Spain appears undercover in the European Championship

For the second consecutive edition, the European Federation (CEV) is committed to a continental championship with 24 teams and four international venues (Estonia, Poland, Finland and Czech Republic) to start this Tuesday, although Spain will do it on Wednesday against the Netherlands in the Scandinavian city of Tampere, where he arrived yesterday afternoon after training and playing in Estonia.

That 24 teams compete (four leagues of six teams and the first four of each go to the round of 16, with knockouts already direct) is explained by the number of teams with aspirations, and in fact 15 countries have been on the podium at some point, and nine have been champions. In fact in this European there are the Olympic champion (France), the World champion (Poland) and the current European holder (Serbia) who did not win the ticket to the Games and has the option to repeat.

Absences

Russia, which has the most European titles (14), now Olympic runner-up, and Italy, six times champion, are presented with losses, because it is difficult for veterans to play the Olympic and European Games without resting. Other teams announce changes, although the favorite, France maintains its star, Earvin N’Gapeth, chosen the most valuable in the past Games. “We have some absences due to poor form, injury or inability to come, but the block is competitive,” says Ricardo Maldonado, who makes his debut as a Spanish coach in an absolute European.

Among the nine champion countries, one is Spain, in 2007, in Moscow and defeating Russia in the final. It was a surprise because the Spaniards, in Rafa Pascual’s sporting decline, were not in the pools not to get on the podium, like now, because in group C those of Maldonado are a smaller team: Russia is the strongest; then Finland and the Netherlands, with Turkey, Macedonia and Spain battling for fourth place. “We know our limitations and strengths. Step by step, as far as we go, with the work done and prepared to compete ”, says Maldonado, who is in a tournament with the public, although the full capacity is not sold in advance, just in case..

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