Now you have more reasons than ever not to miss it! The CEV has distributed wild cards for the European Cups, so eight men’s and eight women’s teams get the opportunity to participate in the most important club tournament in Europe. And what does that mean for you, the fans? Of course: even more chances to watch your FIVB Heroes in action!
So far, 20 teams have qualified for the tournament by winning their national leagues or cups. Ekaterina Gamova took the crown in Russia with her club Dinamo Kazan for the second consecutive time and Neslihan Darnel stays with Turkish champions Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul. Vakifbank Istanbul, finalists in the Turkish championship, will play with a great duo in their ranks: Jovana Brakocevic and Saori Kimura. Manon Flier will also join in after returning from Japan and will play with Azerrail Baku from Azerbaijan, one of the teams that entered by wild card. Polish star Joanna Kaczor will fight for the title at her club Tauron MKS Dąbrowa Górnicza. And what would a top league sports event be without some Italian flavour? Margareta Kozuch will enter the court with her new team, Italian champions Unendo Yamamay Busto Arsizio, while Simona Gioli will represent Galatasaray Istanbul!
Among the men, two of our Heroes, Simone Parodi and Sasa Starovic, play for Italian champions Lube Banca Marche Macerata, while Bulgarian star Matey Kaziyski will enter the Champions League with his Italian club Trento for the fifth time in a row. Meanwhile, his compatriot Tsvetan Sokolov will fight with his new club Bre Banca Lannutti Cuneo. Maxim Mikhaylov and his club Zenit Kazan are looking to defend their title, whereas current Russian champions Lokomotiv Novosibirsk will be represented by an FIVB Hero from the USA: Clayton Stanley. Two more Heroes join the competition through wild cards: Polish star Bartosz Kurek, who just signed his contract with Dinamo Moscow, and French opposite Antonin Rouzier with Poland’s Zaksa Kedzierzyn-Kozle.
A few months from now we will find out which Heroes will have to face each other in a pool round. All matches will be available to watch at www.laola1.tv.
The transfer market is still active, so keep your fingers crossed and maybe the Heroes’ squad in the Champions League will become even bigger! As always, find all the latest info here at FIVBheroes.com.