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Moscow Grand Slam | Men
  12/07/2011 - 17/07/2011

Vice-world champions Ricardo and Marcio no longer a team

Brazil's Ricardo Santos (right) and Marcio Araujo
Moscow, Russia, July 14, 2011 – The vice-world champions in beach volleyball, Ricardo Costa Santos and Marcio Barroso Araujo, are splitting up. The Brazilian top players will finish the Moscow Grand Slam together this week, but after that they will go their own way. Ricardo is the initiator of this decision, he already has a new partner waiting for him: Pedro Cunha.

The two meters tall blocker Ricardo said on Thursday in the Russian capital that he needed new motivation for his career. After eight successful years with Emanuel Rego, becoming world champion in 2003, olympic champion in 2004 and winning over 30 World Tour titles together, Ricardo has been playing with Marcio for the past 1,5 years. Just a few weeks after their second place at the World Championships in Rome and first in the Stavanger Grand Slam, Ricardo pulled the plug.

“It just does not feel good. Now is the right moment to change, so we will have enough time to prepare for the Olympics in London next year”, said Ricardo, who participated in three Olympics so far. “In Brazil there are three good defenders that are available for me to play with at the moment; Marcio, Harley and Cunha. I evaluated the past 1,5 year and talked to the technical coaches at the Brazilian team. And they think that the combination with Cunha will work better.”

There are also some young talented players in Brazil, but it will take a while before they will reach the right level. Ricardo: “There are 3 to 4 talents, but they only play in Brazil. Because there are so many good Brazilian teams it is hard for them to get through the country quota on the World Tour. But they need to play in Europe to get the experience. It will take them probably 3 to 4 years to reach our level.”

Ricardo does not know if he has that time. “I am 36, I am old. Still, after London I would like to go for the next Olympics. But it all depends on the body. So far, I have been very lucky. I have had no mayor injuries.” Asked about if he missed playing with Emanuel he smiled. “I am just happy for him that he is doing so well with Alison.”

Marcio is at the least not happy with Ricardo’s decision to split. “I do not understand, we won silver in the World Championships, gold in Stavanger. I really do not know the reason. He just told me he is not happy playing with me.’’ Playing together in Moscow for the last time, must be weird then. “No”, Marcio answered. “I have no problem staying focused here. I am a professional, no problem.”

The 37-year old Marcio now has to decide what his beach volleyball future is going to look like. “I really do not know yet. But I will get over it. I have experienced worse in the past.”

Ricardo and Cunha, who recently played some events with Pedro Solberg, will start together at the World Tour Grand Slam in Stare Jablonski in Poland at the end of July. They will skip the FIVB Swatch Quebec Open next week to practice in Brazil.   
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14/07/2011 Vice-world champions Ricardo and Marcio no longer a team
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