Slovenia made them play awful, serving well taking off the game the polish middles. Then they took care of Konarski, do you remember Urnaut rude blocking him few times? Well they even leave him freed from block and he spiked out, because he can't find the floor and his style Is all about block out. Then they took extra care of Kubiak and made him play one of the worst game of his Life, aced and blocked so many times. When there was Just Leon left, the Cuban born player managed to keep his team alive for a while, but Slovenia found a way to stop him some times (let's talk about their libero, why doesn't he play for a Euro top club?) and make inportant breaks along the fourth set. Great team work. No doubt.

  • Sorry, I have to write something here. This is the Polish arrogance people here are talking about, coming from fans, players, media, and their federation. You can 'see' whatever you want in Paris, the rest of Europe/the world saw it already years ago, regardless of how the final will end. I would be waaaay more humble if my team lost 3 times in a row at, in this case, consecutive ECHs.

    No, you don't need to write something is such arrogance way.

    I don't care what you say about us but it must be more diplomatic if you pretent to be forum expert.

    I'm volleyball fan and I played volleyball for years so I'm happy Poland is back among top 4 even they lost once again Slovenia.

    One game or your comments cannot cancel previous achievement of team and federation.

    Time will tell ...

  • Winning against two favourite team in a row cannot be explained by good day/bad day argument. To me that's the most legit way of reaching to a final; beating two favourite in the elimination stages. I'll be cheering for Slovenia in the final. It is amazing they have reached already two ECh finals although they only exist as a country for a few decades, also consider their small population. They should already be very proud of themselves with this result!

  • I was in Ljubljana last night and all comments that Poland have had a bad day or played on 70% are complete nonsenses :aww: Poland played as much as Slovenia let them to play, Giuliani totally outclassed Heynen tactically and that's the reason for Polish loss. Anyone who says opposite is totally clueless about volleyball :whistle:


    Slovenia played on 110%? Also a joke as several players, especially Urnaut looked pretty exhausted and tired but managed to find strength to pull out key balls and serves. Polish players looked much more fresh than Slovenians but that's not a surprise IMO. Slovenians played on 110% indeed but in several occasions


    Let me return on tactics - THE ONLY chance for Slovenia to win this match was to risk on serve as much as thay can. Čebulj, Urnaut and Pajek were hitting jump serves in most cases, Kozamernik and Vinčić were taking big risks with his float serves as he was trying to hit the lines and they succeeded in their intentions. In same time they didn't take much risks in the attack, they made only 4 attacking errors in 4 sets against Poland and I think all should bow to them for that :obey:Also they were focusing block on Polish wings as reception as quite poor and Dzyzga couldn't play with his middles much. Slovenia didn't have many kill blocks, their approach was to focus more on defensive block, leaving Kovačić and other players picking "dead" balls after the block. Vinčić isn't great setter, for me he is mediocre player with a lot of insecurity in his setting and that makes this result even bigger. If Slovenia have setter like or close to Kobzar/Toniutti level they would be much more dangerous team.


    Poland wasn't bad at all, just remember Bienek and Kubiak serves in the end of 2nd and 3rd set, Leon killed several hard balls but to expect him to beat Slovenia alone is pure underestimation of Slovenia. Claiming 2-3 hours airplane trip had impact on performance is... better not to say anything. Simply Heynen missed tactics, didn't pull right moves and that costed them. Not playing on 70%. :whistle:


    I also have to "reply" on comments Slovenia isn't world class team. Ok they aren't on Brazil, USA, France level but this team played final back in 2015, won World League Group 3 & 2 in just 2 years, beat Poland also in 2017 in Poland (!!) and for sure they can endanger even the biggest teams. IMO they would have more consistency if FIVB allowed them to join Nations League 2 years ago as they missed matches on high, international, level during that time and matches are the most important thing in becoming powerhouse. While Poland/Russia were playing with France, Brazil, USA, Serbia etc. Slovenia was fielding B/C squad in European League vs Finland, Ukraine etc. I'm not underestimating any of these teams but certainly they are weaker than Nations League teams.


    Don't get comments which are underestimating Slovenian success but this is one nice story which proves volleyball is great sport.

  • Congrats Slovenia! What a match! It was just so surprising for everyone! It is volleyball guys! We should know that it aint over till the fat sings. Much more when the gap between the teams isnt so huge (with al the due respect, it wasnt a TUNxPOL or a CMRxPOL).

    I have always stated that the weakest link of Slovenia is the setter position. The lack of accurate sets from Vincic has been a key factor of Slovenian performance. Yesterday it wasnt the exception, but at least he always try to set fast in order to move polish block. And it worked. Sure, there was also a lot of contribution and ability for the OHs.


    In the other hand, I really like polish team. It has been one of my fav team in the last year. So I really hope this loss will be the final calling in order to learn the lesson.


  • Thanks for the reply in details. I agree with some parts of your points. Well, this topic could be subjective, so I am not gonna argue it anymore. Just give out my opinion.


    I don't think population could be used as an excuse. What really matters is the population that engages in sports. Otherwise, China and India Men volleyball should be No. 1 and No.2 in the world because their population is No.1 and No.2 in the world.


    North Macedoni's population is also about 2M. They rank 131 in world volleyball ranking, but they beat Slovenia at 3:1 in ECH group match a few days ago. Can we make a conclusion that North Macedoni is a strong team? And how many people have guts to jump out to say Slovenia is a strong team at that time?


    Like I said, to evaluate a NT, you'd better show me the stats in Olympics, WCH and WC. I agree that Slovenia did not have chances to compete in some tournaments due to the limitation of rules and regulations. Let's take a look at Slovenia's NT performance overall.



    They rank at 25th in VNL 2016 and 13th in VNL 2017. They rank 12th in WCH 2018. Plus this year, Slovenia made to ECH final twice. It's their highlight. They got 8-9th place three times, and 13-16th three times as well. Maybe some people can call them a strong team, but I do not think so.


    IMHO, my list of active strong teams (Class A teams) is: Brazil, USA, Russia, Poland, Italy, Serbia and France.

    The list of the second class teams (Class B teams) is: Argentina, Canada, Iran, Belgium, Bulgaria, Netherlands, Slovenia, Australia

  • I don't get that why you think the only criteria to call a team strong is to play semis in OG, WCh or WC?:what: Pol haven't reached semis in almost 40 years, same with France and Serbia. Indeed, with your logic France shouldn't be count as strong team because their only success in FIVB tournaments was reaching semis in 2014 WCh.:whistle:

  • I don't get that why you think the only criteria to call a team strong is to play semis in OG, WCh or WC?:what: Pol haven't reached semis in almost 40 years, same with France and Serbia. Indeed, with your logic France shouldn't be count as strong team because their only success in FIVB tournaments was reaching semis in 2014 WCh.:whistle:

    Poland got WCH champion twice in a row in 2014 and 2018. Do you know a country called Yugoslavia who got one time Olympics Bronze metal in 1996, one time Olympics champion in 2000, one time runners-up in WCH 1998, one time 4th place in WCH 2002, and one time Bronze metal in WC 2003. Do you have the idea of the relationship of Yugoslavia and Serbia? France got one time Bronze metal in WCH 2002, and one time 4th place in WCH 2014.


    Well, since you don't focus on men's volleyball, you probably don't even know the name of players, and you don't even watch Men's club games, It makes no sense to argue with you about men's volleyball.

  • Poland got WCH champion twice in a row in 2014 and 2018. Do you know a country called Yugoslavia who got one time Olympics Bronze metal in 1996, one time Olympics champion in 2000, one time runners-up in WCH 1998, one time 4th place in WCH 2002, and one time Bronze metal in WC 2003. Do you have the idea of the relationship of Yugoslavia and Serbia? France got one time Bronze metal in WCH 2002, and one time 4th place in WCH 2014.


    Well, since you don't focus on men's volleyball, you probably don't even know the name of players, and you don't even watch Men's club games, It makes no sense to argue with you about men's volleyball.

    Why are you counting down all the results from stone age? I might not be expert at men's volleyball but what I do know is; in sports what matters is the most recent results!


    Cuban women volleyball team might be the most successful team based on their history but they are not considered as a strong team just because of their medals 20 years ago.


    By the way it is very funny that you brought up Serbia-Yugoslavia topic. Montenegro was part of Yugoslavia as well, does it make them also strong team now based on your criteria?:teach: :rolll:


    Having a lot of medals in the PAST only makes you a country with a strong volleyball history but it doesn't mean the team is the strongest right now. Thus, Slovenia is a strong team without much success in the past, which is totally understandable as it is a very new country.

  • @kyle7in1

    I think being a fan already makes you subjective to a degree and sometimes it's hard not to be biased. No need to argue, I wouldn't call this arguing but rather discussing. To address some of your points.


    Population number was not an excuse but a fact to present the numbers game. You already partly answered what they should represent yourself. We have to look only at those that engage in the sport. Now I don't have the number of active players in Slovenia, Poland or Russia. I can tell you however that in Slovenia there are 114 club registered at the Volleyball Federation of Slovenia (Slovenska odbojkarska zveza), There are 497 in Poland at the Polish Volleyball Federation (Polski Związek Piłki Siatkowej) and I couldn't find the latest Russian numbers. I checked the site of Volleyball Federation of Russia (Всероссийская Федерация Волейбола) but my russian is not at a level that would let me research that much further. The report I found was from season 2014/2015 but didn't refer the number of registered clubs or players. However, going after the trend that a higher population means more registered clubs, which consequently means more players, we can assume that Russia has even more active clubs and players. While this is no proof of any kind, and doesn't generally apply in sports, purely mathematicaly and statisticaly looking, with a higher number of players it is more likely that among those will be a higher percentage of talented players emerging. Maybe this isn't worded properly but I think it is clear what I mean.


    Maybe another example to put it into perspective:

    There is one Slovenian player playing in the NHL, Anze Kopitar. North America has more registered hockey players that Slovenia has inhabitants. There are 435 canadian players in the NHL out of 637.000 eligible registrated players at Canadian Hockey Association . That is 0.0683%. One slovenian player out of 180 registered players at Ice Hockey Federation of Slovenia (Hokejska zveza Slovenije) is 0.555%. I think those number speak for themself.


    I thought maybe you would like this analogy because you like to stay to facts and stats.


    In the end, this doesn't prove anything. That doesn't mean Slovenia has better athlets or that they are inherenthly disadvantaged in competitions.

    I, personally however, think that being among top teams in Europe (currently) and being able to compete with the best in the world is a great achievement for the country and its athletes. I think it's fair to praise them for their run in the ECH.


    You said yourself, North Macedonia and Slovenia both have a population of ~2M, yet Slovenia is ranked 17th by FIVB and North Macedonia 131st.


    I think I already shared my thoughs on the game between the two. I'll just copy my final thought.

    FlyingCrow wrote:

    "...having a bad day and playing one bad game does not make the losing team bad or the winning team good."


    When it comes to stats and past achievements I have nothing to add. I agree with you, historically Slovenia's NT didn't have any visible results and major success. Although, However, I hope we can agree that the team has played well the last couple of years when compared to their previous results and has improved. I think this is Slovenia's peak performance at the moment in term of the result (not their gameplay on the court).


    We might not agree on our individual and personal interpretation of a top team but I think I was careful with my choice of words. I called Slovenia's NT a top team while Poland and Rusia World class. I'm not arguing with your tier list though, quite contrary I agree with it. I'm just voicing my opinion that Slovenia's NT is deservedly in the final of ECH 2019 and looking at the most recent results can be called a top team.



    With that out of the way. Let's enjoy today's game.