Born on 4 December 1966, Vladimir Alekno began his playing career in what was then Soviet Union, and also competed for clubs in Bulgaria, Italy and France.
He embarked on his coaching career in France’s Tours before returning to Russia to lead Dinamo Moscow.
In July 2015 Alekno took over Russia’s men’s team for the third time, following stints in charge from 2007 to 2009 and 2010 to 2012. Alekno coached Russia to gold at the London 2012 Olympic Games, the 2011 World Cup and 2011 World League. He also led Russia to bronze at the 2008 Olympic Games, 2008 and 2009 World League, and silver at the 2010 World League.
He has been coaching Zenit Kazan since 2008, leading the side to eight national Superleague titles and four European Champions League titles, amongst many other honours. He was coach of Zenit Kazan in all five of their previous appearances at the FIVB Club World Championship, including bronze medals in 2009 and 2011, and silver in 2015 and 2016.