Men's Club World Championship 2022 - News


Hosts Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei are the reigning world champions

The Men’s Club World Champs 2022 begin on Wednesday in Betim, Brazil featuring six of the most exciting club teams in the world. Matches will take place over five consecutive days, with the final on Sunday. The Brazilian city will host the tournament for the sixth time.

This year’s edition of the tournament is the 17th held since 1989. It will reunite three clubs from hosts Brazil – Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei, Itambé Minas and Vôlei Renata. They will be joined by two clubs from Italy – Trentino Itas and Sir Safety Susa Perugia – and one from Iran – Paykan Club.

· Watch the Club World Champs 2022 live and on demand on Volleyball TV.

The first day of the competition will include matches for the clubs from Brazil and Iran. Set to be played at the Ginasio Poliesportivo Divino Braga, Minas and Paykan will get the tournament started at 18:00 local time (21:00 GMT) in Pool B, before hosts Sada Cruzeiro and Vôlei Renata meet three hours later in Pool A.

Trentino, the winningest side in Club World Championship history, will begin their World Championship campaign on Thursday, against Paykan Club. The Italian giants, who will be making their tenth appearance in the tournament, have won a record five golds (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2018) and three bronzes (2013, 2016 and 2021).

The Italians will rely on three members of the Italian team that won gold at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, including outside hitters Alessandro Michieletto and Daniele Lavia and setter Riccardo Sbertoli. They will also count on a number of more experienced players like Bulgarian outside hitter/opposite Matey Kaziyski and Serbian middle blockers Marko Podraščanin and Srécko Lisinac.

Defending champions Sada Cruzeiro will try to catch Trentino at the top of the event’s medal table as the Brazilians will be chasing their fifth world title after taking gold in 2013, 2015, 2016 and 2021 – they won silver in 2012 and 2019 and bronze in 2017.

Sada have two Rio 2016 Olympic champions in their line-up, who provide a lot of stability. They are Brazilian opposite Wallace de Souza and middle blocker Lucas Saatkamp. They also have a strong outside hitter duo, which includes last year’s Club World Championship MVP Miguel Angel Lopez and 2022 World Championship bronze medallist Rodriguinho Leao.

Paykan are the third most experienced team at the Club World Championship. The Iranians have appeared at the tournament on four occasions and won bronze in 2010 as their best result.

Iranian national team star opposite Amin Esmaeilnezhad will lead the team’s squad, which also features other popular players like outside hitter Purya Fayazi, setter Mohammad Vadi and libero Mohammad Reza.

“We have been preparing for the Club World Championship for a month, so we had the time to work physically and on our game,” head coach Peyman Akbari reflected. “We know that winning the tournament will be a very difficult task, but we feel that we are ready to play and to represent Iran and Asia well.”

Brazilian club Minas will be making just their second Club World Championship appearance after securing a seventh-place finish in their lone participation, back in 2016.

The club from Belo Horizonte is led by two veterans, 43-year-old Rio 2016 Olympic champion setter William Arjona and 39-year-old world champion opposite Leandro Vissotto. It also features current members of the Brazilian national team like libero Maique Nascimento and outside hitter Henrique Honorato.

“The Club World Championship is a really exciting tournament for us, everyone on the team is very motivated,” Maique said. “Unfortunately we're coming from back-to-back defeats in the Brazilian Superliga, but we know we can turn things around. We trust our team, we trust our work and together we'll secure a good result.”


William, Honorato and Maique arre key players for Minas

Meanwhile, current Italian League leaders and reigning Italian Supercoppa champions Perugia will be looking to make it to the podium in their first Club World Championship appearance.

The Italians have one of the strongest rosters in the world, with 2022 World Championship Most Valuable Player Simone Giannelli, star Polish outside hitters Wilfredo Leon and Kamil Semeniuk, Cuban opposite Jesus Herrera and Italian middle blocker Roberto Russo appearing as some of their key players.

“We came to Brazil with the goal of winning the trophy, but we know that this will be what every other team will be looking for as well,” head coach Andrea Anastasi said. “We’re in the same pool as two Brazilian teams and that will be a challenge because they play with a different level of intensity. These will be four difficult and intense days, so we’ll need everyone on our roster.”

Volei Renata are the other side making their first appearance at the Club World Championship. The club from Campinas won silver at the last Brazilian Cup and bronze at the South American Championship.

They have a pair of Brazilian national team players in opposite Felipe Roque and outside hitter Adriano Xavier, who were both part of the squad that won bronze at the 2022 World Championship. Their roster also includes two players who have some history with the Argentinean national team in setter Demian Gonzalez and outside hitter Nicolas Lazo.

“We’ll need to take the tournament one step at a time,” Felipe Roque commented. “We’re in a very tough pool with Sada Cruzeiro and Perugia. It will be a tremendous challenge, but we’ve prepared in the best possible way to get a good result.”