Juantorena: “I pursue the sixth world title with Civitanova and then I leave Italy”

The Lube captain on the eve of the world championship tournament for clubs in Brazil: “At the end of the season in Japan or China for new goals”

Davide Romani

At 36, Osmany Juantorena is on the hunt for the sixth Club World Cup. In the tournament that begins today in Betim, Brazil, among the favorites there are the two Italian teams: Trento and Civitanova. The past and present of the Cuban naturalized Italian champion. From 2009 to 2012 he won 4 editions with Itas while in 2019 he imposed himself with the Lube shirt in Brazil. The captain of the Marches from tomorrow chases the record of 6 titles. “One thing that no one has been able to do. Would be great”.

How are you? Has it overcome the physical problems?
“I’m not at the top, the problem in the right armpit is not completely resolved and I can’t push in attack. I will try to help out as I can. On serve, on reception, if only cheering is needed. If victory arrives, I will feel it as mine too ”.

A tournament with which he has a particular feeling.
“It is always nice to take part in this event. I never understood why they didn’t invite us to the tournament right away as we are the reigning champion team. We had to wait for the withdrawal of the Zaksa Poles. Now we are here and it will be special because maybe it will be the last one I play “.

Why the last one?
“I got the idea of ​​leaving at the end of the season. I am tired, it is not easy to find the reasons. I won everything “.

Is the contract with Civitanova expiring?
“I still have one year, but I will decide together with the club. For sure I will not stay in Italy because I would never go to a club other than Lube “

Where would you like to go?
“Maybe in Asia. Japan or China, we’ll see ”.

Who are the most accredited opponents for this tournament?
“There are three favorites: there is us, Trento and then the Brazilians of Sada Cruzeiro. I believe that the champion team will come out of this triad ”.

As captain of Civitanova, how do you rate the first part of the season?
“After Cisterna’s victory, I congratulated the team on how they are gritting their teeth in this difficult situation. Despite the physical setbacks that stopped Zaytsev as well as me in the pits, the group proved to be strong, united, capable of overcoming problems ”.

When will the “real” Civitanova be seen?
“At the end of January for the Coppa Italia I hope that Lube will be able to present itself fully”.

In this difficult situation, Cuban Marlon Yant and Puerto Rican Gabi Garcia are showing off.
“Marlon has already entered the Lube world at its best since last season and this year he is proving all his worth. Gabi, on the other hand, is a boy who has a great desire to learn. To be in his first season in Italy after college is an opposite that already proves to be mature. The thing I like about him is that he speaks little and works a lot “.

In Tokyo he played for the last time with the blue shirt. Then came the gold at the European Championship. Did you follow the new course of the national team?
“They thrilled me. I knew the desire for redemption that the veterans had from the Games and I am happy for what they managed to do “.

After the Olympics he “virtually” sold the number 5 jersey to Michieletto. Is he his heir?
“I’ve known him for years, he’s a phenomenal talent. At 20 he already plays as an expert champion. I knew that I would leave that shirt, that number, in good hands ”.

Does the feeling with volleyball continue at Juantorena?
“Vittoria (the eldest daughter, then there is Angelica, ed), who is 8 years old, started with the minivolley. But it is still early “.

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Juantorena: “I pursue the sixth world title with Civitanova and then I leave Italy”

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