Men's Club World Championship 2022 - News

Men's Club World Championships - Awarding Ceremony_03

Perugia's players and coaching staff celebrate their victory in Brazil

The list of teams which have claimed a Volleyball Club World Champs title grew in 2022 after Italy’s Sir Safety Susa Perugia became the ninth different side to lift the trophy in the 17th edition of the men's tournament, which was played in Betim, Brazil.

Perugia were the best among the six teams that took part in the event, finishing ahead of Brazil’s Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei, Itambé Minas and Vôlei Renata, Iran’s Paykan Club and fellow Italians Trentino Itas, who were their opponents in the gold medal match, at the Divino Braga stadium.

· All matches of the Club World Champs 2022 are available on demand on Volleyball TV.

Undefeated in their four matches in Betim, the Italians won their first world title at their first opportunity to do so, as the club had never qualified for the Men’s Club World Championship previously. They also became the sixth different Italian team to claim the title, joining Trentino, Civitanova, Milano, Ravenna and Parma.

Perugia entered the tournament undefeated in the season, and had already won the Italian Supercoppa. They were able to extend their winning streak to 20 matches with their title in Betim.

“I thought our team did great tonight,” team captain Wilfredo Leon said after the gold medal match. “To win the Club World Championship here in Betim is an incredible achievement for our club. I’m really proud of the squad and of what we did, it was a big team win for us. It means a lot to me and to everyone. It was a really difficult week for us here in Betim, but we’re going back home with the trophy, so it’s all worth it. It’s been an incredible season for us and I hope it continues this way.”

Perugia dropped only two sets in their campaign and were dominant in their four matches in Betim. The Italians had their debut on the second day of the tournament and swept Vôlei Renata. The next day, they downed hosts and defending champions Sada Cruzeiro 3-1 to advance to the semifinals as the top team in Pool A.

The Italians faced their third different Brazilian opponent in the semifinals and cruised to another three-set win against Minas. Perugia were trailing their opponents for the first time in the tournament after losing the first set of the gold medal match to Trentino, but they found their strength to come back and win 3-1.

One of the highlights of Perugia’s title was the strength provided by the Italian League leaders’ deep roster. Head coach Andrea Anastasi used 13 of the 14 players he had available during the team’s campaign and on several occasions, those coming off the bench made significant contributions to their success.

That was the case in the gold medal match, when outside Oleh Plotnytskyi scored 15 points coming off the bench while fellow substitutes Jesus Herrera and Roberto Russo added nine each.

“We have a really strong roster and I’ve been trying to do the best I can with it,” Anastasi said. “Every player in our squad has been on the court already and today we really needed all of them. We had to make a lot of changes and they responded really well. It’s a challenge to try and find the right solutions every single time. To have won our first 20 matches and to have lifted two trophies this season already is unbelievable. I couldn’t be any prouder of the team.”


Plotnytskyi and Herrera had great performances coming off the bench in the gold medal match

Perugia’s international stars also had prominent roles in the team’s victory in Betim. Star setter Simone Giannelli was awarded the Most Valuable Player award, after also receiving the prize three months earlier following the Italian national team's victory at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship. Leon and middle blocker Flavio Gualberto both also made it into the tournament’s Dream Team.

Best Setter: Simone Giannelli (Sir Safety Susa Perugia)

Best Opposite: Matey Kaziyski (Trentino Itas)

Best Outside Hitters: Alessandro Michieletto (Trentino Itas) and Wilfredo Leon (Sir Safety Susa Perugia)

Best Middle Blockers: Marko Podrascanin (Trentino Itas) and Flavio Gualberto (Sir Safety Susa Perugia)

Best Libero: Lukas ‘Lukinha’ de Deus (Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei)

MVP: Simone Giannelli (Sir Safety Susa Perugia)

“We’ve just made history for Perugia,” Giannelli commented. “It’s the first world title for the club and I’m very proud to have won it with my teammates. It’s a really important title and everybody did great, players and coaching staff. We built a really strong squad this season and we developed a great relationship within the team. Tonight, we needed every single player to win and everyone delivered.”

The two winningest teams in Club World Championship history also made it to the podium in Betim. Five-time winners Trentino took silver and expanded their medal collection to nine (five golds, one silver, three bronzes) while four-time champions Sada Cruzeiro claimed bronze and now have eight (four golds, two silvers, two bronzes).