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Giba and Gustavo prepare to change from supporters to players

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 9, 2005 - For Giba and Gustavo, the beginning of the 2005 World League has been very unusual. Instead of being on court for Brazil during the opening two rounds against Venezuela and Portugal the two Brazilian superstars have been watching from the sidelines. Giba has been recuperating from a virus, while Gustavo earned a rest following a tough schedule in the Italian Championship.

It has been little more than a week, that the two key players have been working out at the Brazilian Volleyball Development Center in Rio de Janeiro and now both are eager to return to the national team and contribute towards seeing the Olympic champions claim their fifth World League title and their third in as many years.
Pic: Giba with his wife and 10-month-old son
“This period of rest was important, but I had no idea of the sensation of watching the games on television,” Gustavo said. “I felt like I was beside them all the time, fighting for each point to the extent that I saw the first game against Venezuela alone. I was very nervous and, at times, it was necessary to turn the tv off.”

Although he is absent, the middle blocker is pleased to see his brother Murilo taking giant strides in the team of Bernardinho. “I’m very proud to see Murilo in the block, doing so well,” Gustavo added. We do not speak before matches, but whenever we are together we talk about our careers and about what is happening with each other.”

Giba also admits that it has not been easy to stay on the outside of the team having been such an important member in recent years. “The decision not to travel was to guarantee a better recuperation,” he said. “I lost a little bit of muscle, but I’m gradually recuperating and finding my rhythm again.

“As for the team, my feelings are the same as Gustavo. I moved with them in the victories and, in the loss (to Portugal), I spent the entire day thinking of what had gone wrong,” explains Giba, who has the company of his wife Cristina Pirv and son Nicoll of 10 months in Rio de Janiero.

Both Giba and Gustavo are expected to return to the Brazilian line up for Brazil’s home matches against Portugal on June 18 and 19.
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