Simone Giannelli’s outburst: “Only football in Italy is scandalous for other sports”

Simone Giannelli is the captain of Italvolley, who returned to the throne of Europe and the world in just one year: he told how the blue group has changed in recent months and explained the malaise of how Italy treats sports other than football football.

Edited by Vito Lamorte

Simone Gianelli He is considered by many to be the best player in the world. At age 26, he’s won just about everything there is to win with the Italian national but has no intention of stopping: “I want to stay in the national team, because that’s always an achievement, and then try to keep Italy’s name high.”

The last World Cup proved it once again, but anyone who follows volleyball throughout the year knows that the setter’s standard in Mr Security Perugia they are always very tall and the quality of their play always puts their opponents to the test. Giannelli was born in 1996 but is on the field like a veteran and the captain’s armband of the national team arrived precisely for that: in addition to being the only veteran of the silver medal in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, Simone manages to always be very cold on the field and to also give peace of mind to companions. A true guide, technical and temperamental.

Fefé De Giorgi’s group is often compared to the ‘generation of phenomena’, but Giannelli went beyond this inflated resemblance and gave another reading that not everyone had captured at the last World Cup: “For me, comparisons are neither in heaven nor on earth because we are completely different people from each other and they are different times. What I liked about the World Cup was the proximity of that generation to the team and is that I didn’t realize it before”.

The captain of the Italian national volleyball team he told how the blue group has changed in recent months and how it managed to take the throne of Europe and the world.

In 2022 he managed to win two titles, Coppa Italia and Supercoppa, which he had never won before: which season will be the second with Perugia?
“I’m happy because they’re two titles I was close to, but I didn’t get. But, as I always say, they’re over. We’re happy, but we need to move on and keep improving to win again.”

What changed after Tokyo and what does it mean to win Europe and the World Cup in one year?
“For sure nobody believed it and that was also the best part, because when you win they are all on the wave and when you lose they are there to judge. That’s what sport is made of too, and that’s right, but it’s cool because we did some things that surprised everyone, many things changed, there was a change of generation and I am the only one left from the silver medal in Rio. Many young people arrived, the coach changed and a breath of new things arrived that helped. So each manifestation has its own history: it takes a bit of luck, a bit of courage and a lot of components that have been on our side. For that we did two incredible things”.

You have been in the national team since 2015: what are the differences between this national team and the ones you played before? Was there more pressure?
“I’m the one who puts the most pressure on me and this is my first training session. I’m very demanding with myself. This allows me to see that the criticism that comes from outside affects me much less. The pressure is always present and with the young group you can feel it even more, but we won a World Cup as European champions, so that shows that we managed to manage them in a certain way.

Has this team changed since the first win or has it stayed the same?
“As a captain, I always try to tell my teammates to look ahead. We wrote the history of volleyball: it had been 24 years since a World Cup had been won and we brought it back to Italy, where the ‘generation of phenomena’ took ; we won the European Championship after 16 years and that’s why they wrote history. You have to be simple people and you don’t have to change because of the results. For the fans you always have to win but it’s not like that because there is a way and a way to win and to lose”,

He was awarded MVP at the European and World Championships: what does it mean to be the best player in the world?
“It’s good, but I’m happier with the team’s result. When you win two races like that, each of us could have taken that prize there. So it’s also a matter of taste in the end who votes, but if I think Daniele Lavia didn’t win any awards and he deserved it because he played at an incredible level and made us win many games, I prefer the team awards more and I play volleyball for that, otherwise I would have played tennis and I would have taken everything on my shoulders. pleasure, but I’m even more proud of the medal we all won”.

Video of his reaction to a provocation from Poland following a successful lockdown has gone viral. What were you thinking at that moment?
“They were 2-1 down and he had just blocked me. He wanted to make a little fight to try to distract us, but I think I interpreted it correctly because I blocked everyone, since even the bench had started. I calmed down and then opportunities arose that I didn’t miss. That way I made him understand that I was there to win and nothing else. I think he understood that.”

Are comparisons with the ‘Velasco generation’ a burden or a stimulus to do more and more?
“For me, comparisons are neither in heaven nor on earth because we are completely different people from each other and it’s different periods. I think it’s disrespectful to us and to them. Everyone tries to better represent the selection. For me it’s not. a weight, because I really don’t see myself in that. What pleased me, in this Cup here, was the closeness of that generation with the national team and it’s something that I didn’t realize before. I felt them close and I thank everyone because it was fundamental and I understood that we were all rowing in the same direction”.

Your historic achievement for Italian sport has found marginal corners of the front pages amid football and refereeing controversies: how did you experience this story?
“For me it was very scandalous, to be honest. I didn’t share it because whenever a team, in any sport, wins such an important title, I’m the first to make public praise. It was a bit ugly, but I’m not just talking about volleyball: the same with Ganna and gymnastics butterflies. Everything is always based on football”.

Why do you think Italy struggles to recognize and celebrate everything in sport that goes beyond football?
“Of course it’s not the players’ fault, God forbid, but the cultural level and the newspapers should be more open to these endeavors here. Be free to accept that for a day that’s the most important thing.”

How do you keep the pressure under control, especially after the good victories, in the face of important appointments like Paris 2024?
“You have to be simple people and think day after day. Before reaching Paris you have to qualify, but we have to understand how it works, even if we have to be there with the ranking. We have to do things right. Europe. We have to be ourselves because things will happen regardless of the pressure and for that we have to do our part, representing our country in the best possible way. The pressures are more related to the outside world because we create our own bubble and go our way.”

You played a lot of sports as a child: how did you fall in love with volleyball?
“My father is a tennis teacher and I played for a while. I played football like everyone else and went skiing, being from Bolzano and the mountains are close. Volleyball came last thanks to my sister, who played in Bolzano and I went to see his matches. Gradually I left all the other sports and stayed with tennis and volleyball. In the end I chose volleyball”.

How would you describe your role to a child to bring them closer to volleyball?
“The setter is the role that gives more imagination than the others and the most difficult because every action touches the ball. If you play badly it is difficult, but it allows from a fantasy point of view while the others are more focused. I decide what it’s going to happen in action and I really like that. You really get to know your teammates, also from a human point of view, but a lot of brain work. I really like that and it stimulates me.”

What are Simone Giannelli’s next goals?
“Certainly staying in the national team, because that’s always an achievement, and then trying to keep Italy’s name high. Trying to reach the bottom of every tournament, but it’s difficult because the sport is not like that: sooner or later a beating will come , but we must always be ready and confident in what we can do”.

Source: Fan Page IT