An impressive line-up of international stars will take to the courts of the upcoming FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, set to take place from August 26 through September 11 in Poland and Slovenia. The 24 team rosters now available on the official competition website unveil a spectacular list of participants for the premier event in international volleyball.
2018 MVP Kurek headlines stellar line-up for Men's World Championship
Team lists now available on the Poland-Slovenia 2022 website
Published 03:00, 05 Aug 2022
The winners of the last two editions of the competition, Poland will be led by their captain Bartosz Kurek, who was the best scorer, the best blocker and the Most Valuable Player of the 2018 World Championship. The Polish squad setting out to defend their title also features two-time world champion and 2018 Dream Team libero Pawel Zatorski and the only other “survivor” of the World Championship line-up from eight years ago, 2014 Dream Team middle blocker Karol Klos. The team also includes other 2018 gold medallists, including Aleksander Sliwka, Jakub Kochanowski, Bartosz Kwolek, Mateusz Bieniek and Grzegorz Lomacz, as well as Cuban-born star Wilfredo Leon, the best server of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, who was recently operated.
Needless to say, South American giants Brazil, three-time world champions and finalists of the five most recent editions of the World Championship, will go full force in their quest to regain the throne, led by 2014 Dream Team outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli and 2018 Dream Team middle Lucas Saatkamp. VNL 2021 champions and Dream Teamers Yoandy Leal and Thales Hoss will also be part of the Brazilian squad, led by setter Bruno Rezende in Ljubljana, and quite possibly Katowice. Another familiar face to look out for is Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Wallace De Souza, returning after retiring from the national team.
The USA will be led by another masterful playmaker, Micah Christenson, the setter of the 2018 all-star seven, who will organise the offence of that year's bronze medallists. The North American roster also features the likes of libero Erik Shoji, outside Aaron Russell and middle David Smith, alongside many of the players who played at the recently completed VNL 2022.
The French team will obviously rely on a number of Olympic gold medallists, including Tokyo 2020 MVP Earvin Ngapeth and Dream Teamers Barthelemy Chinenyeze and Jenia Grebennikov.
Tokyo 2020 bronze medallists, Dream Team setter Luciano De Cecco, top scorer Bruno Lima, best blocker Agustin Loser and best receiver Facundo Conte, as well as Santiago Danani, the best digger and the best receiver of the VNL 2022's Preliminary Phase, highlight Argentina’s roster for Poland-Slovenia 2022.
Italy will certainly be among the main contenders for the World Championship medals, especially with captain Simone Giannelli weaving his magic and rising star Alessandro Michieletto among those putting away the points.
Uros Kovacevic joins the Serbian line-up to reunite with stellar teammates like Aleksandar Atanasijevic, Marko Podrascanin and Srecko Lisinac, all of whom contributed to a fourth place at the 2018 World Championship.
Japan with their phenomenal trio Yuki Ishikawa, Yuji Nishida and Ran Takahashi, the Netherlands, spearheaded by scoring machine and ace-maker Nimir Abdel-Aziz, and Slovenia with their well-rounded squad around captain Tine Urnaut and talented young point engine Rok Mozic, are also among the teams that could play a major role in the race for World Championship honours.
Of course, no other participating nation is to be discounted, especially teams like Bulgaria around returning star opposite Tsvetan Sokolov and young prodigy Aleksandar Nikolov, Canada with Stephen Maar, China with Zhang Jingyin, Germany with Christian Fromm, Iran with experienced Milad Ebadipour and rising star Amin Esmaeilnezhad, Türkiye with Adis Lagumdzija and Ukraine with Oleh Plotnytskyi, to name a few.