Italy are taking part in the FIVB Men’s World Grand Champions Cup for the fourth time in the history of the competition, after winning the inauguaral edition in 1993 and picking up bronze medals in 2005 and 2013.
Last year saw Italy claim the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, losing to hosts Brazil in the final in their third unsuccessful shot at Olympic gold after Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004. Nonetheless, Italy have won the FIVB World Championship three times in 1990, 1994 and 1998. Most recently they ranked 13th in the 2014 edition in Poland.
Italy have competed in all 28 editions of the FIVB Volleyball World League - a feat matched only by Brazil - completely dominating the first decade of the compeition with 8 gold medals in the first 11 editions. They haven't won another gold since then, but have consistently been on the podium, incuding recent bronze medal appearances in 2013 and 2014.
Although Italy won a bronze medal at the 1948 European Championship it was only in the early 1970s that they became a major force in the sport. They won a bronze at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games before a lengthy period of domination under Julio Velasco’s guidance. From 1989 to 2005, Italy won three World Championships, one World Cup, six European Championships, eight World Leagues and three Olympic medals (silver in 1996, bronze in 2000 and silver in 2004).