Biggest ever World League season all set to conclude in Krakow


France lifting the trophy after last year's final

Krakow, Poland, June 12, 2016 - The 27th season of the FIVB Volleyball World League concludes in Poland as six teams - USA, Italy, Serbia, Brazil, France and hosts Poland - will meet in Krakow in the Group 1 Finals starting on Wednesday.

Defending champions France advanced as the fourth-ranked team from the Preliminary Round while the two most successful nations - Brazil and Italy, who have taken part in all 27 editions of the FIVB World League, lead the list of tournament winners with nine and eight titles respectively and will have the honour of starting proceedings with the first FIVB Volleyball World League Finals match in Krakow's exciting Tauron Arena on Wednesday. The last title for world No. 1 Brazil was six years ago in 2010. For Italy you have to go back further to the year 2000.

Nevertheless, Brazil have finished on the podium in 18 of the previous 26 editions of the World League, and lead Italy and Russia (15 medals each) in the overall medal standings. In addition to Brazil (9) and Italy (8), six other countries have won the title so far: 2012 Olympic champions Russia (3); 2015 World Cup winners USA (2); 2014 world champions Poland; Cuba, Netherlands and defending champions France have one title each.

Hosts Poland will take on France in the 
second match on Wednesday.

This year's World League saw 36 teams take part in the competition - 12 in each group - which marks a highpoint in a spectacular success story, which began with a mere eight teams back in 1990. In 1991 the number of teams had risen to 10, while 12 nations competed from 1992-2000 and 2004-2005. The field featured 16 teams from 2001-2003 and 2006-2012 and this number increased to 18 countries in 2013, 28 in 2014 and 32 teams in 2015 before including a further four teams this year.

FIVB Volleyball World League Group 1 Ranking after the Preliminary Round

Whilst some teams have one eye on the Rio 2016 Olympic Games - from the six contenders only Serbia will not compete in the Olympics scheduled from August 7-21 - there's still plenty to play for with $1m up for grabs for the FIVB Volleyball World League 2016 winner. 


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