MOSCOW, September 4. /TASS/. Russian men’s volleyball team won the 2017 European Volleyball Championship, which was held in Poland between August 24 and September 3.
In the final match on Sunday in Poland’s Krakow, the Russian squad, led by Head Coach Sergey Shlyapnikov, defeated team Germany 3-2.
Speaking after the victory, which the Russian team snatched from Germany on the tiebreak, Shlyapnikov said that it was "a tough match" for his team.
"It was a tough final match, but it is a final of a European Championship so it cannot be an easy game," the Confederation of European Football (CEV) quoted Shlyapnikov as saying.
"We started the match very well; however, Germany soon improved their game," he said. "I was aware that anything could happen here, because we were fighting for the gold medal."
"So even when Germany led 5-2 in the tiebreak, I still believed in our victory and I said it to my players as well," the Russian head coach added.
The bronze of this year’s European championship went to team Serbia, which defeated the Belgium squad 3-2.
Russian team’s 29-year-old Maxim Mikhailov was named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2017 European Volleyball Championship.
"It is an amazing result, especially since we had not won a gold medal for quite some time, so it gives even more value to it," the CEV website quoted Mikhailov as saying after the match. "This victory will give us even more confidence."
The Russian team did not lose a single set until Sunday in all matches it played at the 2017 European Volleyball Championship. Only one team in the history never lost a single set of the championship and it was the team of the Soviet Union in 1950 and 1951.
The Russian volleyball team won the European Championship previously only once in 2013. In 1999, 2005 and 2007 the players of the Russian squad won the silver of the championship and also grabbed the European bronze in 1993, 2001 and 2003.