Brazil and Iran have the privilege to play against each other in the opening match of FIVB Volleyball World League 2016. They clash on Thursday at the Group 1 tournament in Rio.
• Brazil and Iran have met five times in the World League, all in the 2014 edition.
• Iran won three of those matches, including the only encounter in the final group round (3-1), versus two wins for Brazil. Both teams reached the Final Four in 2014, with Brazil finishing second after losing the final against United States (3-1) and Iran finishing fourth after losing the third place match against Italy (3-0).
• These teams also met twice at the World Cup (1991, 2011) and twice at the Grand Champions Cup (2009, 2013). Brazil won all four of these matches.
• Brazil are one of two to have competed in each of the previous 26 editions of the World League, alongside Italy.
• Brazil have won the tournament a record nine times, most recently in 2010.
• Only between 1994 and 2000 they had a longer streak without winning the World League (7 participations), than their five participations since 2010.
• Last year, Brazil reached the final group stage in Group 1, but failed to reach the Final Four. They finished in joint fifth place.
• Brazil have won only one of their last three World League matches in Brazil, beating United States in their last World League match of 2015 (3-1).
• Brazil have the highest win percentage of all teams playing in the World League (77%, won 323 of 419).
• Iran will participate in the World League for the fourth time, after finishing ninth at their debut in 2013, fourth in 2014 and seventh in 2015.
• In 2014, Iran reached the Final Four, but lost their semifinal against United States (3-0) and their third place match against Italy (3-0).
• Last year, Iran failed to reach the final group stage after finishing third in pool B of Group 1 behind United States and Poland.
• Four of Iran’s last five victories in the World League came in straight sets. The exception in this run was the 3-2 win over United States.
By Tehran Times