The Azzurrini made it: after a perfect journey in a tournament so far dominated, Italy won the men's Under-19 world title by overtaking Russia 3-1 (26-24, 21-25, 25-19, 25-18) at the end of a balanced game, difficult and very well played by the ITA national team.
This is a historic victory, the first with Julio Velasco at the youth sector's summit: perhaps not a consequence but certainly a sign of good luck for the work that awaits a field in search of a strong relaunch in both male and female.
An emotional up and downs, a rollercoaster of tensions that in the end rewarded Italy for the greater continuity of play and the ability of the blue team to always remain in the game with greater effectiveness in the most significant moments.
The first set is also the first real maturity test for the Azzurrini who until now in this World Cup have also had the good fortune of meeting notably weaker opponents: Russia is a lady team instead. Anton Anoshko is a lifter of a great future, never banal, always rather precise, a boy with a great sense of responsibility, while Roman Murashko, a great talent from Lokomotiv Novosibirsk, is a powerful and precise arm. Italy struggles to go into trouble, then below, then remounts and the last points are played amazingly, once again demonstrating that maturity already seen with Japan and Egypt (26-24).
In the second set the blue team is in trouble also because the Russian joke begins to do damage and for the first time puts the reception line in check: the Russians win the first break, then a second and Italy this time fails to respond with the usual authority. There are also some errors, a couple of avoidable inaccuracies. Russia equalizes with a 25-21 that puts the Italian team in front of the need to have to do something more.
Vincenzo Fanizza starts the third set with Crosato in place Gianotti and you see perhaps the most beautiful Italy of this world: from a phase of furious point to starting point, the Azzurrini come out so sumptuous with a first angry break that brings Italy at +4 (11-7); Russia is unable to react and a second, even more intense, break comes from the usual Rinaldi (15-9). From here on the team limits itself to managing neatly without making mistakes and offering a very precise and punctual ball change (25-19).
Just the time to take charge of the service with a minimum of continuity and Italy raises the level of the game is a superb way: the turn of Michieletto, in addition to an ace, also brings a splendid point of Cianciotta and numerous combinations of great importance. On 8-4 Nikolaev takes refuge in time out but decides not to make changes, and Italy restarts with another minibreak that extends the gap to 11-6. There are also a couple of mistakes, hands out and an oversized diagonal of Stefani but everything weighs a lot less than what Fanizza's team offers on the field, always giving the impression that Russia manages to stay in the game only based on errors of the Azzurri. Proceed to tears between a minibreak and the other, Russia takes two points and Italy takes three (16-12). When Michieletto puts in another ace bringing Italy to the 20-13 the more it seems done and it is necessary to limit himself to not making disasters: despite some mistake of to Italy plays a crazy end. Muro di Porro, Crosato's first half and eight-match balls, the Azzurri waste only two. The third, that of Rinaldi, is the right one which shows a highly anticipated and frankly well-deserved title.
Seven players from the U19 Men's World Championship were awarded as the best athletes, entered in the U19 Dream Team at the end of the award ceremony.
These are the "magnificent 7", of which three are Italian:
Setter: Paolo Porro (ITA)
Opposite: Roman Murashko (RUS)
Spiker: Tommaso Rinaldi (ITA), Omar Kurbanov (RUS)
Middle: Nicola Cianciotta (ITA), Agustin Gallardo (ARG)
Libero: Ilia Fedorov (RUS)
"I am very, very happy! I'm so excited about this victory. It was very difficult, but we won, so I am completely satisfied, "commented MVP Rinaldi. "Receiving this individual award then was a surprise for me. I think my reception was "normal", but I attacked well. Of course, I have to thank the rest of the team for this. After three months of hard daily work together, my team is the best ".