Posts by Leonardo.D

    The World Cup was supposed to be played last year, but there were Olympic qualifying tournaments...

    So the FIVB, to please the Japanese sponsors, called the qualifying tournament played in Tokyo "World Cup"...

    Turkey won it and therefore won the 2023 World Cup, but it was a "lame" edition, without the best teams that were playing the other qualifying tournaments...

    But for the FIVB that's how it is...


    Honestly, I really try to ignore as much as I can the spam, meaningless, childish and endless debate, silly provocations, etc. But after so many years in this forum, it is almost unbeareable to keep reading or trying to get worthy information between so much drama.

    I have seen so many trolls here, from a desperate Dominican user who was trolling for years here (but fortunately disappear), to Russians, some Bulgarians, racist comments, etc. But they didnt last so much. Sure, there are still some, for example the user who claims and states every time how amazing and bla bla Italian league is, etc...but actually, the best medicine is simply ignore. Cuz, really, i would find it so childish and stupid to root against and Italian club team or NT only to prove wrong a super biased fan (this is valid for every single country).


    But honestly, like, sincerely, I have never ever read so many comments and users with such an obnoxious and victim complex like the ones from Turkiye. One user like this, ok, it could happen, it happen everywhere. But when I read the same approach from different users, someone starts wondering: what's wrong there? Like, seriously. Of course, Im more than sure that these users do not represt at all the majority of Turkish vball fans.


    Examples, unfortunately, there are many. Take the last one: a brazilian user asking when Turkiye won the World Cup. Seriously, I took that phrase as a genuine question, without provocation, without a double sense or meaning. It is totally valid because most of vball fans do not know that the Olympic Qualification tournment held in Tokyo last year was considered to be called "World Cup" merely cuz of the commercial agreements between Japan, FIVB and tv broadcasters. Many, many fans ignore this fact.


    Even the system of qualification was totally diffrent and it was miles away different from what the previous World Cups were. For the ones who remember, this tournment was one of the most demanding to play, to qualify, as well as stressing. Nevertheless, it was also one of the most "fair" cuz it was a round robin system. The continental champions and runner up + Japan playing against each other for 3 (and then 2( tickets to the Olympics. Could this be compared to play against Brazil, Japan, Bulgaria, Belgium, Peru, Argentina and Puerto Rico? 1+1 = 2


    Of course, Turkiye doesnt have any responsability nor fault for the agreements between FIVB and Japan. Zero. They super overperformed and played an amazing tournment and won it fair and square + they got the berth to Paris 2024. Period. But it was the same than winning the previous editions? Of course not. And was Sentenza_69 wrote could be valid for any single team, not only Turkiye. If Serbia, China, Italy, USA, Brazil, etc etc would have won World Cup 2023, the statement would be the same: they won it fair and square, but not under the same conditions than what a World Cup was. Would it mean there is a hate campaign against one of those countries? Definitely not.


    This is why for me it is really surprising how at the minimum and slight comment, boom, the victim card, the provocation, 100% totally offtopic comments, when, only answering: hey, maybe u didnt know it, but OQT held in Tokyo in 2023 was considered as World Cup, even if continental champions and runner up weerent there. Simply as that. But not, it is easier to call every single one who doesnt agree as a "hater", the provocations to prove sth, etc. And unfortunately, it is a pattern.


    I remember when Serbia appeared to the world vball scene, their break out (2006) and then their dominance in WCH (current two time holders), but honestly I dont remember the bragging nor mega clashes against users from other nationalities. Same when Brazil was dominanting (sure, there were toxic Brazilian fans in social network, but not here), i dont remember big clashes. Same pattern when USA was winning WGP and VNL and demolishing teams here and there. I honestly dont remember such a toxic environment as now. I dont remember such an environment when a newcomer appeared (which I totally welcome, cuz it means more competitiveness = much better spectable).


    For me, it is out of my mind such a childish and victim behaviour, like...it cant resist any single analysis. It is even out of me when it is a pattern in not 1, but many users.

    So, when users from other confederations, which also do not have any single political, historic nor geographical reason to "hate" or dismiss you, which event dont play against each other in FIVB tournments, etc, point out there is a pattern...well, i would make myself two questions. It isnt the world against you. Like, please.


    Sure, provocations will be, always. It isnt a monastery, but the limit has been crossed miles away, from both sides. And actually, I shall highlight another reason we have arrived to this point it is cuz of the lack of strong measures against both sides. Cuz there has been also comments criticizing Turkiye for non vball reasons, poisonious offtopic comments, etc but nothing, NOTHING, has been done to stop it from mods or even taking part of the jokes. If someone is ignorant, u dont reply to him with more ignorance.


    Id probably be called hater, but well, I dont care. I know what I am. :)

    You would be surprised Imoco was considered the 3rd Force of the league on paper, behind Vero Volley and Scandicci. :lol:


    And there's no way you can compare the current italian league and turkish league. Every single player who came back to Italy this season said the level is way higher and the league more demanding technically, phisically and mentally.

    Thanks for the answer! My surprise comes when I read Italian league level is considered way higher than Turkish one by media, critics etc, this is the main point. Sure, we could have different opinions here, preferences (subjective), players too (first hand info), statistics (facts) etc in order to choose one as the "most competitive" or "best" one (which actually I consider it is a sterile debate). Nevertheless, I honestly dont see that big gap. Sure, this season TL was arguably weaker than previous editions, but for example, even when Turkish clubs were dominating main CEV competitions and Italian were just behind, I wouldnt have said there was big gap, but a slight margin (because the level of the league cant be merely counted by how many times the champion wins CL, but also the competitiveness of the rest of the teams).


    Sure, I have also read and heard some players consider Italian league more competitive (i want to highlight it, more competitive, not way more competitive or astronomically more competitive) because of the level between the mid teams. And as someone mentioned, the level of local players and coaches, especially this factor, plays a key role in this aspect. Many players prefer to start a career, re boost it, etc in mid level italian leagues because of the experience and professionalism of coaches. There is a reason why top teams in Europe (NT and clubs) are mostly coached by Italians (a fact, not an opinion).


    Nevertheless, as I pointed out, even if TL was weaker this edition (which is a fact), I honestly dont think the gap could be comparable to the one between Italian league and French, Polish, Romanian, German, etc. That's an exaggeration. Higher, better level, yes. But way way higher...nope.

    In the italian media multiple people think their Golden era is over. Gabi is undersize and never played such a demanding league, which means she has to push even more on her athletical skills. Zhu is the shadow of herself, 6 or 7 points in a gold medal match... That's not the dominant player who led China in Rio de Janeiro...


    Wait what? How come Gabi has never played in such a demanding league? The level is very similar, but Turkish League is as much demanding as Italian one. Sure, there are some differences in the calendar, number of matches, etc. Eventhough she is undersize and getting older, it isnt that she is moving from the Polish, Romanian or German League (with all the due respect) to the Italian one.

    This is what Italian media and critic think? Wow, seriously.

    Oh Maja....really. We could understand the surprise factor, but at this moment of the match, less is more: go to Antropova or, in less extent, Zhu. Linda wasnt even expecting that set.


    De Gennaro as MVP is such a recognition. This was not at all her best match, she was below her standards and the performances we are used to get from her, but at the end, she was one of the most regular players of Conegliano during the match. Sometimes I was surprised (in a negative way), by her reception, but then I remember libero isnt only that skill: but organise the defense. And she was doing that when Gennari and Bardaro came in, as well as organising the block. It is like having an almost 2nd coach in the field (and Daniele trust him, ofc). Not many liberos can do this (sure it comes with experience). Flashy defenses arent all.

    Lol. It is true that it didnt work out as they expected but Sheilla was the best OPP at that time so they weren't wrong in signing her

    I do agree witth this. It is like comparing apples with oranges. Not comparable under any singular aspect. The only similarity is that both are Brazilians :lol:

    Beforer signing for Vakifbank (2014-15 season), Sheilla was chosen best OPP in the the GP and WCH that same summer. (not 100 years ago). Sure, she was past her prime, but she was still delivering in a high level. She had a solid reputation (and performances) to back her up. She wasnt a rookie, with zero experience playing outside Brazilian league, etc. Likewise, she wasnt either a veteran taking away the place of a youngster in NT or club...check her awards that season, especially in the intercontinental sphere.

    Having said that, nobody could have foretold that her transfer would be a flop (as it was, a fact).


    In the other hand, even though I do consider Tainara has the talent (raw) and could improve, I strongly believe she isnt the kind of player (OPP), that a top club, as Vakifbank is, needs now. Much more under the circunstances they are. She has nothing to back her up as a top player. Some sparks of good/high vball, yes, ofc, but it isnt enough. What VB needed is a proven record or regularity. Tainara lacks of both. It could pay off? Perhaps. But it'd be very risky for a team with high goals as VB.

    BRA needs to find an OH2 to play alongside Lucarelli.


    We just need to pray for Bruninho and Thales improve because their positions on NT are locked.


    Many people like the superation story of short players. And of course, Honorato has improved a lot during the last years, even going beyond his limits. But I dont think he is starting NT material for a team with the ambitious of Brazil.


    More than improve, Bruninho should find his former shape. That would be enough. He has been setting so many "jacas" during this tournament. While Thales sometimes have good matches as tonight, but others he is hole in defence.

    Renan should (MUST) try as many OHs during the VNL. Regarding Douglas, he can continue his path as influencer. It is almost impossible he will come back.

    Italy is playing really bad till now.


    Even Bruninho bad sets are not enough to help Italy

    Bruno performance during the whole summer has been shaky, but during this OQT :gone: I havent seen him setting so bad to the pins in years, even from Beijing times.

    Regarding Brazil in general, I dont know if not earning a direct ticket to Paris would be a cons...cuz I highly doubt Renan will be changed if they get it today.

    It is really so sad to see so many teams and players completely all burned out and drained. Physically and psychologically. I remember that some years ago some famous players criticised FIVB for the calendar, but so far, the calendar is even worse. Pre-Olympic years are always super demanding, but I dont remember any like this. Some players are training/playing almost non stop since May :(


    And the club season is just around the corner...


    Sure, kudos to Germany and Canada (both surprises to some extend, especially Germany). For the top teams, sometimes they looked as they were playing to avoid injuries. Cuz at it was already said, they know they'll qualify anyway. And sometimes it is difficult to find motivation when you are already exhausted.

    So after long 16 years, Poland is back to the Olympics! Congratulations! They have missed so many times to give the next step (even when they missed two WCH in a row), but they finally did it.

    Hat off and CHAPEAU for Wolosz. She has been (rightfully) criticised for trying to play Conegliano style with Polish NT, but it isnt that she cant, sometimes she simply doesnt want and that's the key- Today we saw how she slowed down the pace a bit and Poland started to play as a well oiled engine. Her reverse sets were a pleasure to watch, as well as how she fooled Italian MBs + one hand sets. A delight.

    Kudos for the whole team in general.


    For Italy...to be honest, this is "chronice of announced" death. After what what happened post VNL, the meeting between Mazzanti and Egonu previous the ECH and the unsolved problems (Tokyo 2020 + after SF lost against Brazil, the real drama started + the issue why Egonu has not been forgiven even though she apologised), the only path to disaster is this one. Not podium in the last ECH and missing the direct berth to Paris. Pity for the players who dont have any relation here, especially the youngers. As it was pointed out, Italy current problem goes FAR beyond that just the sport atmosphere, it goes beyond Mazzanti stubborness.

    They need is Ana C and a backup libero, Julia B and Diana to be better next year


    More than this, I would add an OPP. As many have already pointed it out, Brazil lacks of a decent+ OPP since Sheilla retired. Tandara was okish from time to time, but Brazilian's play game has never been one-player based. They rely a lot in the distrubition to all their attackers (Does someone remember a Brazilian player being the top scorer of a tournament? Usually not).


    Even if Julia B and Diana improves, the abscence of an OPP will haunt them. Especially in the vball which is played now.

    Brazil x Japan never ever disappointed. In a current vball era where we only see strong serves, one dimensional play game and smashes, it is so so joyful and pleasant to see these two teams playing. Especially when in one side there Is Gabi, one of the few all around OH nowadays + the exquisite Japanese defence.


    Congrats Brazil! It was a rollecoaster, despite of the missing players, the low hope from their own fans and the tragic Wal's new, they got their berth to Paris. They still need to improve MILES for being a candidate, but this a team that always surprise. In the last 8 editions, they have only skipped one SF. Impressive. A historic team.

    The Dominicans are really going to qualify, aren't they? No way NL is gonna beat them as long as the holy trinity Castillo-Brayelin-Gonzalez is this fired up :white:


    Dominican Republic is TOO unpredictable. It is their trademark. Just in this tournament they lost against CZE, and now they are in the verge to beat not only the current WCH champ and runner up in ECH, but also the hosts. More than Castillo-Brayeling and Gonzalez, the axis is Marte. If she has a decent day, DOM can beat anyone. But when she is subpar (unfortunately, this happens is VERY OFTEN), it doesnt matter if Castillo is in goddess mode or Brayeling-Gonzales in Artamonova/Godina - Gamova/Sheilla mode on.

    So Pool B, Winner of Japan-Brazil gets the ticket.


    Can Japan overcome Brazil's height?


    Well, Brazil, as well as USA, have the golden chance of being qualified to Paris regardless the outcome of this tournament. More Brazil, because they simply do not have competition at all in their respective confederation. Likewise, whatever it happens in the next VNL (unless some MASSIVE/MAMMOTH surprises), they cant be overcome by other Southamerican team in the rankings. Hence, they have the golden chance to not face next VNL as a must-getting rankings points, as for example, the European team which wont qualify in the OQT.


    Let's see if they can use this advantage in order to figure out their best starting 6. Cuz so far, I only see 3 positions locked. They are struggling so much for finding an OPP (It is surprising that post Sheilla, they have not had any player who is at least the 25% of what this vball icon was). Nevertheless, Brazil is a team which cant be considered out, till it is REALLY out. We should only remember their 2011 campaign (World Cup and Pan Games) and preliminary round in London 2012, as well as how they reached the Olympic final last time when they were not favourites at all. Some people call it "tradition".

    well damn we might as well cancel our program then and send them all home if that’s the case.


    I strongly beleive you are over reacting a bit. Serbia has one of the best VB programms around the world, at least in the top 5. In the last decade, your has won multiple ECH, as well other medals and you are the current WCH two-time champions. Despite of a reducd population, Serbia has accomplished and achieved way more than many other teams with more resources €, investments, help grom the gov, etc, etc. But it is sports, it is impossible to be always in the top. We can se how Brazil is struggling nowaadays, as well as China, when they have been Olympic champions/medalists in the recent past. It happened to Russia too. Look how much time Italy took in order to come back to the top-top. Sure, it bothers when u are in the top and then u fall some steps down. But this is life. (of course, for neutral fans, let's hope any team repeat the Cuba story. They are deeply missed).

    mazzanti really sees Egonu as third option :lol::lol::lol:


    btw, this is a stupid decision but firstly in Vakıfbank and now in the Italian national team, Egonu is tried to be excluded from the team. Obviously Egonu is also a bit problemetic.




    Interviewer: the combo setter-opposite wasnt bad against Romania, could u tell me which one will be the combo against Switzerland?

    Mazzanti: No, I am not supertitious, but I will stick to this one. Antropova will be the first choice for the first phase of the ECH. It will be a process, training by training, etc. From the start of the year, this is a process that could evolve and might change.

    Interviewer: The process has already been established with Egonu in Firenze. She told us that you both have already chatted regarding this and that it wasnt surprise for her to find herself in the bench

    Mazzanti: The process isnt established, it is discovered throughout the time, in each moment. Against Switzerland, it will be a new story

    Interviewer: And how did you explain this to her?

    Mazzanti: We both chatted, exchanged opinions. I told her my idea and she told me hers...

    Interviewer: and which is hers?

    Mazzanti: To be a determinant factor in the team. I explained her what I see now and what I expected from her in the future

    Mazzanti also said that if you change "persons" in the squad, it is a complex system, that it changes the dynamics of the team. And he thinks that they are trusting in the talent and "weakness" of each one. And when you are ready to do this, it is easier to face and confront what we are. And if you confront in this way, it is easier to give a name to what you are living. In this moment: growth.


    In another interview he said that he will stick to the process he has chosen and that it could change, but they continue to stick to that plan. But the results in the field will tell him how to continue. Also he said it "surely it is difficult for Paola to start/be on the bench: We already chatted about this before the end of the trainings (before the ECH). But I think each new situations, for the ones who are talented (of substnce), can help them to find new resources.


    And to finish: https://dal15al25.gazzetta.it/…uperata-per-la-nazionale/


    This is a very clear article written about Pasini about what is going in this squad. More than articile, I would say he isnt writing solely as a journalist, but also as a italian vball fan. It is more an appeal to the federation. It is very long for be translated, but for me, the summary is this one:


    "It is more than obvious that Paola cant do it by herself (to be saved). It is needed to help her. In the past she has done mistakes, but she shouldnt be condemn for life cuz of this. Much more cuz she was so young when it happened. The risk of losing Paola when Paris is only around the corner is a big resposability not only of the HC, but also from the whole FIPAV. Paola doesnt represent only herself, but also a system that has let FIPAV to discover and develop different talents around Italy in the last 20 years and bring them to the senior team through Club Italia. To lose Paola, regardless her mistakes in the past, would be a defeat of the whole system".


    And well, I do agree in most of what Pasini has written. And I highly doubt that Paola will play the OQT for Paris in some weeks. And if this happens, I would be highly surprised if she plays again if Mazzanti is on the bench. If they would want to "save" her, they would have called Moki, who is the one who supported her the most during all the hate she suffered in the last years. But Moki isnt there and her absence wasnt cuz of underperforming...


    This is why when I read racist comments towards her in this forum (questioning her identity as Italian), even though her case was already explained 1001 times, much more because of the current atmosphere that Italy is living now (she was again attacked in the media, in a book released by a current general from the Italian army some days ago), I only think: Gosh...I dont remember any vball player, female or male, who is carrying so much weight on their shoulders. People should read ot try to think twice before writing. All this goes further and beyond vball and the Italian users here know it.