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After helping Serbia win their second-straight world title, Santarelli will now try to take Türkiye to the top

Just ten days after they faced each other in the 2022 Volleyball Women’s Club World Champs gold medal match, Daniele Santarelli and Giovanni Guidetti have announced they will switch their international alliances in 2023 with the former going from the Serbian women’s national team to Türkiye and the latter taking the opposite route.

Santarelli, who guided Italian side Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano to their second world title earlier this month in Antalya, Türkiye, coached Serbia for just one year, but had a remarkable run with the team, helping them successfully defend their world title at the 2022 FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship in October – they also took bronze at the Volleyball Nations League in 2022.

“It was an honour to coach the Serbian national team and work for the amazing people of this country,” Santarelli said in a farewell message released by the Serbian Federation. “What we did in the summer, winning an important trophy and another important medal, was amazing and I’ll never forget it. It was a privilege to coach this team and these players. Sometimes things happen and we have to walk away, but who knows what could happen in the future? Maybe we can meet again.”

Türkiye will be the third European national team led by the experienced Italian head coach, who also guided Croatia between 2018 and 2021. During that period, the team took silver in two editions of the CEV European Golden League (2019 and 2021) and earned gold in the 2018 Mediterranean Games. Santarelli has committed to coach the Filenin Sultanlari until 2026.

The 41-year-old Santarelli has enjoyed tremendous success at the club level, having won two world titles, one CEV Champions League gold medal, six Italian League and Italian Supercup titles and four Italian Cup trophies – most of them with Conegliano, the team he has coached since 2015.

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Serbia will the fifth European national team coached by Guidetti, who also managed Bulgaria, Germany, the Netherlands and Türkiye

Guidetti, who had announced his departure from the Turkish national team after five years last November, was selected by the Serbian Federation to replace Santarelli and will be in charge of the back-to-back world champions until the end of 2024.

“I feel extremely honoured to be the coach of the Serbian national team for the next two years,” Guidetti commented. “They are an extraordinary volleyball team and have been very successful. Their squad has great talent and great potential. It will be a big challenge for me to coach such a strong team in a country that has a very strong tradition in the sport. I’m proud and excited by this opportunity.”

During his six-year stint with Türkiye, the 50-year-old Guidetti led the Turkish team to two Volleyball Nations League medals and fourth place finishes at the other two editions of the VNL. Under Guidetti, they achieved fifth place at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games and three CEV European Championship podiums.

Currently coaching VakifBank Spor Kulubu in the Turkish League, the Italian has also coached the national teams of Bulgaria (2003-2004), Germany (2006-2014) and the Netherlands (2015-2016), and won three medals (one silver, two bronze) at the VNL, two bronzes at the FIVB World Grand Prix and seven medals (four silver, three bronze) at the European Championships. He also helped the Dutch appear in the semifinals of the Rio 2016 Olympics, finishing fourth.

In 2023, both Santarelli with Türkiye and Guidetti with Serbia are expected to compete in the VNL and the European Championship.