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17/04/2016 08:41
Zenit and TRENTINO vie for fourth CL crown in final act of huge Volleyball party
2016 CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League - Men

Krakow, Poland, April 17, 2016. It has been five years since that sunny Sunday in late March 2011 when TRENTINO Diatec and Zenit KAZAN played each other with Europe’s most coveted Volleyball crown at stake. To cap the 2016 edition of the CEV DenizBank Volleyball Champions League, these two teams will contest the gold medal match in Krakow and whoever comes out on top in the end will be setting an all-time record of four titles in the world’s elite club competition. This weekend’s Final Four has already been a success story of his own: 22,137 fans watched the semis at the iconic TAURON Arena on Saturday and the matches featuring the top teams in Europe are being broadcast in as many as 81 countries across the globe.

TRENTINO and Zenit extend Russia-Italy rivalry in title deciding match

Five years ago TRENTINO Diatec completed a hat-trick of titles in a ‘golden era’ that included also four straight gold medals from the FIVB Men’s Club Volleyball World Championship. They did so by edging Zenit KAZAN 3-1 before an ecstatic home crowd at PalaOnda in Bolzano and set an unprecedented record of three straight Champions League titles, which still stands to date.

However, their triumphal march was stopped one year later when Zenit KAZAN beat the Italians in the semis with a similar score line before the Russian armada went on to claim a truly dramatic gold medal match with the hosts of the 2012 Final Four, Poland’s PGE Skra BELCHATOW.

Russian teams have imposed their rule lately with four straight CEV Volleyball Champions League titles – contributed by Zenit KAZAN (2012, 2015), Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK (2013) and Belogorie BELGOROD (2014).

The final showdown at TAURON Arena will be the sixth Russia-Italy gold medal match since the CEV Volleyball Champions League was established in the 2000-01 season. TRENTINO edged Dinamo MOSCOW and Zenit KAZAN in the 2010 and 2011 ‘grand finales’, respectively, whilst Zenit had the upper hand over Copra PIACENZA in 2008. Another two Russian-Italian finals were contested in 2003 and 2013 when Lokomotiv BELGOROD and Lokomotiv NOVOSIBIRSK imposed their rule in their respective matchups with Kerakoll MODENA and Bre Banca Lannutti CUNEO.

Bronze medal match

After losing their respective semis on Saturday, hosts Asseco Resovia RZESZOW and Cucine Lube CIVITANOVA will be trying to make amends for their setbacks by finishing their campaign with bronze.

If they achieve this feat, the Italians will claim their second medal in the CEV Volleyball Champions League following gold from the 2002 finals in Opole, Poland. CIVITANOVA will also try to end their negative streak in CL bronze medal matches after losing the ‘small final’ both in 2007 and 2009 to Russia’s Dinamo MOSCOW and Iskra ODINTSOVO, respectively.

As for Resovia, the hosts will be using the home advantage and the support of a record-breaking crowd to try and claim their second straight medal in Europe’s elite competition after they won silver at last year’s Finals in Berlin.

Click here for further information and visit the official website

Click here for a live gallery of the competition; on social media please use the official competition hashtags #CEVChampionsLeagueM and #CLF4Krakow

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