The return of the international star, the Belgian success coach, and the Cuban wonder: the origins of the European Championship’s favorite | European Volleyball Championship

Even before the Yellow Tigers hit their first ball at the European Volleyball Championships in their country, many of the best players were already participating. Italy opens the dance tonight with superstar Paola Igono. Other top favorites also bring big guns. Asset Overview We are looking at our top favorites.

Türkiye: No. 1 is counting on the Cuban miracle

By far it is a favorite among bookmakers.

Turkey never became European champions, but achieved its first major victory earlier this year. The final victory in the UN League gave the country a lot of prestige and first place in the world rankings.

It is no coincidence that Türkiye achieved its first success this summer. Offensive wonder Melissa Vargas has something to do with that.

Vargas was born in Cuba and played for the national team for a long time. After playing for 3 years at Turkish club Fenerbahce, the 23-year-old main striker obtained Turkish citizenship and made the move.

In the first tournament with Vargas she scored immediately. Her role? Undeniably big. She was voted the best player and best striker in the Nations League. Performances that you will undoubtedly want to repeat at this European Championship.

Turkey is also in the group with which Belgium will go through the knockout stage. The Yellow Tigers can actually face the best national team at the moment in the 1/8 finals.

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Italy: The return of the star player after the break from racism

From front-runner to title holder.

With Italy we reach the European Champions of 2021. Italy then defeated Serbia in the lion’s den in the final thanks to one great force: Paola Egogno.

A long period of Italian dominance seemed possible, until a third place in the World Cup a year later. Then the main striker with Nigerian roots broke up with the national team.

Reason: racist attacks from fans on social media. “Italy is a racist country,” she said this year. She no longer wants to represent the country where she was born in 1998.

Fortunately for Italian volleyball, the 24-year-old Igono later reversed that decision.

The former European Championship player of the year has put the problems with her country behind her and wants to focus again on sporting successes. Starting in this European Championship?

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Germany: Vital Heinen’s plans

Germany’s overseas national coach no longer needs to apply in volleyball-loving Belgium.

Vital Heinen has been captain of the German national team since 2022, his first challenge in women’s volleyball. Although this adjustment will provide new major tactical plans in his mind on the volleyball field.

As a player, Heinen became an eight-time Belgian champion with Masek. As a coach, he repeated that trick 4 times in the same club. He also led Maaseik to the CEV Cup final.

Between 2012 and 2017, Heinen was coach of the German national team and subsequently the men’s national team. With a World Cup bronze medal around his neck, he returned to Belgium, where the tactician briefly coached the Red Dragons.

Although Poland could easily tempt him in 2018 to take up a real senior position at state level.

The right move, as it turns out. Because in his first year he was crowned world champion. What plan does Heinen have up his sleeve to give Germany their first European title?

Vital Heinen became a world champion with the Polish men’s team.

Serbia: The success coach gives opponents headaches

The last in the quartet of top contenders is the Yellow Tigers.

Serbia represents the toughest challenge for our compatriots in the first stage of the tournament. The Serbian women became world champions in the Netherlands last year, and have recently added an additional credit to their roster.

Giovanni Guidetti came from the Turkish national team after the World Cup. He has been the coach of Vakif Istanbul Bank, one of the best clubs in the world, since 2008.

Although the 50-year-old Italian has never achieved the same success with national teams, there is no doubt in the world about his qualities. Belgian national team coach Chris Vansnick praised, saying: “It causes a headache for opposing coaches.”

Thinkers on the fringes would do well to keep painkillers handy.

Giovanni Guidetti has already won one award after another at his club VakifBank.

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Amber Webster

 "Freelance zombie fanatic. Devoted web advocate. Analyst. Writer. Coffee fanatic. Travelaholic. Proud food aficionado."

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