October 31, 2003 - Having answered the emergency call from the coach of the national women's Brazilian team Jose Guimaraes, veteran Fernanda Porto Venturini is all set to play her part and lead Brazil to the 2003 World Cup title when their campaign starts on Saturday with a key match against China in Kagoshima.
It is four years since Fernanda, 33, last pulled on the green and gold jersey in a top-level international event and 15 years since she played in her first Olympic Games but now there is nothing more that she wants than an anniversary present in the way of the World Cup, which she has never won and she believes Brazil can do it.
"I came back to Volleyball because I know we can win this title, I am not going to just take a ride to Japan, I want to win," she said. "My major problem will be having to be away so long from my daughter Julia, but that is the price I have to pay to make my wish come true and get the title and the Olympic qualification to Athens".
"We are heading in the right way for the title, our first match against China will be the key to it all.
"My concern goes now to help the young players, give them my experience and composure."
The 10-time Brazilian club champion is one of the legends of Brazilian women's Volleyball and will be a true inspiration to a side boasting a number of young and talented players as Brazil goes through a rebuilding phase following a disappointing 2003 World Grand Prix tournament.
Following a seventh place finish in Italy the coach Marco Motta was replaced by Guimar„es, an Olympic champion in Barcelona 1992 with the men's national team, and the first move by Guimar„es was to bring back many players who had been away from the courts for a long time including Fernanda.