16. 07. 2020

ITA M: Best Middle Blocker of Rio Olympics Birarelli retires, becomes manager

Source: federvolley.it; Photo: wwlp.com

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After more than two decades of active career, Italian male volleyball player Emanuele Birarelli has retired. He spent the last three seasons in Calzedonia Verona.


After more than 20 years of professional career, the 39-year-old Birarelli decided it was to time to leave volleyball courts but not the world of volleyball. The middle blocker, who has made 216 appearances for the Italy national team, will pursue a career as a manager.

Wearing the “Azzurri“ jersey, Birarelli has two Olympic medals on his account: the bronze in London 2012 and silver in Rio 2016. He was awarded Best Middle Blocker in the latter in which he captained Italy. Birarelli claimed four more medals with the national team (two at the EuroVolley and two at the FIVB World League) but neither was the brightest.

“Bira“ had more luck on a club level when it comes to winning gold medals: two at the Italian Championship and three at the Italian Cup – all with Itas Trentino.

Individually, he was awarded Best Middle Blocker of the FIVB World League, FIVB Club World Championship, and FIVB World Grand Champions Cup - once apiece, as well as Best Blocker of the FIVB World League one time.



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