In a memorable 2016, the Italian men’s team won the silver medal at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, losing to hosts Brazil in the final in their third unsuccessful shot at Olympic gold, after silvers at the Atlanta 1996 and Athens 2004 Games.
Italy remain one of the most successful teams, having won the FIVB World Championship three times, in 1990, 1994 and 1998. However, in the most recent edition they finished in thirteenth place.
Despite winning a bronze medal at the 1948 European Championship, it was only in the early 1970s that Italy became a major force in the sport. They won bronze at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games, before a lengthy period of domination under Julio Velasco’s guidance. From 1989-2005, Italy won three World Championship titles, one World Cup, six European Championship titles, eight World Leagues and three Olympic medals.
Italy have competed in all 28 editions of the FIVB Volleyball World League - a feat matched only by Brazil. The Italians completely dominated the first decade of the competition, with eight gold medals in the first 11 editions. Despite not winning a gold medal since 2000, they have consistently been on the podium, including recent bronze medals in 2013 and 2014. However, in the 2017 edition, they finished in last place in Group 1.