Famous Volleyball Players

Volleyball, a sport that seamlessly combines agility, power, and teamwork, has given rise to some of the most iconic athletes in the world. From the sun-kissed beaches of California to the indoor courts of Europe and Asia, the game has been graced by players whose names resonate beyond the confines of the court.

Whether you’re a seasoned fan or new to the game, these legends’ stories are bound to inspire and captivate.

Male volleyball players

Diving into the world of men’s volleyball, we encounter athletes whose prowess and skill have set them apart as giants of the game. This section is dedicated to celebrating some of the most illustrious male volleyball players who have not only dominated the court but also left an indelible impact on the sport’s history.

From gravity-defying spikes to impeccable defense, these men have showcased the epitome of volleyball excellence. Join us as we explore their remarkable careers and contributions.

Charles ‘Karch’ Kiraly

With an illustrious career that has seen him triumph in both indoor and beach volleyball at the Olympic Games, Kiraly is a living legend. He also holds the distinction of being the oldest player to participate and win in Pro-Beach volleyball tournaments.

This has earned him the title “World’s Greatest Volleyball Player,” which was further cemented by his induction into the Volleyball Hall of Fame. Kiraly is also known for designing the offense technique called “short play,” which has been very impactful in improving volleyball development worldwide.

Lorenzo Bernardi

Lorenzo Bernardi, as the fellow joint winner of FIVB’s Player of the Century, is widely regarded as one of the greatest all-around volleyball players ever. The multi-talented hitter and five-time winner of the FIVB World League is a two-time European and World Champion, Olympic silver medalist, and five-time World Champion.

Bernardi, who is only 5’10” (1.76 m), shares the record as a three-time Most Valuable Player at FIVB World Championships with Vladimir Grbich and Volleyball Hall of Fame member Bernardo Rezende – known as “Mochi” in Brazil. He also won the European Championship twice, and the FIVB World Cup once.

Bernardi is one of only seven players to have won gold medals at both the Olympic Games and World Championships, as well as five-time world champion Alessandro “Ghio” Guerri. In 2009 – after 16 years – Bernardi returned to play for Italy, helping them to silver at the European Championship.

Godoy Fiho, a.k.a. Giba

If you’ve been a volleyball fan for the past decade, you already know who Giba is. During his career, he was widely recognized as the best volleyball player in the world, and he aided Brazil’s national team in winning eight World League titles, three World Grand Championship cups, three World Championships, eight South American Championships, and three American Championship titles.

Giba is one of only five players to have won all the most important titles in volleyball, and he has been awarded as “FIVB Player of the Century”. He was the first volleyball player to be selected as the Brazilian athlete of the year, and was also named one of the top stars by FIVB (International Volleyball Federation).

Bernardi is one of only seven players to have won gold medals at both the Olympic Games and World Championships, as well as five-time world champion Alessandro “Ghio” Guerri. In 2009 – after 16 years – Bernardi returned to play for Italy, helping them to silver at the European Championship.

Saeid Marouf

Iranian setter Saeid Marouf, unlike many of the other members of this list, does not have an Olympic medal but has won gold medals at the Asian Games and Asian Championships as well as a bronze at the World Grand Champions Cup. However, Marouf’s renown in volleyball is just as great in his native country Iran, where he was awarded the title of “best athlete”.

Marouf comes from a notable volleyball family, with his father Moustafa being Iran’s national team coach and his two brothers also playing professionally. His Olympic career has been very impressive too, but unfortunately not medal-winning. He was twice selected as the best setter in the World League 6 times in a row – from 2010-2015 – and two times as the best setter in the World Grand Championship.

Ricardo Lucarelli Souza

Lucarelli, an outside hitter from Italy, has been making a splash in the international volleyball scene since 2013, when he helped Brazil to win the World Champions Grand Cup, gold at the South American Championships, and a silver at the FIVB World League. At 26 years old, Lucarelli has amassed a slew of medals from major tournaments, including a gold at the 2016 Olympic Games.

Most famous female volleyball players

The realm of women’s volleyball is adorned with trailblazers who have redefined the boundaries of the sport. In this section, we spotlight the female titans of volleyball, whose unparalleled skills and passion have etched their names in the annals of the game. Their stories, filled with tenacity, triumphs, and groundbreaking moments, serve as a testament to the power and grace of women in sports.

Misty May-Treanor

Misty Elizabeth May-Treanor was one of the greatest beach volleyball players in history. She assisted the United States squad win gold medals at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, 2008 Beijing Olympics, and 2004 Athens Summer Olympics.

She was inducted into the Volleyball Hall of Fame four years after retiring because she is one of America’s most successful female beach volleyball players. May-Treanor was the youngest American to win an Olympic gold medal in women’s beach volleyball (at 21 years, eight months).

She retired from the sport in 2012.

Kerri Walsh Jennings

Misty May isn’t the only one who shines on the beach. Kerri Walsh Jennings, Misty’s partner and teammate, is also a bright light in the sport of beach volleyball, making up for her lack of height with an unparalleled level of skill.

This former middle-blocker and opposite hitter has been given many accolades throughout her illustrious beach volleyball career, but one she values most is being inducted in the US Volleyball Association Beach Hall of Fame.

She has been a part of the team since it was formed in 2003, and her collaboration with May has earned them the AVP Team of the Year every year since then, with the exception of 2004. She won this award four times in a row from 2012 to 2015. From 2005 to 2008, she was FIVB’s Best Blocker on Tour three times, and was also given FIVB’s Best Spiker in 2009.

At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, Walsh Jennings won a gold medal with Misty May to become one of only four women to have ever won an Olympic gold medal, World Championship title and FIVB Beach Volleyball Tour championship.

Torre Regla

Torre Regla is a volleyball player from Cuba who has earned many accolades since her international debut in 1995. Torres is a world-class middle blocker whose passion for the game began when she was eight years old. Torres has been earning worldwide acclaim since becoming the youngest Olympic gold-medal winner at age 17, having won the Best Player of the Year Award in the 2002 World Grand Prix, and having won the MVP award at the 2008 Olympic Games.

Torres has competed in many international volleyball competitions, but her greatest achievement was winning gold for both the 2008 Beijing Olympics and 2012 London Olympics.

She retired from international play after helping lead her team to victory in 2014 but is still active in domestic Cuban play.

Sheilla Castro

One of the world’s highest-paid volleyball players, Sheilla de Castro is also one of its most recognized after regularly winning numerous individual honors including Most Valuable Player (2006 and 2009 FIVB World Grand Prix; 2007 and 2010 FIVB World Cup; 2008 and 2009 FIVB World League). She also has two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) and a bronze (2004) from the games.

She was named Best Spiker at the 2006 FIVB Women’s World Championship after helping her team to silver, while she took home Best Blocker honors at the 2008 FIVB World Cup. She also won the 2007 Pan American Games, was named Most Valuable Player in that tournament as well.

A dominant middle blocker who plays above the net, she has earned MVP awards in several international competitions including both the 2010 FIVB World League and the 2011 FIVB Grand Champions Cup.

The writers at Volleyball Gear Guide thought you may be wondering if the net is the same height for all players, so we put this together for you.

How Tall is the Volleyball Net?

Kim Yeon-Koung

Kim Yeon-Koung is a South Korean indoor volleyball player. Kim Yeon-Koung, who was born on July 1, 1983, is recognized across Asia as a prominent figure in the sport. After playing for Heungkuk Life in her native Korea, Kim joined Japan’s JT Marvelous and Fenerbahçe in Turkey, where she has lived since 2007.

Kim Yeon-Koung is regarded as one of the best players in the world after winning the MVP award at the 2015 FIVB Club World Championship, while also earning MVP honors at that year’s Asian Champions League Final Four and Best Server awards in both the 2013 and 2015 editions of the FIVB World Grand Prix.

She won the Women’s Asian Cup and scored three goals at club level, but her performances for South Korea have eluded her. She was given the MVP and Best Scorer awards at the 2012 Olympics, which were bestowed on her as a personal distinction.

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