Ivan Zaytsev looks back on 2016 and ahead to 2017

Lausanne, Switzerland, January 5, 2017 - After a couple of years in Moscow with Dynamo, Ivan Zaytsev returned this season to Italy and Umbria, coming full circle from his early professional days. In an interview with Italy's sports daily La Gazzetta dello Sport (in Italian), Zaytsev looks back on 2016 and discusses his life ahead.

The son of legendary USSR setter Vyacheslav, Ivan was born in Italy while his father was playing there and first played volleyball in Perugia, where he returned this season to join Sir Safety Conad Perugia in what is considered the top professional league in the world.

Ivan Zaytsev - Mini profile
Born: October 2, 1988 in Spoleto, Italy
Plays for: Sir Safety Conad Perugia and Italy

Zaytsev was Italy's leading force at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but not even he could help break the "curse" that has been haunting Italy as they lost to Brazil in their third Olympic final after Atlanta 1996 (against the Netherlands) and Athens 2004 (also against Brazil).

Zaytsev admitted to having thought back on that Rio 2016 final a few times, in his interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport. "I have not actually watched the game again," he said. "I have never thought about the technical aspects of that match and I have not even reviewed parts of the game. So whenever I meet someone who tells me about that medal or pays me compliments, my first feeling is that of one who is not happy."

Zaytsev goes on to discuss prospects for 2017. "It would be easy to say I want to win the Champions League, the Italian League championship and the Italian Cup with Perugia. Those are dreams, goals to achieve that at the moment, however, are still quite far away. To get there means following a path. And the team needs to build on its strengths every day."

Related information:
Italy claim team of the year at Gazzetta Sports Awards

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Rio 2016 Olympic Games - Volleyball - Volleyball
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