volleyball, just like its culture and
lifestyle, is full of passion and
and it is these qualities the women's
national side will be counting on for
an improved performance in this year's
Brazil, ranked seventh in the world,
are currently going through a
rebuilding phase and with that, they
have attracted a lot of off court
pressure as the team looks to return
to its glory days of the 1990s.
Following a seventh place finish at
the 2003 World Grand Prix
coach Marco Motta was replaced by José
Roberto Lages Guimarães, Olympic
champion in Barcelona 1992 with the
men's national team.
first move by Guimarães was to bring
back many players who had been away
from the courts for a long time.
Erika, Elisângela, Fernana Venturini,
Fofão and Walewska will help Brazil
try and improve upon their bronze
medal at the last World Cup in 1999.
This is also the lineup that picked up
bronze at the Sydney Olympics in 2000.
However, in his reshuffle Guimarães
didn't forget the new generation. He
is also working with some young talent
in the way of attackers Paula Pequeno
and Sassá and the middle blockers
Valeskinha and Fabiana Claudino.
Fabiana, for example, just won the
gold medal at the Junior World
Championships earlier this year in
Thailand where she received the best
The first step in this new era for
Brazil has already been taken having
won all their matches at the South
American Continental Championship in
Colombia to qualify for the World Cup
as Continetal champions. The second
step took place in Texas, United
States, where Brazil won three of four
friendly matches against the USA (3-0,