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16/09/2020 16:20
Dinamo MOSCOW looking forward to start of #CLVolleyW campaign
CEV Champions League Volley 2021

Moscow, Russia, September 16, 2020. The outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic back in March left Dinamo MOSCOW with an abrupt end to the Russian national league, thus missing on a spot among the top three finishers and with that on a place in the group stage of the CEV Champions League Volley 2021 as well. However, with the CEV providing additional opportunities for teams to contest this elite competition. Dinamo were still able to register and will start their journey this coming September 23 with a match vs Vasas Óbuda in Budapest.
 
Ahead of the first game of the season, the club’s Director General Vladimir Zinichev, head coach Zeljko Bulatovic and all players - including team captain Nataliya Goncharova and 2012 Olympic champion Natalia Pereira - joined a press conference held through the Zoom platform due to the restrictions in place to curb the spread of the virus. Moreover, the fans could send their questions as well, using the official social media accounts of the Russian club.
 
“Our players know that if we did not achieve our goals last season, we have to do it now. Last season’ goals to win the Superleague and Russian Cup still stand. We do not need to set a new task. I guess our fans expect even more from us.”  
 
The Director General also raised his concerns about logistical problems with away matches in the Champions League, potential changes to the tournament bracket in Round 2 and quarantine measures in some countries – which could affect the team’s schedule in the Superleague. “We are counting on a good result this season, despite the fact that our main rivals have also strengthened their rosters and got high-level players. We are optimistic about the season, despite the pandemic,” Zinichev added.
 
Dinamo signed seven new players in the summer. Head coach Zeljko Bulatovic acknowledged the strength of the current Dinamo roster: “If I was Team Russia’s coach, all Dinamo players would be at the Olympics in Tokyo! There were four of our players in the last camp of the national team, and Nataliya Goncharova was not there due to injury. Therefore, I hope that by the end of the club season there will be more of our representatives in the national team bound to Tokyo!”  
 
Natalia Pereira, playing for the first time with Dinamo, shared her emotions and expectations: “I am really happy to be here, it is my first experience in Russia, so I am really happy. All the girls and team staff have been helping me so much! It is good to be here, and I hope that we can have a good season and achieve good results!”
 
Dinamo took the gold medal in the Russian national league in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. The 2019/2020 edition ended with the semis because of the pandemic, so the final standing reflected the situation at the end of the regular season, with Dinamo finishing in fourth place only.

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