The great star of Serbian volleyball talks about upcoming Olympic Games, favorites and possible surprises.
Nikola Grbic is one of Serbia’s most famous former players. He won gold at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and a bronze medal in 1996 at Atlanta. His international victories include a silver medal in the 1998 FIVB Men’s World Championship and a bronze medal and a gold medal in the 2010 FIVB Men’s World Championship, as well as a gold at the 2001 European Championships. Now he is looking at Olympics from a new, fresh perspective and share some opinions and hopes on the special FIVB blog.
I feel that the podium in London will be shared by Russia, Brazil and Poland but, like in Beijing and at a lot of other important tournaments, there are always surprises!
I think that Germany is a team who can surprise or cause an upset or two because they don’t have any pressure, and they won against Bulgaria in Bulgaria in the Olympic qualifying tournament before losing to Italy 3-2 in the finals. They have a young team and an opposite in Georg Grozer who, on his day, can resolve a difficult situation with his serve.
Also Serbia is very interesting. Keep an eye on them. In my eyes the Serbian team is a good mix of players playing in such an important tournament for the first time but lacking experience, and players who have already played at the Olympics and are big names in the international volleyball arena. The good thing is that they don’t have any pressure on them to win, so they can play in a more relaxed way.
In terms of star players looking ahead to London, I would pick out (Michal) Winiarski (POL), (Alexander) Volkov (RUS), (Maxim) Mikhailov (RUS) and Grozer. And of course there’s a desire to be there, because just to be a part of the Olympic tournament with all those great athletes is a privilege.