Cristina Chirichella: “Losing helps win”

S.volleyball player, Neapolitan, 28 years old, Cristina Chirichella it has the history of the predestined. It happens captain of the team at 23 years oldand as captain she won silver at the 2018 World Cup and, last year, gold at the European Championships.

At the age of 15 he had left his family to move to Rome, to study as a champion. Today he lives in Novara and plays Agile Volley.

Francesca Piccinini leaves volleyball forever

Cristina Chirichella, volleyball star

Too young to leave home, family, classmates, right? But Club Italia, the Federation’s training course with which the promises of volleyball are intercepted, wanted it.

Yes, it was actually small. And at first I suffered a little. But I had the company of the Club girls: in the morning we went to school, in the afternoon we trained, in the evening we all studied. In particular, I lived with Martina Recine, who, moreover, no longer plays, is now a lawyer, but has continued to be one of his closest friends. I finished fifth in Milan, because then Club Italia moved there. And there I played a Serie B championshipso I was always in the field on the weekends.

It means he hasn’t had time for nostalgia for anything.
Indeed. At 15 I was already thinking about it, I meant everything. Great school!

At what age did you realize that volleyball was becoming your life?
When I entered Serie A, after Club Italia, at the age of nineteen. Also, when I entered the A1, in Pesaro, I immediately played as a starter, even if it wasn’t a predictable option. They trusted me: there I realized I had my own space in front of me.

cristina chirichella

Cristina Chirichella at EuroVolley 2021 in Croatia

Play for the team

What are the most beautiful victories for you?
Those in which the team wins, in which everyone plays for the teammate.

What do you do to relax in a very important meeting?
To study. There is nothing that takes me away from stress like devoting myself to studying. Before the Tokyo Olympics I did five exams, one between the Olympics and the Europeans. In February I took a degree in Motor Sciences at the Cattolica in Milan. On July 18 I will know if I have been admitted to the Master. Also, at the Tokyo Olympics you collapsed in the quarterfinals – soon after you’re going to get an incredible gold medal at the European Championships.

How can a bankruptcy be fixed in a short time?
Eager to do so, putting a lot of work into it. I think serenity is achieved when the things that are done are good. At the Olympics we disunited. The harmony of a team is always a precarious balance to recover.

What breaks the balance?
For example, indifference to a problem, pretending it does not exist, not finding solutions.

Hard work

What is heavier than your job?
I was lucky to be on teams that always aim high – I have to win and I want to win. Today the Championship is very demanding and sometimes the body is very tired.

What does defeat mean to you?
There are those who suffer, I accept it: defeats give me the awareness of what I lack to win.

Wouldn’t you like a little lightness in your life?
No, my life is all light. I have made what I like a profession.

The unique relationship with the brother

They call her the princess. Find?
That term associated me in an interview during the 2014 World Cup in Italy: they wrote that I moved in an elegant way, like a princess, in fact. Sure I’m my father’s princess, who called me that when I was little, but the word makes me think of a precise woman tied to appearance, my opposite.

Speaking of family, is it true that he wears Gaetano’s G, his brother, tattooed on his arm?
Very true, I am very attached to him. The tattoo is actually the symbol of infinity: at one end is an anchor and Gaetano’s G; on the other Cristina’s C and the birds. I am always ready to fly. He planted it on the ground: for me it is a reference.

What is your brother doing?
The architect, in the Netherlands. For a few months now you have been the ambassador of the social brand of Sector No Limits. Why do you think you are chosen by a brand? For the player I am and because I like to give a clear and unambiguous image, and also because I love to feel good, always. I never give up makeup, jewelry, accessories, what sets me apart.

Cristina Chirichella and social media

Have social media changed the lives of your athletes?
Oh yes they changed that. They have given us visibility to athletes and our minor, minor sports in reference to football. In the field, it reaches 3 meters and 20. Remarkable. Well, in short, I have to appreciate my height, there are girls who jump much higher. My specialty is the speed of the moves, yes, and then my flexibility: in my role I manage to play the central attack at 2 and the central attack at 3, while there are players who specialize in certain balls. Technically, let’s say I can play more balls. You keep talking to me about heights.

1.95 m tall, how does the world feel at this height?
I’m fine now. But as a child he was my cross: in high school he was even taller than boys, and even much taller. The sport is great because it has improved my particular physical equipment.

First in Puglia with the ex-girlfriends of Club Italia. Then on the coast of Sorrento, where I took a house for myself and my puppy, Chichi, a pit bull. My dog ​​and I have a long history and right now it is my world. She and I get along very well because we are similar; sociable, without resentment, but able to distinguish who deserves to play an important role in our lives and who doesn’t. They both enjoy hiking and being on the water.

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Do you play beach volleyball on vacation?
I love the beach, but there aren’t always fields to play with friends. Playing beach volleyball with her “among friends” must be mortifying. But no, don’t believe me, playing in the sand changes everything. The beach is all technical, all head, you have to try to anticipate obsessively the movement of the opponent. Even an indoor champion can have nasty surprises.


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