CEV EuroVolley 2021 | Men
CEV EuroVolley 2021 | Men
Time flies, less than a year ago, Italy were crowned the continental champions at magnificent EuroVolley 2021 hosted by Poland, Czechia, Finland and Estonia, but in a little over a year the ultimate Volleyball party and quest for the European crown will start again, bringing fans even closer to the action. However, first we need to find out who will battle for the trophy. Twelve spots are already reserved for all four hosts of the EuroVolley 2023 (due to be announced soon) and eight top-ranked teams from the previous edition. But there are still twelve more at stake and as many as 25 European teams are extremely eager to snaffle the highly-coveted tickets. The #EuroVolleyM Qualifiers which are due to be held in August 2022 across Europe feature 25 teams divided into seven pools to contest a double round robin in their respective groups. The road to the #EuroVolleyM 2023 starts on August 3, but before that let’s take a look at the composition of the pools E-G.
With 12 teams already confirmed of their presence at EuroVolley 2023 (4 as hosts, 8 as per the 2021 standing) before a serve was hit, the remaining 12 will come from the Qualifier phase in the year preceding the event.
There are seven pools, four with four and three with three teams respectively, all pool winners and the five second-placed teams with the best result will participate in the Finals. Since there is a different number of teams across the seven pools, the results of the matches played with the teams finishing last in the pools of four will be discarded in order to determine the five best runners-up across all pools, thus comparing their results as per the same number of matches played.
Pool E consists of Croatia, Cyprus, Greece and Norway. Two teams - Cyprus and Norway - have a chance for a historic feat as they have never competed in the main phase of the EuroVolley. Croatia, the host of the 2022 European Golden League - Final Four, swept the bronze medal in Varazdin under the guidance of new coach Cedric Enard and hope to continue the summer on a positive note. They returned at EuroVolley 2021, after missing two previous editions. Last year, in their 5th performance, Croatia reached the 8th Finals, being eliminated then by Slovenia. On the other hand, Greece is the most experienced team in Pool E with as many as 16 appearances in Europe’s prime Volleyball competition. Although, the Hellas didn't record any wins in the most recent edition of the EuroVolley, they left a very good impression, battling throughout five sets with Serbia and Ukraine and setting the bar high also for other opponents, including Poland.
Georgia, Hungary, Slovakia and Spain will battle for spots in the EuroVolley 2023 in Pool F. Spain, the 2007 European champion, aim to qualify for their 4th consecutive participation in Europe’s prime Volleyball event led by their newly appointed coach Miguel Rivera. Last year Spain, same like Slovakia, finished their campaign in the pool phase. Slovakia is a regular participant of the EuroVolley, having a chance for their ninth straight appearance, once Hungarian team have been waiting to come back to elite competition since 2001. Earlier this summer, Hungary hosted the European Silver League – Final Four, finishing in 4th place. Georgia is the only team in this pool who haven’t performed yet in the Europe’s prime competition.
Pool G might be considered one of the most intriguing pools, as all four teams, Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Romania, Switzerland, didn’t manage to qualify for the EuroVolley 2021. Romania, newly crowned the 2022 European Silver League winner, with 17 appearances to their name, are a pre-favourite of this group, who most recently competed in the event in 2019. Romania hope to stay on the winning track, but their pool rivals are no less motivated. There’s an enormous wait to perform at the European Championships again for Albania and Switzerland, who recorded their last performance at the event in 1967 and 1971, respectively. Bosnia & Herzegovina aim to repeat the achievement of their women’s team, who in 2021 made their maiden performance at EuroVolley, to their debut in the men’s event two years later.