Andrea Anastasi, only for WoV fans:
“For the first time I went to the World Cup as a player. After that I had another two opportunities to take a part of this tournament as a coach. The goal was always the same, ticket for the Olympic Games.
The competition has stayed in my mind as a beautiful experience but also a physical and mental uphill battle. I am not scared to call it the most difficult tournament on the world. Simply because of the intensity of the games.
If we compare it to other tournaments, there’s always a formula that let you slow down in certain games or even substitute the most important players simply to let them rest. The World Cup is not like that. There are 11 games in 15 days and each of them is equally important.
In my opinion the team spirit will be one of the most important factors for each participating team. The next important thing is of course the physical condition of the players. Then – subs! Teams with long and strong bench will have big advantage on this tournament. It’s like going to the war and keep throwing the strongest weapons. From my experience the work of each physiotherapist will be crucial for the players.
Still, this year coaches might have an opportunity to ease the intensity during some games, as there’s a slight difference between certain teams. Looking at the list of the teams going to Japan I would put Poland, Russia, Italy, Iran and USA on one side, as teams with the biggest chances to finish in the first 5 places. But, at the same time I wouldn’t underestimate teams like Argentina with Julio Velasco who’s the World Cup specialist or Canada coached by Glean Hoag. They aren’t far from the first five I have already mentioned. The tournament is long and each team will need to stay calm and concentrated.
I would like to wish a very good luck to everybody but especially two teams, with my guys from LOTOS Trefl Gdansk. Poland with Piotr Gacek and Mateusz Mika and also USA with Murphy Troy. I hope they can win their tickets for Rio.”
You can see the full schedule of the World Cup 2015 HERE.
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