Italy have a proud volleyball history. They have competed in every World League competition and reached the Group 1 finals in Rio this year. The Azzurri's performances in Brazil were poor and they finished bottom of their pool after a solitary five-set win over eventual silver medallists Serbia. Italy won the World Cup in 1995, were third in 1999 and second in 2003. At the 2011 edition, they were fourth after finishing behind Poland and Brazil on sets ratio.
At the 2014 World Championship in Poland, they ended the tournament in joint-13th place after finishing seventh in their second round pool, a performance that did not reflect their achievement in earning podium finishes throughout 2013. Although Italy won a bronze medal at the 1948 European Championship, which they hosted, it was only in the early 1970s that they became a major force in the sport. They won a bronze medal at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games. Then came a lengthy period of domination under the guidance of Julio Velasco. From 1989 to 2005, Italy won three World Championships, one World Cup, six European Championships, eight World Leagues and three Olympic medals (silver at Atlanta 1996, bronze at Sydney 2000 and silver at Athens 2004). They won another bronze at London 2012.