In her first season as team captain, Gabi will try to guide Brazil to their first world title

Just a few days away, the 19th edition of the FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship is the most eagerly anticipated tournament of the 2022 international season.

· Watch all FIVB Volleyball Women’s World Championship 2022 matches live on Volleyball TV.

The biggest stars of the sport will all be present in the Netherlands and Poland from September 23 to October 15 at what promises to be one of the most competitive editions of the tournament to date.

Here are five players to keep an eye on as the event unfolds.

Paola Egonu (Italy)

The Italian opposite is the hottest name in international volleyball after she led her national team to victories at the 2022 Volleyball Nations League and the 2021 European Championship with Most Valuable Player showings at both tournaments. The 23-year-old Egonu is in a class of her own when it comes to offensive firepower, and is a player that routinely puts on 20-point performances. She’ll be eager to help Italy back to the top of the podium for the first time in 20 years, following a second-place finish in 2018.

Tijana Boskovic (Serbia)

If there’s a player in the world who can rival Egonu’s offensive power, it's Boskovic. The 25-year-old opposite has been a big part of the Serbian national team's successes over the last six years, helping the team to victory at the 2018 FIVB Volleyball Women's World Championship with an MVP performance, medals at the Olympics (silver at Rio 2016 and bronze at Tokyo 2020) and European titles in 2017 and 2019. The left-handed opposite will enter the tournament after being rested during the 2022 VNL and will have an even more important role with the team in the absence of star setter Maja Ognjenovic.

Gabi Guimaraes (Brazil)

The explosive Brazilian outside hitter has taken on a much bigger role over the last couple of years, stepping up to become her team’s top player and also one of the best in the world. Very complete and quick, Gabi has had a lot of success at the international and club levels over the last 15 months, winning silver at the Tokyo Olympics and at the 2021 and 2022 editions of the VNL. She also won gold in the CEV Champions League, leading Türkiye’s VakifBank to their fifth continental title while earning the MVP award. The 28-year-old Gabi was recently named captain of the Brazilian national team and will aim to lead her teammates to an unprecedented but long-awaited world title.

Eda Erdem (Türkiye)

The 35-year-old Erdem has been one of the cornerstones of her country’s national team for over a decade now. Extremely efficient and consistent, she has established herself as one of the best middle blockers on the planet and helped Türkiye achieve some of their most important results to date, including silver (2018) and bronze (2021) medals at the VNL and podium appearances in the last three editions of the European Championship. The veteran is also the Turkish captain and has a key role in leading her teammates on the court.

Joanna Wolosz (Poland)

The talented setter is likely to be a key player for the Polish team that will compete in front of its fans at the World Championship. The hosts are not initially among the main favourites to win gold, but with a setter of Wolosz’s caliber, they should not be counted out. The 32-year-old playmaker has been tremendously successful at the club level with Italy’s Prosecco Doc Imoco Volley Conegliano and is one of those setters who make their hitters better. She is also one of the leaders of a Polish team that will have a lot of support coming from the stands.

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