Mozic

The SuperLega Credem Banca is widely recognised as the best men's domestic league in the world and features many of the leading players in international volleyball. These players have a huge impact on the outcome of the Italian League and this week we focus on two athletes from different generations – Modena’s Bruno Rezende and Verona’s Rok Možič – who will be on opposite sides of the net on Sunday.

The SuperLega Credem Banca duel between Valsa Group Modena and WithU Verona at 18:00 local time (17:00 GMT) on Sunday will feature an interesting generational battle, demonstrating that both experience and youth have a role to play in the Italian League.

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Modena enter the ninth week of league play ranked fourth and will rely on their veteran setter and team captain Bruno Rezende. Seventh-placed Verona, on the other hand, will count on the high-energy and explosiveness of outside hitter Rok Možič in a match that could be key for both teams’ aspirations this season.

The 36-year-old Bruno has had one of the longest and most successful careers in international volleyball. Besides being a part of the Brazilian national team since 2006 (and captaining it since 2013), the hard-working setter has also had tremendous success at the club level both in his home country and Italy.

Bruno’s run with Brazil has been nothing short of legendary, as it includes four Olympic appearances and three medals won – gold at Rio 2016 and silver at Beijing 2008 and London 2012. He has also guided the South Americans to four podium appearances at the FIVB Volleyball World Championships, claiming gold in 2010, silver in 2014 and 2018 and bronze this year.

His list of achievements with the emblematic yellow jersey also includes one victory at the Volleyball Nations League (2021), four in the FIVB World League (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010), three at the FIVB Grand Champions Cup (2009, 2013, 2017) and two at the FIVB World Cup (2007, 2019).

The setter’s club career has been just as successful. He won seven Brazilian Superliga titles with four different clubs – Unisul, Cimed, RJX and Taubate – and two Italian League trophies – one with Modena and another with Cucine Lube Civitanova.

With Lube, the club he played for between 2018 and 2020, the Brazilian setter also topped the CEV Champions League and FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship podiums, securing the only two major titles that were missing in his storied career.

Ranked second among the best setters of the Italian League with 365 perfect sets, Bruno is currently in his third stint with Modena and is once again a key player for the team. The Italian giants continue to rebound from a difficult start of the season - after dropping four of their first five matches, they have now won three in a row, moving up in the standings.

Verona, on the other hand, opened the season with big wins over Gas Sales Bluenergy Piacenza and Itas Trentino, but have had ups and downs since then and got three wins and two losses in their last five encounters.

The 20-year-old Možič, who is in his second season with Verona, has beem nothing short of brilliant since he joined the team, and was the top scorer of the Italian League in 2021-2022, his first year in the country.

He continues to be an important player for the team, having reached double digits in scoring in six of the seven matches he has played so far in 2022-2023. He is also Verona’s second-best scorer this season with 106 points.

Možič is one of the most exciting emerging prospects in international volleyball and has been with the Slovenian national team since 2020, when he was only 17. He helped the team make semifinal appearances at both the World Championships and the VNL, and took silver at the 2021 CEV European Championship.

Before joining Verona, he also had great success playing beach volleyball, winning the U20 European title in 2021 and taking silver in the U18 continental tournament two years before that.

Bruno and Možič faced each other twice during the last international season, once in the VNL and the second time at the World Championship. The Brazilian had the advantage with 3-1 victories on both occasions, but this weekend’s encounter in Italy should be another exciting one involving one of the most experienced and successful players in the Italian League and one of the most promising young athletes in the sport.