At just 24-years of age and with only 29 caps
Portugal's Jose Joao is a gifted player with a lot of responsibility who is fast becoming a key player in a youthful Portuguese side that has recently proved to be one of the world's emerging teams.
The wing spiker and middle blocker made his international debut in the national squad only last year and immediately contributed to their solid performance in their 2002 World League campaign.
Although Portugal did not reach the finals of the World League, several months later their real potential emerged at the 2002 World Championship in Argentina, where, under legendary Cuban coach Juan Diaz. Diaz was given the job of shaping this youthful team after being named in 2000 by the FIVB as one of the top 10 coaches of the 20th century. His charges, with Joao's ever presence in defense at the net won them a highly creditable and best-ever eighth place and marked them as a team for the future.
Joao's spectacular form was recognized at the Worlds having been named as a middle blocker in the "Super Seven Selection," as well as picking up the award as the Best Blocker of the tournament.
And his consistent performances in the top Portuguese competition for the C.S. Maritimo club in Funchal and on the international stage is an indication that the 194 cm player in the No. 12 shirt will be a vital member in the fast lane Portuguese side for years to come.