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09/10/2019 12:23
Player of the Century Bernardi returns to EuroVolley scene
News from the CEV

Luxembourg, October 9, 2019. The Volleyball Player of the XX Century, aka ‘Mr Century’, Lorenzo Bernardi, was among the legends to visit the final stage of the record-breaking EuroVolley 2019 Men in Paris. Bernardi joined former stars such as Tomasz Wojtowicz, Dimitar Zlatanov as well as rivals and friends Bas van de Goor and Andrija Geric to witness the medal matches at the iconic AccorHotels Arena in Paris.

The two-time World champion (1990, 1994) and European gold medallist (1989, 1995) was a member of the legendary Italian national team that was the dominant force on the international stage for almost a decade. Moreover, Bernardi and Van de Goor were among the main characters in the gold medal match of the Atlanta 1996 Olympics – and re-united in Paris to follow the gold medal match between Serbia and Slovenia.

Bernardi has had a long, incredibly successful career – spanning as many as 24 years (!) in the highest division of the Italian national league, starting from his debut in 1984/1985 with Americanino PADOVA and ending in 2006/2007 with Acqua Paradiso Gabeca MONTICHIARI. He was the MVP of the 1994 World Championship, 1995 European Championship and his resume includes 12 titles from the European Cups with glorious teams such as Panini MODENA, Sisley TREVISO and Lube Banca Marche MACERATA.

A full set of Volleyball stars: from left to right, Bas van de Goor, Andrija Geric, Lorenzo Bernardi, CEV President Aleksandar Boričić, Dimitar Zlatanov and Tomasz Wojtowicz

At the dawn of the new millennium, the FIVB chose Bernardi as the most representative Volleyball player of the XX century. Bernardi has now recounted his outstanding career in a book that the former outside hitter will be presenting later this month in Rome, and whose title refers to the no. 9 he used to be wearing during his competitive years.

Now working as a coach, a career that has taken him to the helm of top teams in Poland, Turkey and Italy, Bernardi realises that Volleyball has evolved tremendously.

“It was a great experience to be with the CEV family in Paris and to see so many friends in Volleyball, while enjoying the great show delivered for the finals of EuroVolley. As a former player and now as a coach, I understand the challenges and opportunities that players and coaches have to deal with, especially with the further exposure provided by social and digital media. As far as I am concerned, I remember and still cherish the great sense of discipline, commitment and hard work I learned from my coaches, including Julio Velasco, whom I worked with for many years in the Italian national team,” Bernardi says. “He would not mind about the clock and ask us to work until late in the evening until we would reach a certain percentage of success with the one or the other drill. It was hard for sure, but that certainly paved our way to success.” 

Player of the Century Lorenzo Bernardi chatting with CEV President Aleksandar Boričić during the EuroVolley 2019 Men Finals in Paris

Bernardi’s attendance at EuroVolley is part of the CEV’s policy to emphasise the role of star players, both former and current ones, to pay tribute to their achievements and inspire the next generations of players as well.

Further information about EuroVolley is available at the official event website

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