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EUROVOLLEY 2015 - MEN
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Flash Mob - Bulgaria Men's National Volleyball Team - 2015

A unique flash mob took the streetwalkers in downtown Sofia by surprise on Sunday afternoon. The players of the Bulgarian national team suddenly mixed up with the unsuspecting people strolling along the pedestrian part of the country’s busiest Vitosha Boulevard and even quickly set up a volleyball net to play an improvised game.  This was their way of inviting the people to support them at Arena Armeec hall during the upcoming finals of the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men. 

It was an ordinary long-weekend Sunday afternoon at Sofians’ favorite hangout spot until, all of a sudden, around 4 PM, the bus of the Bulgarian national team pulled up.  Some of the fans were already in on this surprise and started unfolding their white-green-and-red flags and showing off their supporter t-shirts.  They formed a self-styled volleyball court and a net was quickly set up in the middle.

Plamen Konstantinov’s Lions entered the court, split into two squads and played a volleyball game in front of the stunned looks of the passers-by. After the end of this improvised match, the Bulgarian stars spent time with the fans for chats, photos and autographs and even played ball with several happy kids for a while.

In this attractive manner, the national team invited all sports fans to attend EuroVolley 2015, which will take place in Bulgaria and Italy from October 9 through 18.  The Bulgarians will play all their games at Sofia’s Arena Armeec, starting against Germany, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands in the matches of Pool A. The grand finale on October 18 will also take place at the magnificent competition hall in Bulgaria’s capital.

With the flash mob, the volleyball internationals also supported the #BeActive European Week of Sport.

For more information on the 2015 CEV Volleyball European Championship - Men in social media, please use the competition’s official hashtag #EuroVolleyM 


Мъжкият национален отбор по волейбол на България смая разхождащите се в центъра на София с изненадващ флашмоб, чрез който поканиха българските фенове на Евроволей 2015.  Това бе едно невиждано досега шоу и мач, какъвто не е игран в България!

По този атрактивен начин Лъвовете поканиха всички български фенове на Европейското първенство по волейбол от 9 до 18 октомври. България е домакин на шампионата на Стария континент заедно с Италия. Селекцията на Пламен Константинов играе мачовете си от Група А в зала „Арена Армеец” в София. На 9 октомври България играе срещу Германия. На 10 октомври излизаме срещу Чехия, а на 11 октомври – срещу Холандия.

В Двореца на културата и спорта във Варна пък са двубоите от Група С с участието на Полша, Белгия, Словения и Беларус. Финалът на първенството на 18 октомври е отново в „Арена Армеец” в София.

С изненадващия флашмоб в центъра на столицата преди Евроволей 2015 националният отбор по волейбол за мъже подкрепи и провежданата в България Европейската седмица на спорта #BeActive.

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#EuroVolleyM  - Championship point by Earvin Ngapeth (FRA)
France's outside spiker Earvin Ngapeth could not choose a more unconventional, yet exhilarating way to seal the final point of the 2015 men's EuroVolley gold medal match! 

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#EuroVolleyM  - Highlights from Gold medal match #France vs #Slovenia
It has taken 67 years since the first edition of the men's EuroVolley and finally France could celebrate their first, historic European crown after edging Slovenia in three sets in the final act of the tournament held at Arena Armeec in Sofia! 

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#EuroVolleyM  - Highligts from Bronze medal match #Italy vs #Bulgaria

The two co-hosts of the 2015 men's EuroVolley, Italy and Bulgaria, crossed their ways on the final day of the competition with the bronze medal being at stake in their match up. 

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#EuroVolleyM - Top Actions Semi-final matches
The semi-final matches of the 2015 men's EuroVolley were packed with exhilarating actions starring some of Europe's finest Volleyball players, including France's Earvin Ngapeth, Italy's Ivan Zaytsev, Slovenia's Klemen Cebulj, and Bulgaria's duo Todor Aleksiev and Teodor Todorov. 

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#EuroVolleyM  - 2days after the end of great #EuroVolleyM  championship, Bulgaria is still in #VolleyMood. Watch the video released by CEV with top players from semi-final matches. The Bulgarian duo consisting of middle blockers Teodor Todorov and Viktor Yosifov left their mark on the semis of the 2015 men's EuroVolley even though hosts Bulgaria had to accept a bitter tie-break loss to France after leading by two sets to none. 

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EUROVOLLEY 2015 DREAM TEAM, MVP, FAIR PLAY AWARD AND FINAL STANDINGS
uroVolley 2015 MVP: Antonin Rouzier (FRA)

 

EuroVolley 2015 Dream Team

 

Best Setter: Simone Giannelli (ITA)

Best Opposite: Ivan Zaytsev (ITA)

Best Outside Spiker. Tine Urnaut (SLO)

Second Best Outside Spiker: Earvin Ngapeth (FRA)

Best Middle Blocker: Teodor Todorov (BUL)

Second Best Middle Blocker: Viktor Yosifov (BUL)

Best Libero: Jenia Grebennikov (FRA)

 

FairPlay Award: Vladimir Nikolov (BUL)

 

Final standings

 

1.    France*

2.    Slovenia*

3.    Italy*

4.    Bulgaria*

5.    Poland*

6.    Russia*

7.    Serbia* 

8.    Germany

9.    Netherlands

10.    Belgium

11.    Estonia

12.    Finland

13.    CzechRepublic

14.    Slovakia

15.    Croatia

16.    Belarus

 

*Qualified for the Final Round of the 2017 edition together with hosts Poland

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SONG FROM SPACE SOUNDS AT START OF EUROVOLLEY CLOSING CEREMONY
  After  the  final  of  EuroVolley 2015,  the  organizers surprised  the  spectators at  Arena  Armeec with  a  live  performance  of  Bulgaria’s  most  popular  folk  singer  Valya  Balkanska  and  her  bagpipe player  Petar  Yanev. The  audience  itself was  thrilled  to  take  part  in  the  spectacular  show

The  lights at  Arena  Armeec went  out  and  the  fans  on  the  stands  were  asked  to  turn  on  and  raise  their  mobile phones.  In  this  truly  cosmic atmosphere,  Valya  Balkanska sang  her  emblematic song  "Izlel  ye  Delyo  Haydutin”, a  1977  recording of  which  was  included  on  the  Golden Record  carried  on  board  the  Voyager  1  and  Voyager 2  probes  as  a  musical message  from  the  planet  Earth  to  outer  space.

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FRENCH TRIUMPH IN SOFIA – LES BLEUS CLAIM HISTORIC EUROPEAN TITLE!
France is  the  gold  medalist  of  the  2015  CEV  Volleyball European  Championship  -  Men.  In  the  final  of  EuroVolley 2015  that  took  place  at  Sofia’s  magnificent Arena  Armeec  and  marked  the  end  of  a  spectacular tournament,  Les  Bleus  shut  out  the  competition’s sensation  by  a  dramatic  3-0  (25-19,  27-25, 27-25)  to  claim  their  historic first  European  title.

France  established its  domination  on  the  court  throughout  the  first  set.  The  Slovenian attack  was  working well,  but  the  team  was  also  making too  many  unforced errors  to  help  Les  Bleus  stay  on  top.  France hammered  four  aces  on  the  way  to  the  25-19  win.

The  Slovenes did  not  want  their  fairy  tale  to  end  here  and  stepped up  their  efforts in  the  second set,  especially  in  blocking  and  broke  away  with  an  8-3  lead.  Gradually,  Antonin Rouzier  and  his  teammates  climbed back  up  to  level  the  score  and  even  took  a  19-18  lead.  Still, Slovenia  secured  three  consecutive  set  points  at  24-21,  but  could  not  convert  any  of  them  to  prompt a  dramatic  ending. Andrea  Giani’s  men  missed  out  on  two  more  opportunities to  win  the  set,  before France  finally  took  advantage  of  the  second set  point  of  its  own  and  finished it  all  off  at  29-27  with  an  ace  by  Rouzier.

The  third  set  as  also  very  dramatic.  First, France  took  a  7-3  lead,  later  extending it  to  10-5.  But  Slovenia would  still  not  give  in.  The  Slovenes fought  their  way  back  to  the  tie  at  17-17  and  even  took  a  one-point  advantage. The  first  match  point  came  at  24-23  to  France. The  Slovenes  cancelled it.  This  happened three  more  times. On  the  fifth  match  point  Earvin  Ngapeth put  a  spectacular ending  to  this  spectacular  tournament with  a  virtuoso spike  that  squeezed the  ball  between the  block  and  France  triumphed with  the  golden victory.

Antonin  Rouzier was  the  main  point  contributor to  France’s  win  with  21  points.  Earvin Ngapeth  added  another 15.  Tine  Urnaut and  Mitja  Gasparini became  Slovenia’s  best  scorers  of  the  match  with  14  points  each.

Mitja  Gasparini, player  of  Slovenia: “Right  now  I  feel  a  little  bit  sad  because we  lost  the  final  but  maybe  in  a  couple of  minutes,  after  calming  down,  we  will  realize  what  we  all  have  achieved during  this  tournament. It  has  been  an  amazing journey.  As  for  our  coach, I  know  Andrea Giani  very  well  because  he  has  been  my  mentor also  during  the  club  season for  the  last  couple  of  years.  We  have  been  working  very  hard  under  his  guidance for  the  last  five  months, won  the  European League,  qualified  for  the  World  League,  and  now  won  a  medal  at  the  European  Championship. We  very  much  hope  to  continue  this  great  journey with  him  and  perform  well  next  year  as  well.” 

Benjamin  Toniutti, captain  of  France: “It  is  an  amazing  feeling! We  are  European champions  and  just  cannot  find  the  right  words  to  describe  the  way  we  feel.  This  summer  we  already  won  the  World  League  but  we  continued to  work  very  hard  on  our  way  to  this  tournament  because we  wanted  to  confirm  that  result  and  show  that  this  is  the  level  we  can  compete  at.  Tonight  we  played  the  perfect  match, everything  went  just  perfect  and  now  we  can  celebrate.” 

Andrea  Giani, head  coach  of  Slovenia,  looked a  bit  disappointed, yet  emotional  at  the  same  time  after  the  final: “Of  course,  I  cannot  be  completely  happy  but  I  am  nevertheless very  proud  of  my  players. This  group  has  made  it  very  far  from  where  we  started but  we  knew  from  the  very  beginning they  had  the  potential  to  go  for  something  big  and  I  had  the  same  feeling coming  in  here.  Maybe  we  could  not  predict  we  would  be  in  the  big  final, but  I  was  sure  and  confident  we  would  have  achieved  a  good  result at  this  championship.”

Laurent  Tillie,  head  coach  of  France:  “I  am  very  happy!  This  is  a  great  satisfaction. When  we  started the  competition  all  teams  were  so  close  –  Russia, Italy,  Bulgaria,  Poland… And  after  you  win  the  title,  it  is  amazing. Unbelievable!  We  did  it.  And  the  feeling is  greater  because we  won  the  World  League title  four  months ago.  And  do  you  know  what?  When  we  come  back  to  France,  maybe  I  need  to  play  the  lottery, because  I  am  so  lucky. Everything  seems  like  a  dream. We  were  in  a  tough  group  in  Italy,  but  we  succeeded to  beat  Italy; after  that  the  other  host  Bulgaria,  and  today  -  the  strong Slovenian  team.  Amazing!”

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ITALY CLAIMS BRONZE, LEAVES CO-HOST BULGARIA WITHOUT MEDAL
 Italy  is  the  bronze  medalist of  EuroVolley  2015.  Coach  Gianlorenzo Blengini’s  squad  won  the  battle of  the  two  co-hosts  for  the  third  place  disappointing the  home  crowd  that  filled up  Arena  Armeec in  the  Bulgarian capital  Sofia  with  a  3-1  (25-20,  25-14, 23-25,  25-20)  victory over  Plamen  Konstantinov’s  Lions.

In  the  first  set  Italy  achieved two  successful  runs  of  unanswered points,  which  pretty much  decided  the  outcome.  First, they  broke  away  for  6-2  with  five  consecutive  points. Bulgaria  fought  back  to  level  the  score  at  8-8  and  even  took  a  one-point  lead  on  several occasions.  The  Lions  were  17-16  up  when  they  allowed another  series  of,  this  time,  six  points in  a  row  for  Italy, which  made  the  score  17-22  –  a  blow  which  the  home  side  could  no  longer recover  from  and  the  Azzuri secured  a  comfortable 25-20  win.

There  was  no  stopping Ivan  Zaytsev  and  his  teammates in  the  second set.  Italy  took  the  lead  after  the  very  first  rally  and  never  allowed Bulgaria  upfront  through the  end  of  the  set.  With  Osmany Juantorena  behind  the  serving  line,  the  Italians scored  six  in  row  to  gain  a  20-12  advantage and,  shortly  after, closed  the  set  with  an  ace  for  the  landslide 25-14.

Set  three  was  very  competitive  through 14-14,  when  substitute opposite  Nikolay  Uchikov hammered  two  aces  in  a  row  to  open  a  gap  and  change  the  course  of  the  set.  He  continued his  good  performance offensively  as  well  to  help  his  team  stay  in  the  lead.  Bulgaria  finished it  off  on  its  second set  point  for  25-23.

The  fourth set  was  a  similar  story, which  went  the  opposite  way.  After  12-11  in  favor  of  Bulgaria, the  Azzurri  once  again  managed to  score  a  long  series of  six  points, this  time  with  Filippo  Lanza  serving  and  opened  a  gap,  which  was  difficult for  the  tired  Bulgarians  to  close.  Taking advantage  of  the  many  errors on  the  home  side  of  the  court, Gianlorenzo  Blengini’s  men  cruised  on  to  a  final  25-20, sealing  the  victory and  deserving  the  bronze.

Ivan  Zaytsev’s fantastic  26  points put  him  on  top  of  the  scorers’ chart.  Teammate  Osmany Juantorena  added  another 17  to  Italy’s tally.  Nikolay  Uchikov was  Bulgaria’s  best  scorer  with  15  points.

Plamen  Konstantinov, head  coach  of  Bulgaria:  “Maybe today  we  just  could  not  perform  well  physically  or  mentally.  The  biggest  Italian weapon  today  which  made  the  difference  was  the  serving. They  served  really well.  Italy  deserved the  victory.”

Gianlorenzo  Blengini, head  coach  of  Italy:  “I  am  very  happy  and  very  satisfied because,  after  yesterday, it  was  not  easy.  We  wanted  to  play  for  the  golden medals  so  much  and  we  were  so  disappointed  after  yesterday’s  loss.  And  only  after  24  hours  to  play  another game  against  a  strong  team  like  Bulgaria was  really  hard.  But  today  my  players were  very  good.  They  played a  fantastic  match  and  did  a  great  job.  This  is  the  best  for  one  coach  -  to  see  how  his  players are  fighting  for  every  single ball  only  24  hours  after  a  huge  loss.  I  am  happy  with  these  bronze  medals.”

Osmany  Juantorena, player  of  Italy: “It  was  a  difficult  game  because  we  lost  our  semifinal  against Slovenia  yesterday.  It  was  a  very  important match  for  us,  so  today  we  needed to  recover  and  to  play  against  the  host  Bulgaria and  this  amazing crowd.  Now  everybody in  our  team  is  happy  because  we  managed  to  have  a  fantastic  victory and  won  the  bronze  medals.”

Vladimir  Nikolov, captain  of  Bulgaria: “I  think  that  we  had  a  perfect tournament.  Yes,  we  lost  our  last  two  games  but  it  does  not  matter. We  are  a  very  small  country  without a  strong  domestic championship.  During  the  tournament  six  of  our  top  players, like  Teodor  Salparov, Todor  Skrimov,  Tsvetan Sokolov,  Nikolay  Nikolov, Andrey  Zhekov  and  of  course Matey  Kaziyski  were  missing,  which  is  a  lot.  So  this  is  a  great  success  for  us  –  to  be  in  the  fourth  place  in  Europe. We  did  an  amazing  job.”
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