In their fourth appearance at the FIVB Club World Championship this year Eczacibasi VitrA will be looking at retaining the crown they lost last year in Kobe to cross-town Istanbul rivals VakifBank.
No other club in the history of the competion had won back-to-back gold medals when Eczacibasi outlasted Pomi Casalmaggiore 3-2 in the 2016 final in Manila. A year earlier in Zurich Eczacibasi had claimed their first gold with a 3-1 win over Dinamo Krasnodar. And last year in Kobe, Eczacibasi finished the championship in the fourth place.
Founded in 1966, the club celebrated its 52nd anniversary this year. Eczacibasi have won the Turkish league title a record 28 times - though not since 2012. In the latest season of the domestic competition, 2017-18, they topped the standings in the Regular Season but succumbed to VakifBank in the final series.
After a silver medal in 1980 (losing to Czechoslovakia's Red Star Prague in the final) and a bronze in 2000, Eczacibasi won the ultimate European club title in 2015, defeating Italy's Yamamay Busto Arsizio in straight sets in the Champions League final in Szczecin. They picked up a bronze medal in 2017 after defeating Russia's Dinamo Moscow in the third-place playoff, but failed to qualifiy for the 2018 edition - though they do return again this season. Eczacibasi also won the European CEV Cup in 1999 and 2017.