The European encore fades for Italy, in the final played at the PalaEur in Rome, the Azzurri were defeated 3-0 (20-25, 21-25, 23-25) by Poland who became European champions. A blue bedlam, a human firework made up of 11,300 screaming people. The atmosphere at the PalaEur before and during the final of the European Volleyball Championship between Italy and Poland was the stuff of goosebumps. At 8.47pm the President of the Republic Sergio Mattarella appears in the grandstand, attracting genuine applause from the PalaEur audience. Alongside Mattarella, the president of Coni Giovanni Malagò. The roars, however, become even more deafening when the speaker announces the entry of De Giorgi’s men onto the pitch. The nicest banner is undoubtedly ‘Pope Wojtila also supports Italy’, while there are dozens of them praising the Italian champions. Captain Giannelli is among the most loved (this is demonstrated by the ‘We love Giannelli’ banner with a large tricolor heart), but Galassi and Lavia also receive their share of affection from the stands. The Calabrian spiker is immortalized in a large white banner with the writing ‘From Rossano with fury’. Of note are the many whistles against Poland at the start of the match, which lead the speaker to ask the public to cheer on Italy without attacking the visiting team. The box office was impressive: the total takings were 831,090 euros.
The disappointment of Daniele Lavia from Rossano
“We must applaud this great audience. Even in moments of difficulty they were always with us, they encouraged us and invited us to push. It’s a shame that we didn’t take to the court with the right attitude. From the first set the attacks came. Little by little they lightened the pressure, except Leon. We went up but didn’t make it. The group is compact and cohesive. Defeats like this are useful.”