Team France

The men’s 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League finals start on Saturday, with VNL final round regulars Brazil, France and Poland, and debutants Slovenia.

There is one thing clear this season - there will be a new champion in Rimini, Italy.

This is the first time in VNL history that back-to-back winners Russia are not among the teams that qualified, despite their 3-0 win on the final day of the preliminary round. Brazil, Poland secured their spots on Tuesday, and Slovenia and France clinched the last two spots on Wednesday.

Poland and Brazil return to the final four after 2019, while France are making a comeback after taking home silver in the 2018 edition.

Brazil and France will play the first semifinal at 11.30 local time, while Poland and Slovenia meet next at 15.00.

Third time's a charm?

They say the third time’s a charm. In the case of Brazil, this will be their third attempt to progress from the VNL semifinals, after two unsuccessful attempts. They are also yet to win a medal in the competition, after they lost their bronze medal matches in the last two editions against the United States and Poland, respectively.

Brazil's Week 5 included two wins against hosts Italy and Germany, and a straight-set loss to Russia on Wednesday.

The videos have moved.

You can watch highlights on our YouTube channel & full matches on VBTV.

Their lineup includes wingmen Wallace De Souza, Alan Souza, Ricardo Lucarelli, Yoandy Leal, Mauricio Borges and Douglas Souza who respond well to the brilliant plays directed by Bruno Rezende. Their good rotation in their hitters has powered their rise to the top of the standings in this year's tournament.

France, after their runners-up finish in 2018, did not make the cut in the last edition. But they hope to win their match against Brazil to get a chance to win gold in 2021.

They finished the final week of the preliminaries with strong performances to book a final round ticket. They won in straight sets against Iran and Argentina, then proved they were worthy of the final round spot with a strong comeback win in five sets against second-ranked Poland.

The videos have moved.

You can watch highlights on our YouTube channel & full matches on VBTV.

Brazil and France faced each other in the second week, with the reigning Olympic champions conceding the match in straight sets.

The Frenchmen have a 3-1 edge in wins against the Brazilians in the VNL. In 2018, the Europeans won with 3-0 and 3-2 scorelines, respectively, in their preliminary round and final round encounters. Brazil redeemed themselves the following year with a 3-1 win and entered the final round with a 14-1 win-loss card.