Although Italy won bronze at the maiden 1948 European Championship at home, it was only in the 1970s that the team became a major force in the sport, winning silver at the 1978 World Championship, again at home, and later bronze at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympics. A lengthy period of world domination under the guidance of Julio Velasco came from 1989 to 2005, when Italy won 3 World Championships, 1 World Cup, 1 World Grand Champions Cup, 6 European Championships, 8 World Leagues and 3 Olympic medals - silver at Atlanta 1996, bronze at Sydney 2000 and silver at Athens 2004. It claimed another bronze later, at London 2012. Most recently, just days before EuroVolley 2015, which it co-hosts with Bulgaria, Italy won silver at the World Cup in Japan and qualified for the 2016 Olympics. Coming in as runner-ups from EuroVolley 2013, in the overall history of European Championships, the Azzurri have 6 titles, 4 silver and 2 bronze medals. Italy is now ranked #5 in the world and #5 in Europe.
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