They lost the last one. But for a decade they put their heart and soul into it, proudly representing Italian beach volleyball around the world. Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo separate, as anticipated in recent days by La Stampa, to open a new sporting cycle in view of the Paris 2024 Games. The greetings match in Cagliari, in the match for the bronze of the Sardinia Finals, the last stop of the year of the international outdoor volleyball tour. To win it 2-0 (23-21, 21-17) the Dutch Steven van De Velde and Christiaan Verenhosrt, even if the real opportunity the two Azzurri wasted on Saturday evening when, in the semifinal, they surrendered only to the tie break to the Czechs Ondrej Perusic-David Schweiner. One step and they would have grabbed the final for the title, playing for gold in the last match before splitting up. Nicolai and Lupo are the face of blue beach volleyball, after all they are the first Italians to have won an Olympic medal in this discipline, silver at the 2016 Rio Games. Not to mention the many successes around the world and the victory at the 2014 European Championships played in Quartu Sant’Elena. A continental success then repeated two more times.
“We are happy and proud to be here to discuss projects – declared Diego Nepi, general manager of Sport and Health and operational arm of Coni di Malagò – on a special day in which we celebrate a great history of sport, that of Paolo Nicolai and Daniele Lupo, the most successful blue beach volleyball couple ever who plays his last match at the Sardinia Beach Finals. We want to enhance the country’s entire sports chain and play a winning team game ».
In Daniele Lupo’s future there could be another experienced player like Alex Ranghieri or Enrico Rossi. On the other hand, the hypothesis of a couple Paolo Nicolai-Adrian Carambula is suggestive.