Lausanne, Switzerland, July 27, 2020 - Wilfredo Leon has enjoyed an incredible career from an astonishingly young age - but the 26-year-old Cuba-born outside hitter has embarked since last year on a brand new career, after joining the national team of Poland.
Leon reappeared in national team competitions following a seven-year hiatus since his last appearance for Cuba, but has picked up from where he left off, already adding medals and individual awards to his truly remarkable collection.
Born in Santiago de Cuba in 1993, Leon made his first steps in the sport before even reaching his teens and made his debut with the men's national team of Cuba at the age of 14. At 15 he played in a 2008 FIVB Volleyball World League game at home in Havana in the second match of the double-header against Russia, coming on in the second set and starting in the third. He scored six points in the match (which Cuba lost in straight sets).
But the trophies and awards soon started pouring in. Leon picked up medals with Cuba at the 2009 FIVB Volleyball U21 World Championship (silver), the 2009 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup (silver), the 2010 North & Central American and Caribbean Championship (gold) where he was named MVP, the 2010 Youth Olympics (gold), the 2010 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship (silver), the 2011 Pan American Games (silver) and the 2012 FIVB World League (bronze).
Leon left Cuba in 2013 to pursue abroad and joined Russia's Zenit Kazan, where he remained for four seasons - earning European Champions League gold medals in all four attempts and named MVP of the competition in 2015 and 2016. He gained Polish citizenship in 2015.
At the same time, he helped Zenit win silver medals at the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championships of 2015 and 2016, before climbing on the highest step of the podium in 2017. He was named on the Dream Team as outside hitter at all three of his Club World Championship appearances.
After his stint with Zenit, Leon moved in 2018 to Italy, joining Perugia and picking up titles in the Italian Cup and Supercup - but most importantly was cleared in 2019 to play for Poland's national team.
Immediately, he added a bronze medal at the 2019 European Championship and made the Dream Team of the competition as an outside hitter. He topped that up with a silver medal at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup.
Look out for video highlights of Wilfredo Leon's career across the Volleyball World channels as we celebrate our Player of the Week.
Follow Wilfredo Leon on Instagram
Player of the Week features:
Week 1: Yuji Nishida
Week 2: Annie Drews
Week 3: Klemen Cebulj
Week 4: Brayelin Martinez
Week 5: Milad Ebadipour
Week 6: Gabi Guimaraes
Week 7: Karol Klos
Week 8: Onuma Sittirak
Week 9: Simone Giannelli
Week 10: Eda Erdem
Week 11: Tsvetan Sokolov
Week 12: Sarina Koga
Week 13: Louisa Lippmann
Week 14: Facundo Conte
Week 15: Ding Xia
Week 16: Matt Anderson
Week 17: Britt Herbots
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