The very first European Championship took place in Rome, Italy, back in 1948 and it featured six teams only. The format of the tournament and the number of participating teams have changed multiple times throughout the decades – but the 2019 edition will be the first time as many as 24 nations compete for the highest honours in European Volleyball. As many as 15 countries have medalled at least once, with Russia leading the way with 22 medals in total, including 14 claimed by the former Soviet Union.  

The 30 European Championship tournaments for men have been won by nine different national teams. Russia have won fourteen times (twelve as Soviet Union). The other European Championship winners are Italy, with six titles; Czech Republic as (Czechoslovakia), with three titles; Serbia with two titles (one as Yugoslavia); and France, Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Spain, with one title each.  Pictured is The Soviet Union captain Viacheslav Zaytsev standing on top of the podium after their win in East Berlin in 1983 for their seventh consecutive European crown. 

Russia also came out victorious in 2017.  Impeccable in their previous five matches in the tournament, they faced Germany at TAURON Arena in the most anticipated match of the year to crave for the crown of European champions. They had to fight bravely in their match-up with the Germans, who played almost perfectly, but found a way to become European champions again following their 3-2 victory (25-19, 20-25, 25-22, 17-25, 15-13).