Italian Gianlorenzo Blengini shows emotions during the match against France
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2016 – Italian coach Gianlorenzo Blengini showed plenty satisfaction after the unexpected one-sided victory against France, considered by many as one of the top candidates for a medal.
Blengini, however, admitted the men’s tournament is very complicated especially in Pool A where they will face United States in their next contest.
Emanuele Birarelli, Captain of Italy: To jump ahead in this competition is very important, especially winning against France, which is among the favourites here. It is crucial to start winning and to keep the team united and focused as our next match is against USA. The preliminary round in our pool is very important.
Benjamin Toniutti, Captain of France: It is a rough start for us and we have to congratulate Italy for their great match today. We must concentrate in our next match against Mexico.
Gianlorenzo Blengini, Coach of Italy: I am very satisfied with the result, especially playing against such opponent. It is only the first match in a very long, long and complicated tournament. We only can think in the next match against United States.
Laurent Tillie, Coach of France: Italy played a great match and put a lot of pressure with their serves and blocks. The stats are there and the result is logic. That’s all. Of course I expected a better result but as a coach you only want your team to play good and today we couldn’t.
Matteo Piano, Player of Italy
On their great blocking effort in their match against France:
“Our coach told us that if we want to win, we have to play defence. France are a strong team and to play against a good defensive team like them, we have to play excellent defence.”
On having long preparation for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games:
“I think we had a long and good preparation. For a difficult tournament like this, where all teams are strong, we have to fight every day and every match.”
On having the right mindset for the competition:
“The most important thing to do is to think about what you need to do day by day. Now we have one victory and it is important for us not to stop.”
Ivan Zaytsev, Player of Italy
On their game plan against France:
“We played like how we planned it. We have set in our minds and our souls that we need to play well against France. I am really happy because this win makes me really feel confident about the next match. We have a great start in the Olympics and we look forward to the next match. We have to approach it step by step.”
On having great energy on the court:
“It’s the Olympic air and the Olympic spirit. Every sportsman is looking at the five rings and is expected to give their best. I hope to maintain this mindset for the next two weeks.”
On their block defence:
“We had the right attitude to be more aggressive on defence. We had great teamwork on our block system and I think everybody saw this from the beginning of the match. We trained as planned and we did everything in the right way.”