VakifBank Istanbul will rub shoulders with Asian champions Bangkok Glass, multiple Swiss champions Volero Zürich and Japanese champions Hisamitsu Springs Kobe in 2016 Women's Club World Championship Pool B.
Coach Giovanni Guidetti's VakifBank Istanbul will be competing in a Club World Championship for the third time after winning silver in 2011 and gold in 2013. The club was formed in 1986 and has since won the Turkish League title eight times. They have also won the European Champions League title twice in 2011 and 2013, on both occasions defeating Azerbaijan’s Rabita Baku in straight sets in finals in Istanbul. VakifBank were runners-up of the Champions League four times, including last year in Montichiari, when they lost in straight sets to Italy’s Pomi Casalmaggiore.
VakifBank also won the European CEV Cup in 2004 and the European Challenge Cup in 2008.
They took part for the first time in the FIVB Volleyball Club World Championship in 2011, but lost to Rabita Baku in straight sets in the final in Doha. Two years later they beat Unilever Rio de Janeiro in straight sets in Zurich to claim their first title.
Players to watch include captain Gözde Kirdar, star setter Naz Aydemir Akyol and Olympic gold medallist Zhu Ting.
VakifBank Istanbul made a name for themselves in 2013 when they prevailed in the FIVB Volleyball Women’s Club World Championship, but also won the five national and international trophies they were participating in and established a 73-game winning streak.