An excellent spiker, Despaigne's strength, in addition to being able to spike at a height of more than three meters, is that he has always been to keep his feet on the ground. Humble and shy, Joël Despaigne has always played for his country, despite the many proposals he received from abroad at a time when Cuba did not allow its players to go to other countries. To those who’ve asked him about those years, Despaigne always answered:
I certainly didn't get rich, but I did confront myself with the best in the world. That's my pride.
The following year, the International Volleyball Federation proclaimed Joël “El Diablo” Despaigne Best Player in the World.
The clash, in fact, did not take long to arrive.
Italy had to react and made it thanks to Bernardi's spike, winning the world championship for the first time. After that defeat, Despaigne's early '90s were marked by change.
Of course, Cuba is the real home of Joël Despaigne. For he has his relatives and friends, as well as an entire nation that still celebrates him as a hero; but Italy is also very dear to him, a country that has always welcomed him and that he loves for the warmth that its people have always shown him. Today Joel Despaigne has stopped being "el Diablo" on the volleyball court and he has become coach of IHF Volley Frosinone and technical manager of the youth sector.
He teaches boys and girls how a real champion plays volleyball: by having fun and entertaining the crowd.
Analysis of a volleyball player
One interesting feature that separates volleyball from other sports is the short length of the volleyball court, with each half (9 x 9 metres) being further subdivided for 5 players. Yet, volleyball players must muster endless amount of stamina and mental focus, to stay sharp and always ready to attack and defend.