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Maxim Mikhaylov - Russia’s Spectacular Diagonal

Both in the ranks of Russia’s champion Zenit Kasan and in the Russian national team Maxim Michajlow figures among the most dangerous players. However, the diagonal player still misses a big international title in his collection. At the CEV European Championships the young star wants to use his spectacular attacks to stand at the very top for the first time.

russart"Individual awards are consolation prizes", says Maxim Michajlow. And the 23-year.old knows what he is talking about. In the strong Russian league he used to be one of the best scorers throughout the past season and received awards as best scorer of the World League in 2010 as well as the Champions League Final Four in 2011, where he had to accept a defeat with his team Kasan against Trentino in the final.

The fans have taken the giant with the gentle eyes already to their heart. They helped him to the biggest number of the votes in the selection of the all star team of the Russian. "I don’t think of myself as a star but I think I am a little bit popular", is Michajlows humble comment.

For three years the player with the “deadly” right arm and the breathtaking jumping ability has been part of the Russian national team. With the team he claimed the Olympic bronze medal in 2008, and silver (2010) as well as bronze (2008, 2009) in the World League competition. When he joined the current Russian champion Zenit Kasan the 2.02m tall Michajlow truly became one of the big names. Two of his teammates there are the experienced US players Lloy Ball and Reid Priddy (who used to play in Austria).

Michajlow grew up near St. Petersburg. That he started to play volleyball was a mere coincidence: "When I was eight I wanted to join a sport club. I saw the volleyball players and I liked the sport right away." His love for football he has been expressing from his childhood onwards as fan of the 2008 UEFA Cup champion Zenit St. Petersburg. In 2010 his steep career led him via the Olympic sport school of St. Petersburg and a 6-year commitment for Jaroslawl eventually to the Champions League regular Kasan.

With Zenit Kasan he wants to seize the trophy in the Champions League in 2012. And he wants to deliver a good performance in the London Olympic Games in the same year – exactly four years after his star started to rise in Beijing.