The curtain has been raised on the 2023 edition of the Men’s CEV European Golden League, with six volleyball games taking center stage on the opening day.
Belgium triumphed over the two-time silver medalist, Croatia, in an intense match in the Men’s Pool B category, winning by 3-1 with scores of 25-17, 25-21, 23-25, and 25-23. Following this clash, Ukraine dominated North Macedonia, taking the game 3-0 with decisive scores of 25-21, 25-22, and 25-11 in the second match of Pool B.
Pool A saw a face-off between Denmark and Türkiye. Türkiye, with seven podium finishes, including two titles in 2019 and 2021, and being the highest-ranked team in the competition, was deemed the clear favorite. This presumption turned into reality when Türkiye defeated Denmark 3-0, scoring 25-18, 25-21, and 25-15. The second match in this pool saw Portugal overpowering Romania with a clean 3-0 sweep (25-22, 25-21, 25-20).
In Pool C, Czech Republic pulled off a 3-1 victory over Slovakia (24-26, 25-20, 25-19, 25-17). In the same pool, Finland secured a comprehensive 3-0 win over Estonia (25-17, 25-16, 25-15).
The Golden League features 12 teams, adopting a double round-robin system where teams face each other twice, both at home and away. This year, €125,000 is up for grabs for the ultimate winners. Furthermore, the top two finalists will secure a spot in the 2023 edition of the FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup scheduled for this summer. On the flip side, the team finishing last will be relegated to the Silver League in 2024, adding an extra edge to the competition.