Resovia, Poland. It has taken Slovenia’s most outstanding volleyball player just a few years to make his mark on the international scene, and Klemen Cebulj is now the star of the show wherever he plays.
The 28-year-old outside hitter began his professional career in his home country of Slovenia, moving up the ranks and eventually being called to the national team for the first time in 2010 and ending up with one of the country’s top clubs, ACH Volley Ljubljana.
It is during his sole season with ACH Volley that Cebulj won his only two domestic titles in Slovenia, leading the side to both the Championship and Cup in 2011-12.
Immediately after that successful season, Cebulj moved to neighbouring Italy, which is where he gradually made a name for himself.
Again he moved up the ranks, joining Cucine Lube Civitanova and helping his club claim European Champions League bronze medals in 2016 and in 2017, alongside a ‘double’ in 2017 with Italian League and Cup titles.
After two seasons with Lube, Cebulj moved on to Revivre of Milan, with a brief break to go and pick up a national title in China with Shanghai Golden Age, before settling in Trentino for the 2019-2020 Italian League and at Asseco Resovia in Poland for the current season.
As with his club career, with the national team of Slovenia Cebulj followed a similar rising path, following its fortunes and growing with the team, after his debut ten years ago.
As Slovenia rose to prominence, Cebulj was there to help the side along, winning the European League title in 2015 (for a chance to enter the FIVB Volleyball World League) and getting named Best Outside Hitter of the competition. Later that same year he picked up a silver medal in Slovenia’s remarkable run at the 2015 European Championship.
More recently, Cebulj was instrumental in Slovenia’s second silver medal in the history of the competition, when they finished second only to Serbia in the 2019 European Championship.
That came shortly after he led Slovenia to first place in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Challenger Cup for the right to play in the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
And in the early days of 2020, Cebulj was there again as Slovenia made a bid to advance to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, forcing France to come back from two sets down in an amazing semifinal of the European qualifiers.