08. 11. 2017

WoV BLOG: Top 5 best FIRST-EVER Men's liberos in the world

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At a press conference in Tokyo on April 20, 1998, the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) introduced a new rule – the „libero“ player – and it was a true revolution in volleyball and definitely one of the best decisions that the governing body of the world volleyball made in its history.


The national teams all over the world got the right to start using liberos, who were defined as the specialized defensive players, already that summer in the FIVB World League and FIVB World Grand Prix. The primary rules for the liberos that were presented by the FIVB President Dr. Ruben Acosta H. at the above-mentioned press conference that followed the Drawing of Lots for the 1998 World Championships to be held in Japan in November have been supplemented in the years to come.

We made the Top 5 list of the best players in the world that competed as the first-ever male liberos. Be free to add more names to this list by dropping a comment!

1. Mirko Corsano set the limits for liberos in an Italian National Team. Until 1998, when he was 25, he played as a receiver, as nearly all future liberos did. He made his debut for the “Azzurri” in a major tournament in the new role in the 1998 FIVB World Championship in Japan and won the gold medal. Later on, he added five more gold medals with Italy: three times in the CEV European Championship (1999, 2003 and 2005) and two times in the FIVB World League (1999 and 2000). On a club level, he had the most success while competing for Cucine Lube Civitanova for 11 years, playing more than 320 games (1999 – 2010): a one-time national championship winner (2004/05), three-time national Cup winner (2000/01, 2002/03 and 2007/08 ), one-time national Supercup winner (2005), one-time CEV Champions League winner (2002) and three-time CEV Cup winner (2001, 2005, 2006). Corsano retired in 2012.


2. A two-time Olympian Marko Klok from the Netherlands was a true nightmare for the attackers around the world with his extraordinary anticipation in the reception. He did not manage to win any titles with the Dutch National Team because he had a misfortune to see the golden age of the “Oranje” finishing just before he started to play as a libero.


3. Coaches of most national teams in the world decided to put experienced or middle-aged players to perform as the first-ever liberos in 1998, but Poland’s head coach Ireneusz Mazur made a little revolution by giving the opportunity to a 20-year-old Krzysztof Ignaczak, who grabbed the gold medal with the U21 National Team of Poland, a year earlier, playing as a receiver. Ignaczak retired this year, winning the FIVB World Championship (2014), CEV European Championship (2009) and FIVB World League (2012). On a club level, he triumphed in the Polish Championship six times and in the Polish Cup, Polish Super Cup and English Championship one-time each.


4. Pablo Meana, a two-time Olympian, was the first-ever libero in an Argentinean National Team. He earned several individual awards for the best receiver at major international tournaments such as in the 2000 Sydney Olympics and 2002 FIVB World Championship. 


5. Before Sérgio Santos ‘Serginho’ entered the big stage in 2000, the Brazilian National Team had their first-ever libero in the form of Gilmar Nascimento Teixeira, also known as ‘Kid’. His versatility as a receiver helped him a lot when he was summoned by the head coach Radamés Lattari to play as the libero with the new FIVB rules. Serginho was definitely able to learn a lot from Kid, who interestingly, had more success with the Brazil before claiming the libero position: a one-time gold medalist in the FIVB World Championship (1993) and FIVB World Grand Champions Cup (1997) and two-time South American Championship winner (1993 and 1997). Practically, he won the only title with the national team as a libero in 1999, in the continental championship. He retired in 2010.


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FIVB releases new men’s and women’s world rankings

This is more laughable :) In 2017 turkey was the 12th country in old ranking list
behind the 11th argentina.Then the turks played eurovolley 2017 semifinal (took
bronze) and then vnl 2018 final, vnl 2019 semifinal, eurovolley 2019 final and won
the 2020 european olympic qualification tournament. After all of these,they were
still the 12th team behind the 11th argentina.:D:D:D

Of course the new rankings are more realistic and fairer,I think,but plz note they are not to tell which NT is stronger but to reflect potentials of countries by taking all their performances in a time span into account.

Well,serbia,world and european champ,but has no vnl / world cup medal so far,
why,if they are so mighty? Ok , we all know/guess why, but the ranking system don't pay attention why and it shouldn't for a healty evaluation of serbia's potential.

I also accept serbia's ideal line-up is presently the strongest NT,but this issue is something different. Reply

By Mark Lebedew: The Best Player You Might Have Heard Of...but have probably forgotten

Older video, records and analyses, editing, research by Mark Lebedew are very interesting. I take his work as priceless.. No one else do such a work...He provides us with many volleyball jewels, observations.. In past we often could not see many top tournaments, or matches on TV ….There was no Internet, no YT. Only very limited TV ... We often did not know the background, problems on some tournaments - see e.g. what happened during Italy vs Netherlands OG 1992, on M.L. YT channel, and how it had influenced a final with Brazil..
In time of pandemic, we can take a lesson from some former activities on courts . In past there was a much more decent behaviour during matches, avoiding useless personal contacts , no so and such intimacy as nowadays, no expressive shouting as is a current rule after killing spike or blocks, ourts... Only at the end of the match, tournaments emotions were same as now... (Now we see on 75 and more the useless, risky, ritual teamś hugging per a match) .. Moreover until 1998, volleyball was for TV fans very friendly - due to of a perfect visible. recognizable white ball. Since this time, the screen fans eyes suffer - volleyball has become a pantomime on screens.
Moreover the game was much more smoothly - no so many and so long interruptions as nowadays.. Majority of referees had a respect..
I suppose, if volleyball wants to survive this pandemic crisis, it will have to return to some above mentioned procedures.. Systematically...