Riccardo Sbertoli – Trentino’s lion-hearted setter


Article Thu, May 12 2022
Author: Martyna Szydłowska

Having such stars like Alessandro Michieletto, Matey Kaziyski, Marko Podraščanin and Srećko Lisinac by your side, it’s not always easy to shine with your own light. However, Riccardo Sbertoli, with a brilliant performance in his rookie #CLVolleyM season, has proved that he is an extremely talented and prominent playmaker. The 190-cm-tall setter joined Trentino Itas ahead of the 2021/2022 season, replacing in this role Simone Gianneli to take up – probably – the biggest challenge in his career so far becoming the first playmaker in Angelo Lorenzetti’s squad. When he was a child he dreamt about playing in the Champions League at least once, but his dreams definitely have grown, especially that on 22 May – one day before his 24th birthday – he and Trentino will battle against Grupa Azoty Kędzierzyn Koźle in the Super Finals in Ljubljana to lift the trophy of the CEV Champions League Volley 2022 – Men.

Riccardo Sbertoli and his explosion of happiness after earning a spot in the Super Finals

Riccardo Sbertoli, inspired by his father – who also played Volleyball – started to practice the sport already at age seven, and step by step, he has pursued his career performing at all levels of the Italian League. He has honed his playmaking skills and his own style by observing the best setters in the world. "When I started playing I was always inspired by Bruno, he won everything. But as you go forward, when you play in Serie A, instead of having an idol you try to learn from others, because every setter has his 'stamp' and style, and you have to try to understand what you can do to get closer to their abilities," he said in one of interviews. Although he is very expressive on the court, it seems that no matter what is the result on the scoreboard, he is able to keep a cool head to find some creative solutions.

With absolutely stunning stats, including 30 points scored by himself and recording 60.87% efficiency – which is the highest result among first setters – he has been arguably one of the best setters in this #CLVolleyM campaign. He not only ‘delivered the ball’ to his teammates, but he scored 11 points with winning attacks, 12 with blocks and, in addition, he served 7 aces. In every match, he really leaves his heart on the court trying to help his team in all possible ways. His notable performances couldn’t stay unnoticed, therefore he was presented with MVP awards on two occasions in the pool phase of this edition of the Champions League, in matches against Fenerbahce and Cannes.

Before joining the team under the guidance of coach Angelo Lorenzetti, he spent six seasons representing Powervolley Milano, with them he triumphed in the CEV Challenge Cup 2021. Somehow, this achievement was a great beginning of his successful year. Only a few months later, he was the second setter in the Italian team that raised the EuroVolley trophy in Poland. Then, in October 2021, Trentino – with him in charge of playmaking – won the Italian Super Cup. Once in December, they claimed bronze medals at the 2021 FIVB World Club Championships in Brazil. Trentino Itas finished 3rd in the Italian SuperLega, but the season is not over yet – the most important match on the European stage is still ahead of them. And his team will definitely need his valiant effort again.