Lausanne, Switzerland, September 1, 2017 - The list of players who have participated in the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup since the competition was launched in 1993 is a veritable who’s who of global volleyball.
One player stands out, however, and that player is Gilberto Amauri de Godoy Filho, better known as Giba. In six editions of the World Grand Champions Cup to date, Brazil’s men's team have been victorious on four occasions – and the legendary hitter was involved in three of those successes.
Twelve years passed between Giba's first victory in the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup in 1997 and his third success in the prestigious competition in 2009.
This year's event will take place in Japan from September 5 to 10 (Women) and from September 12 to 17 (Men), a month after the end of the 2017 edition of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix.
Defending champions and Olympic gold medallists Brazil are among the favourites to do well of course. And the Brazilians are likely to be led by a key player in their last two FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup triumphs, in 2009 and 2013, namely Bruno Rezende. However, it was two other global stars who were named the MVPs at the last two editions of the competition. Quick links - Volleyball:
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup - Women
FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup - Men
FIVB.com - VolleyballFIVB.com
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In 2009, Cuba’s Robertlandy Simón was voted the most valuable player in the tournament, and also scooped the titles of best blocker and best server. Four years later - in 2013 - giant Russian Dmitriy Muserskiy was named MVP.
In 1993, when the competition made its debut, Italians Andrea Giani, Lorenzo Bernardi and Andrea Gardini were the stars of the show. Four years later, high-scoring Nalbert Bitencourt led Brazil to their first victory in the competition. In 2001, Yugoslavian volleyball legend Ivan Miljković was the top scorer and named MVP, before Brazil’s André Nascimento claimed the same honours in 2005.
Brazil are also the most successful nation in the women's competition, winning in 2005 and 2013. Two players were instrumental in those victories and have really made their mark on the tournament. Sheilla Castro was best scorer and MVP in 2005, while Fabiana Claudino was named MVP in 2013. The two South Americans, however, are just two in a list of global stars who have showcased their skills at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup.
Cuba's women's team triumphed when the competition made its debut in 1993. The outstanding player for “Las Morenas del Caribe” was the powerful Regla Bell, who was named both best spiker and MVP - top scorer was Russia’s Yevgeniya Artamonova. She repeated that feat four years later – and, as MVP, led Russia to its first and only triumph to date in the history of the tournament. In 2001, her teammate Yekaterina Gamova was the top scorer – however, the title went to China, thanks in no small part to the efforts of MVP Yang Hao.
MVP Simona Gioli helped Italy to a surprise victory in 2009. That was followed in 2013 by Brazil’s second title.