Russia are unquestionably a volleyball superpower and boast a long tradition of success, and are consistent competitors in important international men’s tournaments. The USSR Volleyball Federation joined the FIVB in 1948 and the following year they sent a team to compete in the first World Championship. They were soon regularly topping the podium at international competitions such as the Olympic Games, World and European Championships and the World Cup. The Soviet Union won three Olympic titles (1964, 1968 and 1980), six World Championships, four World Cups and 12 European championships. FIVB considers Russia as the inheritor of the records of the Soviet Union and the CIS. Under the Russian banner, the team have won a total of four medals, including a gold at London 2012, silver at Sydney 2000 and back-to-back bronze medals at Athens 2004. They qualified to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games after they won the European Olympic Qualification Tournament.
In the World League, they have participated in 24 previous editions except in 2004 and 2005. Since the start of the World League in 1990, Russia’s highest achievement was second in 1993, 1998 and 2000. Their biggest break came in 2002 when they finally captured their first gold medal. A similar pattern occurred in their return in 2006 when they only ended up second or third in the podium until 2010. In 2011 and 2013, they came up with great performances that rewarded them with gold. Between this period, Russia also took the gold at the 2011 World Cup, London 2012 Olympic Games and the 2013 European Championship, that earned them a debut entry to the World Grand Champions Cup, where they lost the final.