FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour

Sao Paulo Grand Slam | 23 - 28 September 2014

#SaoPauloGS


Press release

Call brings old Brazilian friends back together on the beach


Together again, Brazil's legendary Ricardo Santos, left and Emanuel Rego won the silver medal at the FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam in their first event back as a team in over five years

Sao Paulo, Brazil, September 28, 2014 - In August this year Emanuel Rego decided it was time to make a call to an old friend called Ricardo Santos, because he thought it was time to write another chapter in an already impressive story, and at the FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam the story started to write itself.

After just six training sessions of the new era, they won their first tournament back together on the Brazilian Tour and then took silver in their second before heading back to the FIVB World Tour with an appearance in Sao Paulo.

They couldn't quite complete a golden return, going down 2-0 to Christiaan Varenhorst and Reinder Nummerdor from the Netherlands in the FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam final, but just getting to the final on their first FIVB World Tour return was something Ricardo described as a "pleasant surprise for everyone".

"We would have liked to win, but we're happy to get to our third final in three tournaments. It's great to re-live all this," said Ricardo talking about the partnership's new era.

"The invite from Emanuel to return to play together was a big surprise," said Ricardo. "He was playing with Pedro Solberg and me with Alvaro Filho, but this is a project that I have a lot of confidence in."

"We had a victorious partnership in the past and after he called me I believed that we could return and form a very competitive team."

Even giving Ricardo credit for modesty, 'victorious' is probably an understatement when it comes to describing the pair's previous haul of medals, trophies and titles.

They were world champions in 2003, gold medallists at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens and bronze medalists at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, as well as winners of the FIVB World Tour for five consecutive years from 2003 to 2007 with an impressive 65% medal strike-rate.

It was already towards the end of the season when Emanuel made his big call. "I invited Ricardo to try and form a new Olympic project," he said. "Thinking about the Pan American Games in 2015 and, obviously, the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016."

"The 2016 Olympics is a dream for all athletes in Brazil, it doesn't matter what sport they are doing and me and Ricardo are sharing this dream."

Even though it was more spontaneous than carefully planned, the pair are very happy to be playing together again, but 41-year-old Emanuel and 39-year-old Ricardo are also very aware of the difficulties they will face as they chase another slice of Olympic history.

"We have a lot of patience because we know we are old," said Emanuel. "But we have experience. We know that we will have to face teams that are stronger physically. Each tournament we are improving, and now we have some new elements to our old chemistry."

That chemistry served them well here in Sao Paulo and produced an incredible 58th FIVB World Tour medal in what was an above-expectations start to the next chapter of a fascinating story - could it have a glorious Rio 2016 epilogue? Now it's in the experienced hands of Ricardo and Emanuel.

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