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A battle of the giants in the second semi-final

Russia playing Brazil in the 2002 World League final match

Moscow, 26th August 2006 - The hosts will take on the defending champions in today's second semi-final in a battle of the giants. Brazil has participated in every single World League tournament since the competition's debut in 1990. The only other country to match this is Italy, thanks to this year's wild card. Russia has an equally impressive record, having missed only the last two editions of the tournament before returning as the host for the Final Round.

Brazil's record in the tournament speaks for itself, since the team has made the final six in every one of its 17 participations so far, missing out on the semi-finals on only six occassions. For its part, Russia only missed the final six on its last appearance in 2003, but matches Brazil's record of 11 semi-final appearances.

The two teams met head-to-head in the 2002 World League Final, where Russia beat Brazil to take its only title to date. Since then, Brazil went on to win the last three titles.