Lausanne, Switzerland, November 22, 2017 - The preliminary wide rosters of the eight teams in the 2017 FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship have been confirmed, featuring some of the top volleyball players of the globe, ready to thrill the fans in three Polish cities, next month.
Hosts and reigning Polish champions ZAKSA Kedzierzyn-Kozle are in Pool A with captain Benjamin Toniutti of France leading a wealth of stars, including local favourites Pawel Zatorski, Rafal Buszek and Mateusz Bienek.
The Poles, however, will be up against defending champions Sada Cruzeiro of Contagem who are after their fourth worlds, relying on such talent as Rio 2016 Olympic gold medallist Evandro Guerra and Cuban-born stars Yoandy Leal and Robertlandy Simon.
Italian champions Cucine Lube Civitanova feature as many as three Olympic medallists on their wide roster, including USA's Micah Christenson and Taylor Sander (bronze in Rio 2016) as well as Osmany Juantorena (silver with Italy in Rio 2016).
Rounding up Pool A is two-time Asian champions Sarmayeh Bank of Tehran, with Lukasz Zygadlo returning to his home country to lead the Iranian side.
In Pool B, the second Polish team in the competition, PGA Skra Belchatow heads the pack with Olympians Karol Klos and Grzegorz Lomac featuring next to such international stars as Srecko Lisinac of Serbia and Milad Ebadipour of Iran.
However they're up against Europe's powerhouse of Zenit Kazan, the reigning European champions who aim for the throne after finishing runners-up to Sada Cruzeiro in the last two years. The Russians will rely on home-grown talent such as their superstar Maxim Mikhaylov alongside Artem Volvich and Alexander Butko, as well as foreign power of USA's Matt Anderson and Cuban-born Wilfredo Leon.
Also in Pool B, Argentina champions Personal Bolivar have such stars on their wide roster as Alexis Gonzalez and Pablo Crer, as well as some international talent in the likes of Brazil's Theo Lopes and Serbia's Milos Nikic.
China League champions Shanghai Volleyball Club complete Pool B as the second of the two Wild Cards in the competition and they've registered two foreign stars in their wide roster. Argentina's Facundo Conde and France's Julien Lyneel feature alongside such local stars as Zhong Weijun and Li Runming.
The wide rosters will be narrowed down to the 14 eligible players per team at the Preliminary Inquiries a day prior to the start of the competition.
Pool play in Opole (Pool A) and Lodz (Pool B) will be single round-robin tournaments 12-14 December.
The top two teams of each pool will then travel to Krakow for the semifinals on December 16 followed by the bronze medal match and final on December 17.