The 2023 European Championships closed after the bronze medal missed by the red and white central defender Barthelemy Chinenyeze, who came fourth with his France, and after the silver medals won by the two Italian national teams of the Cucine Lube Civitanova, the spiker Mattia Bottolo, good at keeping the level high of the group in training, and libero Fabio Balaso, among the most solid athletes of the continental event. The latter has not let go of his anger over Italvolley’s negative evening in the presence of a lucid and ruthless Poland.

A very intense European Championship has ended, what has it left you with besides the continental silver?

Balaso: “The defeat in the Final is still painful, I see it as a missed chance in front of a wonderful audience, while recognizing the great strength and clarity of Poland. The way of surrender annoys me, after such a beautiful journey I would have wanted a fight to the fullest extent possible. Perhaps the tension gave us away, the Poles have never suffered a drop. It’s difficult to understand what happened. Having said that, the out of tune queue does not ruin the emotions experienced by our group during the event and this silver must be respected. Let’s not forget that it was the third final in three years. We will work to get to the end again and try to win.”

You will go to the Preolimpico in Brazil, then the season will start with Lube.

“When the long blue summer ends, an intense season will begin with Cucine Lube Civitanova. It’s a circular road that never ends, but it’s my way, the sport I love. The growing commitments certify the good work done in recent years, rest can wait. In Civitanova, when the time comes, I will resume with great motivation and I will be ready.”

Anzani is already at work at the Eurosuole Forum, the hug you gave him after the success against France was thrilling.

“I’m really happy for ‘Anza’, also because when they stopped him for the second time at CONI I was present. I was waiting to carry out the medical examinations and I saw Simone very tired. I understood his suffering and now I share his joy at returning to the field. We comrades rallied around him.

In the same way, volleyball fans need icons like you, athletes supported by transversal support, even from rival teams.

“It fills me with pride and makes me feel good to have left my mark on volleyball fans as a person and as an athlete. Even as an opponent.