Zug, Switzerland, May 16, 2012 – Portugal’s Pedro Rosas has said there is no pressure on him and partner Rui Moreira ahead of their CEV Men’s Beach Volleyball Continental Cup semifinal.
Portugal's beach volleyball stars have said training has been intense ahead of the tournament, which begins on Thursday
The winners of the tournament, set to take place in Zug, Switzerland from Thursday to Saturday, will qualify for the CEV Continental Cup finals where teams will compete for a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Rosas and Moreira will face off against teams from Russia, Norway, Italy, Ukrain, Czech Republic, Greece and hosts Switzerland as they look to keep their Olympic dream alive.
"It will be very difficult because we face the first ranked teams (Russia), but we believe we can cause some surprise,” the 32-year-old said. “In a competition like this, or whether we win or we are completely ruined. We try to look at the Continental Cup without any pressure, because we are "outsiders", and try to give our maximum and, if possible, win.”
"We are very committed to this competition. We worked little in terms of time, but it was intense,” 23-year-old Moreira added. “I left just a week ago the indoor competition, but I promise I'll do my best.
“Russia has a strong team and very complicated to play against. It is time our opponents give us value, but the fact of not being the favourites can play in our favour, as happened in the earlier stages, when the fact of being "outsiders" allowed us to surprise people.”
Joining them in Zug will be compatriots Jose Pedrosa and Joao Simoes.
Pedrosa, a veteran who has competed on at least one event on the FIVB Beach Volleyball SWATCH World Tour every year since 1998, will be hoping his experience and 25-year-old Simoes’ youth will see them through the opening round
“In this third phase, we would like at least pass the first round. From there, we'll see,” he said. “We're seed number eight and will face the number one, everything is in the negative, but let's play it cool, setting our goals step by step. The most important part is that we operate in an environment that pleases me: to play with more experienced athletes, to team up with two younger athletes. And those more experienced should help train younger players so that they unite and come back later to represent Portugal. It is with this intention that we should take part in the Continental Cup. Let's see what this test will do for the future.”
“To get to this semifinals is already a great victory,” Simoes added. “And we're here for, if possible, go even further", said Joao Simoes.