Interview with Mattei, the leader of the professional volleyball men’s division, Woori Card’s ‘Slovenian Broncos’
An advertisement posted by Woori Card fans on the wall at the exit of Dongguk University Station on Subway Line 3 in early December last year to celebrate Matei’s birthday (December 11th).
On the wall next to Exit 5 of Dongguk University Station on Line 3 of the Seoul Subway, which leads to Jangchung Gymnasium, an advertisement has been posted since last month saying “Wuse Nai Bolshe,” wishing a happy birthday in Slovenian. This is an advertisement put up by fans to celebrate the birthday (December 11th) of Matei (28), a foreign player on the professional volleyball men’s team who uses this gym as his home. According to the club, Mattei is the first to have a birthday advertisement for a domestic or foreign player.
Matei, whom I met at the Jangchung Gymnasium the day after Christmas last year, said, “When I heard there was an advertisement, I immediately ran over and checked it out. I was really happy because I never imagined something like this would happen. I thought that Korea was, after all, ‘volleyball heaven’. “I’m really grateful,” he said.
Matei, a foreign player for Woori Card in the men’s professional volleyball division, is smiling in front of the camera while holding a volleyball at Jangchung Gymnasium in Seoul on December 26 last year.
The person who instilled in Matei the perception that ‘Korea is a volleyball paradise’ was Gasparini (40), a senior member of the Slovenian national team who played for Hyundai Capital and Korean Air. Mattei, who had experience playing at Jangchung Gymnasium during the 2017 International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) World League, said, “During my stay in Korea at the time, I saw Gasparini being welcomed by fans wherever he went and I thought I really wanted to play in Korea. “He said, “Just as Gasparini gave Korean Air its first championship (2017-2018 season), I also want to present the first championship trophy since its founding to Woori Card fans.”
As of the 2nd, Woori Card is leading the men’s division with 42 points (15 wins, 5 losses). However, even before the season opened, there were not many people who chose Woori Card as a candidate for the championship. The reason Woori Card did not receive good reviews before the season was that it only got the 6th pick, which was actually the last pick in the foreign player draft. Fortunately for Woori Card, Matei was not an ‘ugly duckling’ but a ‘swan’. Matei is performing at a top level, ranking 3rd in scoring (518 points) and serve aces (0.408 per set), and 4th in attack success rate (52.6%). Although he suffered from dysarthria in the second round, he regained his condition and was named Most Valuable Player (MVP) in the third round. 메이저-토토사이트
Among Woori Card’s all-time foreign players, only Alex (33, Portugal) had this level of performance. In the 2020-2021 season, Alex led the team to the first championship match (3 wins out of 5) since its founding, but failed to reach the top. Director Shin Young-cheol of Woori Card commented, “If Alex is a delicate viper, Matei is a gentle lamb.” This means that while Alex has a sensitive personality, Matei is a gentle and sincere player. Coach Shin said, “But when Matei enters the court, he turns into a wild horse unleashed on the field. “During the game, he burns as hot as anyone else,” he said, giving his thumbs up.
Matei said, “Even when difficult balls come up, I play with the mindset that I will handle them somehow and definitely increase my score. “I have improved my concentration through hard training and it is showing results,” he said. “My main position is originally an outside hitter (left), but at Woori Card, I am in charge of an offer spiker (right). It is true that it felt awkward at first. However, Offergit Spiker seems to have grown further because he only has to focus on attack and serve.”
Matei said, “I think I am having a very great experience in my volleyball life. All Woori Card players are full of confidence. “If we cherish and focus on every game, we will be able to win the championship,” he said. 슬롯