Italy celebrate their first U19 Boys' World Championship in 22 years
Lausanne, Switzerland, December 24, 2019 – Italy ended their 22-year wait for the FIVB Volleyball Boys' U19 World Championship title when they triumphed at Tunisia 2019.
Italy captain Piervito Disabato hoisted the winner’s trophy high following their 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 25-18) victory over Russia at the Salle Polyvalente Rades in Tunis that completed a run of eight straight wins.
The Azzurri’s success was recognised in the tournament dream team where outside spiker Tommaso Rinaldi was named MVP, and Nicola Cianciotta and Paolo Porro were chosen at middle blocker and setter respectively.
“It was very difficult, but we won,” Rinaldi said. “To receive these individual awards was very surprising for me. I think my reception was normal, but I attacked well.
“Of course, I have to thank the rest of the team for it. After three months of daily hard work together, my team is the best.”
The tournament featured 78 matches and 20 teams – six from Europe, four each from Asia and North and Central America and the Caribbean, and three each from Africa and South America – took part in a tournament that ran from August 21-30.
Argentina joined Italy and Russia on the medal podium after they defeat Egypt 3-1 (25-19, 25-19, 23-25, 25-17) in a match in which Wilson Acosta and Augustin Gallardo demonstrated why they have been tipped for stellar careers.
Defending champions Iran fell in the quarterfinals but finished on a high when they beat Japan (28-26, 23-25, 25-16, 25-23) to secure fifth place.
Vincenzo Fanizza, pictured below, was the man who guided Italy to the top of the podium. Italy began with wins over Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Colombia and Iran in their pool.
In the second round they eliminated Chinese Taipei in straight sets and Japan were knocked out by the same result in the quarterfinals.
Egypt stood in their way in the semifinals, but Italy again raised their performance to reach the gold medal match with a 3-0 (25-18, 25-16, 25-17) victory.
Then came Russia and after the teams took a set each, Italy found their rhythm and didn’t look back.
“I walked the most beautiful road – eight games, eight victories,” Fanizza said. “Our wonderful guys in our wonderful team did a great job. We started preparing in June and during these three months our only goal was to win this championship. Now our dreams have come true.”