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Finland chases for the first win over Brazil

Finnish opposite hitter Mikko Oivanen spikes against Brazilian block.

Tampere, Finland, July 1, 2009 – Finland and Brazil have played against each other in the World League ten times so far and every time Brazil has been the winner: four times 3-0, five times 3-1 and once 3-2. This happened two weeks ago in Brasilia.


Finland is chasing for the first win in the two matches of the next weekend in Tampere Ice Hall.


"It is always a big honor and a great challenge for us to play against Brazil, world's number one team. In Brasilia we were close to our dream to win Brazil and we hope that the distance will get shorter all the time", says Finnish Head coach Mauro Berruto.


"This is a third year when Brazil is in our pool in the World League and that is just want we want and what we like. We are excited that this happens again. We can develop our team only by playing against the world's best teams."


"We hope that there will be a great atmosphere in the matches and a lot of spectators in the hall. I believe that no one who loves volleyball in Finland will miss these matches in Tampere", says Berruto.


Brazilian Head coach Bernardo Rezende knows the Finnish team well.


"Finland has an experienced team. They achieved fourth place in the last European Championship, overcoming traditional teams such as Bulgaria and Italy. If they have their main players, setter Mikko Esko and wing-spiker Tuomas Sammelvuo, it will be more difficult to us. Esko puts speed in the game and Sammelvuo is an experienced player. Without them, they lose agility", says Rezende.


In the half way of the World League intercontinental round Brazil is leading the pool D with 17 points. Finland is in the second place with 9 points. Poland and Venezuela have both 5 points.


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