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18/05/2020 10:00
On this day… Historic Super Finals trigger Volleyball revolution!

Luxembourg, May 18, 2020. A year ago, the historic CEV Champions League Volley Super Finals held at the Max-Schmeling-Halle in Berlin ushered in a new era for European Volleyball. A full house of 9,200 fans and many more following the event through TV and Internet witnessed a truly unprecedented show, with the top four teams in Europe fighting for a share of the record-breaking purse standing at € 1.2 million. What is most remarkable, the very best men’s and women’s teams stood side by side in the medal ceremony that wrapped up a truly historic day for Volleyball!

The anticipation had been mounting for months, since back in February the CEV had announced that Germany’s and Europe’s Volleyball temple would have played host to such an unprecedented Volleyball party. Fans from across Europe and even from overseas travelled to Berlin to enjoy the ‘ultimate Volleyball show’ unfolding on the court with the help of the top players in the world as well as before and after the matches – with the help of light shows, DJs, fan activations and much more.

Igor Gorgonzola NOVARA and Imoco Volley CONEGLIANO opened the competition programme in the afternoon for an eagerly anticipated all-Italian final. They had, a bit surprisingly, edged Turkish powerhouses Fenerbahce and VakifBank in the semis to seal their place in the historic Super Final, where two players, 20 years apart from each other in terms of their age, were to steal the show. Paola Egonu was highly instrumental towards NOVARA’s success – and her captain Francesca Piccinini added another gem to her collection of major accolades, celebrating her seventh Champions League triumph at the age of 40.

After a short break, Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA and Zenit KAZAN were the next ones to take to the court in a repeat of the 2018 gold medal match. A year before, Zenit had come from behind to extend their reign in the competition, but this time Bruno Rezende marshalled a star-studded team in a close-to-perfection performance, as Lube marched confidently towards a 3-1 victory to secure their first title in the competition since 2002. Osmany Juantorena, Tsvetan Sokolov, Yoandy Leal and Robertlandy Simon were among the other stars to pave the way for Lube’s success, thus ending the winning streak of Zenit KAZAN – the Russians had indeed swept the title for four years in a row.

The Super Finals 2019 in Berlin have literally revolutionised European Volleyball, displaying the very best the sport has to offer – from classy actions to the right dose of drama to continue with a terrific ambiance in the stands and the privilege to witness sports history in the making. Everyone was looking forward to a repeat of this event, but the coronavirus pandemic unfortunately cut short the 2020 season. Rest assured that the CEV is working hard for Volleyball to return and for the next party to unfold as soon as it is safe to do so! Stay tuned!   

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