June 3, 2023

Matey Kaziyski, 38, is the SuperLega’s leading scorer.

Matey Kaziyski of Itas Trentino is next in our SuperLega Credem Banca series. His club plays Sir Safety Susa Perugia at 16:30 local time (15:30 UTC) on Sunday. Alessandro Michieletto, Yuki Ishikawa, and Luciano De Cecco are profiled.

Matey Kaziyski, Trentino’s captain, has a fantastic season (see his SuperLega stats here). Traditionally an outside hitter, he’s playing opposite alongside Daniele Lavia in his 13th SuperLega season. The 2.03m-tall Bulgarian tops the league’s best scorers’ table with 171 points in eight games and is 23 points ahead. He has 153 points and 12 aces, making him the league’s best attacker. On Sunday, he’ll lead his club against Simone Giannelli’s Sir Safety Susa Perugia.

“I’m motivated, as I was in Trento’s first nine seasons. As an opposite, I take a long to warm up, but then I improve. The whole team works hard in the gym to improve. Always plenty to improve, but we’re on the right track.”

Kaziyski’s volleyball talent was quickly recognized in Bulgaria. He started with Slaviya Sofia and won a national cup and silver at 14. In 2003, he won bronze with Bulgaria’s youth team at the FIVB Volleyball U21 Men’s World Championship. He also starred for the senior national team.

Matey Kaziyski won bronze medals at the 2006 FIVB Men’s World Championship, 2007 FIVB Men’s World Cup, and 2009 CEV Men’s European Championship. He helped the Lions qualify for London 2012 at Beijing 2008. Kaziyski won Best Server at the 2006 World Championship, Best Spiker at the 2006 FIVB Volleyball World League, and Best Server in the 2004 World League. He was Bulgaria’s Man of the Year in 2010.

The Bulgarian great is one of the most distinguished international club volleyball players. After playing for Slaviya and LukOil Neftohimik Burgas, he joined Dinamo Moscow in 2005. With the Russian powerhouse, he won the national championship, the national cup, and CEV Champions League bronze and fourth place.

Kaziyski came to Trentino in 2007 and helped the Italian team achieve unparalleled success. His first six seasons with the team brought four FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship titles, three Champions League continental trophies and a bronze, six Italian SuperLega podiums, including three gold and three silver medals, four Coppa Italia finals, including three trophies, and four Supercoppa Italiana finals, including one trophy. The Emperor was his nickname.

Kaziyski returned to Trentino in 2014-2015 and 2015-2016, and he returned in 2021. He also owns a Club World Championship bronze, two Champions League silvers, a CEV Cup silver, an Italian league gold and bronze, three Italy Cup silvers, and a full set of Italy Super Cup hardware.

Kaziyski also played for Türkiye’s Halkbank Ankara (Champions League silver and domestic golden treble), Qatar’s Al-Rayyan (Club World Championship silver and national champions), Japan’s JTEKT Stings Kariya (national champions), Poland’s Stocznia Szczecin and Italy’s NBV Verona.

The Bulgarian player won many individual awards in club play. The 2009 Club World Championship and Champions League MVP honors stand out. Kaziyski was Supercoppa Italiana MVP last year.

Trentino are second in the SuperLega with a 5-3 record and 16 points, five behind Perugia (7-0). Kaziyski and his teammates will also compete in the Club World Championship in Brazil in December, the Champions League in 2022-2023, and the Coppa Italia. The Supercoppa bronze medal was their first of the season.

“Matey Kaziyski is a terrific example for what he does on the court and for the locker room, fans, and club.”
Kaziyski and his teammates visit SuperLega leaders Perugia on Sunday. They’ve won four straight league matches, including a straight-set victory over Gioiella Prisma Taranto last weekend. A three-point win for Trentino would decrease Perugia’s lead to two points. A Perugia win would boost Giannalli and co.’s top spot.

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