Brazilian men’s coach Bernardo Rezende has named his 12 players who will attempt to add the World Cup title to their 2003 trophy collection, which already includes the World League and the South American continental championship, when the Olympic qualifying event starts in Japan on Sunday.
Rezende’s squad includes setters Maurício and Ricardinho, Anderson and André Nascimento as opposites, attackers Giba, Giovane, Dante and Nalbert, Gustavo, Rodrigão and Andres Heller (middle) and líbero Escadinha. The blocker Henrique has been omitted from the team.
On Saturday Brazil travel to Shizuoka, where they will complete the second part of their acclimatization period before starting the World Cup, where the top three teams will qualify for the 2004 Olympics, on Sunday against Korea in Nagano.
The world champions have been training in Japan for a number of days after playing a friendly match against Italy in front of 4,000 fans in Milan, which Brazil won 3-1 (25-20, 25-19, 24-26, 31-29), a week earlier.
“It was an interesting test, to play is always very important,” Rezende said. “We beat a team that is proud having won the European Championship. Moreover, we start to gain some rhythm for the World Cup.”
Without Giba, injured with a cervical pain, and captain Nalbert, with an injured knee, Bernardinho used Ricardinho, Anderson, Giovane, Dante, Gustavo, Rodrigão and Escadinha.