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12/06/2018 21:00
Golden #EuroLeagueM reaches its climax with eagerly anticipated Finals in Karlovy Vary
2018 CEV Volleyball Golden European League - Men

Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic, June 12, 2018. The Czech city of Karlovy Vary will be playing host on Wednesday and Thursday to the Final Four of the 2018 CEV Volleyball Golden European League – Men. The eventual gold medallists and runners-up will secure their participation in the inaugural FIVB Challenger Cup taking place later this month – whose winners will contest the 2019 edition of the elite FIVB Volleyball Nations League. Estonia and Portugal will open the programme clashing in the first semi-final before hosts Czech Republic take on Turkey.

Estonia vs. Portugal

•    Estonia and Portugal will contest the first semi-final.
•    Estonia are the gold medal winners from the 2016 edition of the European League.
•    Estonia claimed five wins in six matches they played in Pool A – losing only their away fixture at Kortrijk with Belgium.
•    Portugal achieved the same feat in Pool C – with five wins and one loss to Spain.
•    Portugal have three European League medals to their name – gold in 2010, silver in 2007 and bronze in 2009.
•    Portugal Alexandre Ferreira top scored in the League Round on 128 points. Estonia’s most prolific player Robert Täht piled up 88 points.
•    Estonia and Portugal return to play in Karlovy Vary and at KV Arena after they contested their Pool matches of the 2011 men’s EuroVolley at the same venue. Back then, Estonia beat Portugal 3-0 to qualify for the Playoff stage of the competition for the first time in history.
•    Portugal will be hosting the FIVB Challenger Cup in Matosinhos later this month.
•    Karlovy Vary is the most famous spa resort in the Czech Republic and it annually hosts a renowned international film festival.

Markkus Keel, setter of Estonia: “We are not afraid before the match against Portugal, because we have our mission here - we want to go to the Challenger Cup and I am sure that we will all do our best to make it happen. There is no main favourite here in Karlovy Vary, all teams are equal and everyone can defeat anyone. Definitely, everyone will play with their hearts out and we will see who will be on top in the end.”

Filip Cveticanin, middle blocker of Portugal: “We feel very confident; it won’t be an easy game, but we played against many teams, so we are ready. My motivation is very high, even if we already have a spot in the Challenger Cup, because it does not happen every time to play in the Final Four of the European League. We are here thanks to our hard teamwork and our resilience during the games, so we just need to keep it up and in the end, it can be even more rewarded.”

Turkey vs. Czech Republic


•    Turkey were the first team to qualify for the Final Four – apart from hosts Czech Republic – after claiming four wins in a row in Pool B.
•    The Czech Republic finished their campaign in Pool C on two wins and four losses.
•    Home star Donovan Dzavoronok played for VK KARLOVARSKO, i.e. the Volleyball club based in Karlovy Vary, before moving to Italy to play for Vero Volley MONZA in the elite Serie A1.
•    VK KARLOVARSKO won the 2018 edition of the Czech Extraliga earlier this year, thus making Karlovy Vary the capital of Czech Volleyball.
•    Three members of the Czech national team – Daniel Pfeffer, Marek Beer and Vojtech Patocka – will be playing in Karlovy Vary next year.
•    The Czech Republic won the inaugural edition of the European League in 2004. The Czechs have a bronze medal (2013) to their name as well. Turkey finished second in 2012 and third in 2010. They were fourth in 2005, 2006 and 2013, losing the bronze medal match to the Czech Republic on that occasion.

Marek Beer, middle blocker of Czech Republic: “It is a pleasure to play again at home. After the League Round and great matches in Prague, now we are in Karlovy Vary. We are expecting many fans at the venue supporting us during the match against Turkey. The Turkish team won their pool, so certainly they are in good shape and they came here to win, but we also want to win and fight for more, so let us see who will be better.”

Markkus Keel, setter of Estonia: "We are not afraid before the match against Portugal, because we have our mission here - we want to go to the Challenger Cup and I am sure that we all do our best to make it happen. There is no one main favourite here in Karlovy Vary, all teams are equal and anyone can defeat anyone. Definitely, everyone will play their hearts out and we will see who will be on top."

Filip Cveticanin, middle blocker of Portugal: "We feel very confident, it won't be an easy game, but we have played against many teams, so we are ready. My motivation is very high, even if we already have a spot in the Challenger Cup, because it doesn't happen every time to play in the Final Four. We are here thanks to our hard team work and our patience during the games, so we just need to keep it up and in the end it can be even more rewarded."

Mert Matic, middle blocker of Turkey: “The match against the home team will be for sure very difficult, but we are ready and we believe that we can win this game. I trust my team and I think that we will win. We are all young guys who have great strength, we all have played in a very strong Turkish League and we are a very good team - and I think that this is our advantage and asset!”

Click here for further information.


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