CEV Men’s Champions League 2017: Everything you need to know

Wednesday, 06 Dec 2017
Zuzanna Dulnik - @ZetDe04

The CEV Men’s Champions League 2017 is the top competition for men’s volleyball clubs in Europe. As the competition kicks off for the 2017/18 season we’re here to tell you everything you need to know.

When is the CEV Men’s Champions League?

2nd and 3rd Round: 4th October to 12th November 2017.

Drawing of lots: 16th November 2017.

4th Round: 5th December 2017 to 28th February 2018

Drawing of lots (play-off phase): 2nd March 2018

Play-off Phase: 13th March to 12th April 2018

Final Four: 12th May to 13th May

For up to date schedule click here

How can I watch the CEV Men’s Champions League?

Fans worldwide can follow matches Live and On Demand, as well as highlights and top action on Laola1.TV*.

Other broadcast deals that we are aware of include:

Kwese TV: Sub-Saharan Africa

Eurosport AsiaAustralia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea

*Some of the matches might be geo-blocked, if local host will be broadcasting the game live.

CEV Men’s Champions League Format

The formula of the CEV Champions League changed in the previous season, allowing more teams to compete in the competition. National volleyball champions from each country in Europe now have a chance to take part in Champions League.

As the 1st round was abandoned this year, the 20 teams who made it to the final cut will be playing 2nd and the 3rd round, with eight winners joining the 12 best teams from European Cups Ranking List in the 4th Round.

For this round, the teams will seeded into five pools. A position in the next phase will go to best two teams from each pool and three best third placed teams among all pools.

One of the teams will be appointed the host of the Final Four*, leaving the remaining 12 to fight in the Play-off Phase. Three teams who come out of this phase will join the host in the Final round of the competition.

*Any national federation is able to host Final Four as a neutral ground, without possible association with club from the same country. The last case of Men’s edition of the CEV Champions League Final Four being hosted by a National Federation was in Prague, Czech Republic in 2009.

Which clubs are in the CEV Men’s Champions League?

4th round pools

Pool A

Pool B

Pool C

Pool D

Pool E

Star players in the CEV Men’s Champions League

Six-time winner Zenit Kazan step into the competition with star hitters: Maxim Mikhaylov, Matt Anderson and Wilfredo Leon. All three players have been in the squad for a number of seasons and all recent were present for the three consecutive titles.

Dinamo Moscow will play with the help of Russian veteran Yuriy Berezhko, French middle blocker Kevin Le Roux and Dutch Dick Kooy.

Last year’s hosts from Perugia kept the core of their team, with Ivan Zaytsev and Aleksandar Atanasijevic leading their offensive power. Argentinian setter Luciano De Cecco and Serbian middle blocker Marko Podrascanin are also among their players.

Trentino Diatec, as one of the most successful teams in the history of competition, counts on the power of Italian national team members Simone Giannelli, Filippo Lanza and Luca Vettori, with the support of Serbian Uros Kovacevic and Brazilian middle blocker Eder Carbonera.

Lube Civitanova kept Tsvetan Sokolov, Osmany Juantorena, Jenia Grebennikov and Micah Christenson among their stars, adding another players from team USA – Taylor Sander.

Polish Champion Zaksa kept Belgian Sam Deroo and French Benjamin Toniutti in their squad, alongside members of Polish national team, including libero Pawel Zatorski, middle blocker Mateusz Bieniek and outside hitter Rafal Buszek.

Skra will play with their veteran Mariusz Wlazly, Serbian middle blocker Srecko Lisinac and debuting not only in Champions League, but outside Iran, outside hitter Milad Ebadipour. Jastrzebski Wegiel, who is yet to confirm its spot in the 4th round will be led by EuroVolley silver medalist Lukas Kampa.