Polish Team

Poland men’s national volleyball team played its first official international match in 1947. In the late ‘60s Poland men’s national team entered the international scene for good and in the ‘70s and early ‘80s they were counted among the best teams in the world. It started with a second place won at the World Cup in Poland (1965) and the bronze medal of the 1967 European Championship. Then the era of the legendary coach Hubert Jerzy Wagner and his team began. The World Championship title in 1974, backed by Olympic gold two years later and five silver medals of the European Championship (1975 – 1983) proved that the white-and-red team was a part of the international elite.

Polish men’s volleyball way back to the top started with silver at the 2006 World Championship, won under the guidance of Argentina’s Raul Lozano. His fellow countryman Daniel Castellani led the Polish heroes to victory at the European Championship in 2009. After the Italian coach Andrea Anastasi took over, his team was winning medals on a regular basis: bronze at the FIVB World League and European Championship, silver at the World Cup (2011) and then the World League gold medal of 2012. In 2014 the French player Stephane Antiga made an instant transition from a player to a coach, with Philippe Blain as his assistant. The coaching debut was a dream come true. His team, playing at home in Poland, won the World Championship gold medal.

The next year, with a rebuilt squad, following the retirements of some of the key players, Antiga’s men brought home a bronze medal from the World Cup tournament in Japan. With the new rules, their 3rd place with only one loss in 11 matches cost the White-Reds their first chance to secure a ticket to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. To earn their qualification, the World Champions travelled to Japan again this year and this time came back from the World Olympic Qualification Tournament as its winners, ready for the upcoming challenges in Rio. Poland lost only one of the five group phase matches of the Olympic tournament and advanced to its knockout stage where unfortunately they suffered a defeat from the hands of Team USA.

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