Volleyball World Cup 2022: Andrea Giani, the silent force of the France team

Volleyball World Cup 2022: Andrea Giani, the silent force of the France team

It is the new trick of the Blues. Italian Andrea Giani has been in charge of the French volleyball team since March. He took over from Laurent Tillie’s brief successor, Brazilian Bernardinho, who resigned to everyone’s surprise for family reasons seven months after taking office. A new good catch for the tricolor clan, which has been able to attract a world-class discipline in its ranks. Because Andrea Giani, 52 years old, is an Italian volleyball legend.

>>> Also read: Since your first Nations League title in 2015, how has the France team come of age?

His career is colossal. Former central defender of the Nazionale, he was part of the golden age of Italian volleyball between the 1990s and the early 2000s. In the national team, he was dtwo-time silver medalist at the Olympic Games, triple world champion, four-time European champion and winner of seven world leagues. With Modena, the only club with Parma where he played, the Neapolitan also won two Champions Leagues. Only the Olympic title is missing.

to lift this “exceptional challenge” what is France’s training in his words, the former player with an imposing complexion (1.96 m) and natural aura had to leave the German team, which he had trained since 2016 and with which he was committed until the end of the year. An arrival that delighted the French players. “It is a pride to see that our team, its style and its identity are popular. This shows that the French team has passed a milestone, and that renowned coaches want to join us.” testifies Jean Patry, elected best acute of the last League of Nations.

Integrated only six months ago in the France team, Andrea Giani is already unanimous. “He is a great manager of men, says Loïc Geiler, his deputy. He has great experience as a player and as a coach. [il a aussi entraîné l’équipe nationale de Slovénie entre 2015 et 2016]. He is used to coaching stars like our players are today. He has all the weapons to handle this position.”

“He is a calm coach, who brings serenity, knowing perfectly where he wants to take the team and the points to improve”, confesses Jean Patry. “It’s a silent force”, confirms Laurent Tillie, ex-coach of the Blues and a very good friend of Giani.

“Above all, he gives us confidence, which is important for the players. He is not going to pressure a player or the team. He cares a lot about listening, talking and sharing.”

Jean Patry, striker for the France team

on franceinfo: sport

Listening and communicating are the keywords of Giani’s philosophy. He himself explained it in the columns of The teamApril 12, 2022. “It’s important that the players know what I have in mind, how the week is going to go, what I expect from them…”

Andrea Giani, coach of the French men's volleyball team since March, takes stock with his players, during a training session at the Arena Futuroscope, near Poitiers (Vienne), on May 24, 2022. (MAXPPP)

Parallel to that serenity praised by all, it also convinces with its rigor on the ground and its vision. “From a technical point of view, we do a lot of video analysis and statistics that allow us to see the points of our game to improve. It is widely used by Italian coaches”, underlines Jean Patry, who has been playing in Milan since the summer of 2020.

But his great strength was knowing how to tame this French team, with his mood and his atypical game. He positioned himself in the continuity of Laurent Tillie. “He is very open and lets the group express that touch of madness that characterizes us on the pitch. rejoices Jean Patry. It was important with a group like ours, that we maintain this freedom, this bit of madness that makes up our identity. I knew how to respect that.” A particularity that he captured as soon as he assumed his position. And for good reason, most of the French players have already worked with him since they play or have played in the Italian championship.

“He understood the group. He is not someone who imposes, but who accompanies and directs. We have the same vision.”

Laurent Tillie, former manager of the Blues

on franceinfo: sport

“Much The coaches want to impose their tactical and technical vision. But with this French team, you must not impose yourself. You have to guide and Andrea does it very well”, support Laurent Tillie, “proud of the work done” for his friend “It is never easy to take over. But he found his speech, his method, and the players follow him”, trusts again Laurent Tillie.

To apply his method, Andrea Giani can count on his right arm, Roberto Ciamarra, and his assistant in Modena where he also trains. “Your duet is very interesting, slips Loïc Geiler, his second French deputy. Andrea is the practice teacher. She likes to touch the balls, put the players in a situation. Behind, Roberto is a theoretical, tactical and technical bible, and that makes a real balance”.

In less than six months, the “Giani method” has already borne fruit. The France team won their third Nations League (previously called the World League) on July 24 by beating the United States. Next objective: get gold in the world championship, the only title that the tricolor clan lacks. Before projecting himself towards a greater search, that of the Olympic double in Paris in two years. Which would be a feat. Only the USSR (1964, 1968) and the United States (1984, 1988) achieved such a performance. The mission is launched.

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