Brazil are currently ranked No. 1 in the world by virtue of consistently high finishes in major international tournaments, but also by the wobbles experienced by the Russians and the Chinese in 2007.
It was a mixed bag for Brazil in terms of results in 2007. In the FIVB World Grand Prix, without setter Fofao and the middle-blocker Walewska Oliveira, the most experienced players, Brazil finished fifth. The year ended on a high, though, when the Brazilians claimed silver medal behind Italy in the FIVB World Cup in Japan, putting them at the top of the world rankings.
The previous year was probably better overall, though, for Brazil. Then, they won the Montreux Volley Masters, the Pan-American Cup and the World Grand Prix for the sixth time before having another great end to the year by claiming silver behind Russia in the FIVB World Championship in Japan.
Brazil have had a run of good form since 2003, which was something of a turning point for them. Following a seventh-place finish at the annual FIVB World Grand Prix, coach Marco Motta was replaced by Jose Roberto Guimaraes, an Olympic Champion in Barcelona 1992 with the Brazilian Men's National Team.
The first move by Guimaraes was to bring back many players who had been away from the courts for a long time. Erika Coimbra, Elisangela Oliveira, Fernanda Venturini, Fofao and Walewska, who all helped Brazil claim bronze at the 2000 Games in Sydney, came to the rescue and led the team to the silver medal at the 2003 World Cup. That fantastic result came on the back of the Brazilians winning the South American Championship in Colombia.
In his team reshuffle, Guimaraes didn't forget the new generation. He developed young middle blockers Valeskinha and Fabiana Claudino. Fabiana, for example, won the gold medal at the 2003 Junior World Championships in Thailand where she received the Best Attacker award.
In the following season, they claimed the World Grand Prix, and fourth place in the Athens Games. In 2005, they won the Montreux Volley Masters, the World Grand Prix, the South-American Championship and the Grand Champions Cup.
This haul of trophies was the early stages of a run of form that hasn't let up yet.