Captain Dragan Stankovic with Serbia's first ever World league trophy
Krakow, Poland, July 17, 2016 - Serbia's captain Dragan Stankovic lifted the desired 2016 World League trophy as his team finished the Final Six tournament in glorious style beating Brazil in the final 3-0.
The trophy itself is of course is a goal for each team competing but there is something more: Serbia also took home the winner's cheque of $1m.
This year's World League competition started well for Serbia who claimed three victories in the first tournament comfortably beating Russia, Poland and Bulgaria in straight sets. Serbia emulated that achievement in the next weekend, sailing past Brazil, Iran and Bulgaria. They had to accept two defeats in the last weekend, however, to Iran and Argentina.
Serbia confirmed their great performance at the Final Six tournament when they booked the spot in the semifinals winning their opening match against Poland. Serbia lost then to France 3-2 but sealed the place in the final after an epic 3-2 victory over Italy. In the Sunday's final they didn't drop a set against Brazil to claim the title.
Between 2003 and 2009 Serbia appeared in four finals and lost on each occasion. In 2003, 2005 (both times participating as Serbia and Montenegro) and 2009 their tormentors were Brazil, while in 2008 the United States beat them 3-1. In 2015 they entered the Final Six and won silver.
A record of 36 teams took part in 2016 World League edition split into three groups by 12 teams from which the Group 1 contenders battled for the silverware over three tournament weekends from June 16 to July 3 and in the Finals wich took place in Krakow, Poland, from July 13 to 17.
Group 1 conisted of France, Serbia and USA who took first, second and third place respectively in the 2015 Finals. They were be joined by Poland, Brazil, Italy, Iran, Australia, Russia and wild cards, Argentina, Belgium and Bulgaria.