Maja Ognjenovic: Still giving

Presenting the member of the FIVB Athletes’ Commission, а world champion and а two-time Olympic medallist

Arguably the best playmaker of our time in women’s volleyball, Maja Ognjenovic has had an amazing sports career so far, both with her national team and at club level, and has picked up more trophies and medals from top competitions than most athletes can even dream of. The Serbian star has given a lot to the sport and, at the age of 37, she is still giving – not only as a player, but also as a member of the FIVB Athletes’ Commission.

Maja was eight years old when she started practicing volleyball in her native Zrenjanin. At 15, she started playing professionally for the local club, Postar, in senior national and European competitions. Ognjenovic joined the national team at the age of 20 and has since played a key role in Serbia’s incredible rise to one of the best and most successful teams in the world.

The talented setter was on the squad that won the first major international medal in her country’s history, the 2006 FIVB Volleyball World Championship bronze. She played when Serbia conquered the World Championship title in 2018. She also captained the team that took CEV European Championship silver some four months ago…

After piling up as many as 302 national team caps, Ognjenovic has made it to a total of 16 podiums at major world-level or continental-level competitions, winning six gold, four silver and six bronze medals. In addition to the two World Championship medals, the 183-cm-tall playmaker claimed an Olympic Games Rio 2016 silver and Tokyo 2020 Olympic bronze, EuroVolley gold medals in 2011 and 2019, silver medals in 2007 and 2021 and a bronze medal in 2015, a silver at the 2015 FIVB Volleyball World Cup, two bronze medals at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix in 2011 and 2013, and three CEV European League titles from 2009 to 2011 and a bronze in 2012. She was named the Best Setter of the European Championships as many as four times, in 2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019, and the Best Setter of the European League three times, in 2010, 2011 and 2012.

The distinguished Serbian athlete has also had a very successful club career so far. After her first international transfer to a Romanian club in 2006, she went on to compete in five more of Europe’s strongest national leagues, Italy, Turkey, Greece, Poland and Russia, in that order.

In addition to numerous domestic championship titles and national cup trophies, Ognjenovic won the FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship title in 2016 with Turkey’s Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul, as well as a bronze at the 2019 edition of the competition as a player of VakifBank Istanbul. In the CEV Champions League, she earned a silver in 2021 with VakifBank and a bronze in 2017 with Eczacibasi, but she was honoured as the Best Server of the competition in 2015 when she played for Poland’s Chemik Police.

2016 Club World Champion with Eczacibasi

As of the beginning of the current season, Ognjenovic is back with Eczacibasi for her third period with the Istanbul stronghold, having hinted that this is the club where she is likely to end to her playing career.

In March 2021, Maja Ognjenovic was appointed to the FIVB Athletes’ Commission.