The Brazilian men’s national team is in their final preparation phase before they begin World League play on June 2. The team finished their last practice and left for Pesaro, Italy for the first phase of the World League. Head Coach Renan Dal Zotto commented about just how hard his team has worked in their last two weeks of practice, “The two weeks we’ve been here with the full group have been really cool, we’ve had quite interesting days, and I’m satisfied with the performance of the more experienced and the ones who have come now, especially for what has been presented so far in the short time frame.”
The Brazilian roster for the FIVB World League consists of many first-time national team players. Middle-blocker Otavio Henrique Rodrigues Pinto and libero Thales Hoss are two of the first-timers on the roster that are expected to make an immediate impact. Pinto is excited about this opportunity to play for Brazil in the World League, “First, it is an immense happiness to have been summoned. I know I have to train a lot, and that’s what’s happening…I’m trying to evolve and learn as much as possible since I got here. Renan gave me this opportunity and let’s see if I will have that chance in some games too. I hope to be calm and live up to expectations.”
Dal Zotto has nothing but compliments for his 18-player group, “I am very pleased with the new players who have come here in the national team, but they are players who already have important experience in the Superliga, with finals and titles. They came here and did not feel that weight. Internally, they may even suffer with some pressure, but they have already shown that they know how to live with it.”
The 18-man roster boasts players with impressive experience that will be valuable for Brazil in the World League. Returning players setter Bruno Mossa Rezende, opposite Wallace De Souza, and outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli Souza will look to lead this team to the finals, which will be held in Brazil.
Brazil won back-to-back World League titles in 2009 and 2010. They made it to the finals in 2016, but were swept 0-3 by Serbia.
Brazil is in Pool A and fill first face Poland, followed by Iran, and then Italy for their final pool play matchup. Their next pool, Pool E, will have them competing against Bulgaria, Canada, and Poland. Find the full schedule here.