In 1990, a significant event occurred in world volleyball. The Italian men’s team became world champions for the first time. The signficance lay less in the event themselves, although it showed a signficant evolution in the game, but rather the follow on effects. Until that point, while the Italian was the most important league in western Europe it was by no means clearly the strongest. Many good players played there, but many did not. What the Italian win did was increase the profile of the league inside Italy. Increased profile, led to increased sponsorship, led to increased salaries, led to more of the best players being recruited, led to the league becoming stronger. And stronger. The Italian players themselves because famous (they are collectively known in Italy as ‘Generazione di Fenomeni’), and for the first time were able to command higher salaries than foreigners. They were now, after all, the best in the world.
Anyway, I recently came across a book chronicling that first world championship victory. It’s mostly pictures, but interesting nonetheless. My first thought was to share it. So I have. Here it is.
PS I apologise for any copyright infringement. I checked to see if it available online and it doesn’t seem to be.