I had a long summer with the
national team and so far it has
been a little difficult to show my
best form with my team
they slumped to an opening loss to Fred de Souza and Marcos Cabral
and then lost in their second and final match of the tournament
against Luciano and Rodrigo Saunders. Despite the inauspicious start
for a man used to success, the losses have made Rodrigao even more
determined to succeed in his new sport.
We started well but we felt the pressure of having to win to
advance,” he said. “It was tough and they served all the time to
my partner. I was setting all the time, when I’m used to spiking and
scoring points.
It’s totally different, the main thing is you touch the ball every rally,
much more than in volleyball, so you make more mistakes. You have
to be patient, especially me, but I’m learning from the mistakes I
make. I like it, I wanted to play for a while but the transition is tough.”
Brazil have long been the leaders in beach volleyball. The current
male corld champions are veteran Emanuel Rego and the formidable
Alison Cerutti, who won the 2011 FIVB Beach Volleyball World
Championships in spectacular style in Rome and followed that
success up by winning silver at the London 2012 Olympics.
Behind them there are a number of established Brazilian players,
including 2004 Olympic champion Ricardo Santos, who will play with
Alvaro Filho this year, and Pedro Salgado and Bruno Schmidt.
Furthermore new rules introduced by the Brazilian federation (CVB)
mean that players will need to be part of the national squad to be
selected for the FIVB World Tour, something that Rodrigao has yet to
achieve.
RODRIGO ‘RODRIGAO’ SANTANA
COUNTRY:
Brazil
YEARS PLAYING
INTERNATIONALLY:
13 -
debut in 1999 v Paraguay
POSITION:
Middle blocker
HEIGHT:
205
cm (6’9”)
HOMETOWN:
Sao Paolo
DATE OF BIRTH:
17/04/1979
HONOURS:
London 2012 Olympic Games – silver
medal
Beijing 2008 Olympic Games – silver medal
Athens 2004 Olympic Games – gold medal
FIVB World Championship – 2002, 2006,
2010
gold
FIVB World League – eight golds, one
silver, one bronze
I will play beach volleyball for the next year at least,
Rodrigao added.
I want to play on the World Tour but I’m not part of the national team and
I need to improve to be a part of the national team.
The 34-year-old won one Olympic gold and three FIVB World
Championship golds in a glittering career.
Rodrigao is now looking to further his success on the sand.
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