The “Balkan Lions” began the tournament on Friday with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-12, 25-21) win over Pakistan, gaining further confidence to confront their main competitors France, who had defeated Egypt 3-1.
“Both teams know each other very well. It’s a very interesting game, very difficult for us. I hope we will be the winners”, said Matey the day before the match.
The duel between FIVB Heroes Matey Kaziyski’s and Antonin Rouzier’s teams was the most exciting match with a stadium full of excited fans. Both teams fought hard for every point and although Rouzier was one of the best scorers for France, Bulgaria scored a 3-1 (25-19, 26-28, 25-23, 27-25) win that brought them one step closer to qualification.
The last match against Egypt on Sunday was really emotional with 10,000 people filling every available seat in the Armeec Arena Sofia, so the hosts enjoyed all the support they needed. It was another 3-1 (25-16, 25-18, 20-25, 25-12) victory over the Africans that allowed Matey, the best server of Bulgaria, and his teammates to celebrate the fulfilment of their big dream.
The qualification is also a great morale boost at a difficult time because one of the Bulgarian players, Peter Uzunov, is in hospital requiring financial aid for treatment and a smooth recovery. His teammates displayed a banner in the first match to support the campaign.
With the Olympics getting closer and closer, Matey Kaziyski became the last qualified FIVB Hero, joining the ranks of Great Britain, Russia, Poland, Brazil, Tunisia, USA, Italy, Argentina, Serbia, Australia and Germany in London.