Men's U21 World Championship 2021 News

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Alongside Manuel Armoa and Valentino Vidoni, Wilson Acosta has been one of the pivotal players for team Argentina at the FIVB Volleyball U21 Men's World Championship that is taking place in Italy and Bulgaria from September 23 to October 3.

Acosta made a name for himself two years ago, when he won bronze with the U19 team and finished as top scorer of the match for third place.

It was a competition and a medal that would change his life path.

“The U19 Worlds were the moment when I decided I had to go in this direction. I had several personal problems related to volleyball, and the Worlds helped me a lot. 2019 was a very difficult year for me, and the championship was of great personal help. Something clicked, and I told myself that “Ok, this is what I love to do.”

One problem Wilson had to face was related to his height. At 188 cm tall, he is not the typical opposite.

“Going to the Worlds two years ago was my biggest challenge. Why? Because of my height. I have always had problems with that. It has been really difficult for me at the position that I am playing. Not many people trusted in me. Two years ago, the head coach, Pablo Rico, gave me a chance, and I tried to seize the opportunity.”

Wilson Acosta in action

Wilson Acosta in action

“I will be forever grateful to him for believing in me. Usually, nobody takes into consideration players that are not that tall.”

Argentina’s opposite is a true believer in seizing the opportunities when given a chance.

“You have to take all the opportunities, at the maximum. Because it's not every day that someone gives you a chance.”

Wilson’s volleyball journey started by seizing an opportunity. At the age of 12, a friend called inviting Acosta to join a volleyball training.

“It all happened ‘by accident’. I liked it, and here I am. Nobody from my family has ever done sports professionally, so it is quite new also for us. It is a different lifestyle. In the beginning, my mother was a little worried if I was going to make it between studying and training, but I did. I owe her a big thanks, because she supported me from Day 1. And if it wasn’t for her support, I couldn’t have achieved anything.”

Now 20 years old, Wilson is studying economics, and although he likes it a lot, he dreams of playing volleyball in Italy one day.

Reaching the semis of the U21 Worlds may be another step towards that dream.

“I am feeling wonderful here, at the championship in Sardinia. We are delivering a very good tournament, we are on the right track. We are really united, and it matters a lot to me! I have great expectations for the future of this generation. We are the same group of players who won that bronze medal at the U19s.”

Argentina celebrating qualification for the semis

Argentina celebrating qualification for the semis

Of course, Acosta and his teammates look up to the Argentina senior team, who won bronze at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

“This was a historic achievement! We were all watching, it was a crazy feeling. It has been 28 years since we had been in the Top 4 at the Olympics,” Wilson said.

A crazy feeling and the emotion of being part of volleyball - they are the engines that keep the young South American in sport. But most important is the feeling that anything is possible.

“I love the game! Volleyball has taught me that everything is possible. It lifts you up and you overcome big obstacles!”