|After the bronze medal at the Olympic Games of Sydney, in 2000, the women’s national team saw some changes in 2001. After seven years leading the group, Bernardo Rezende was transferred to command the men’s team. Marco Aurélio Motta took over his position as women’s coach.
The World Grand Prix was the first competition of 2001 and Brazil finished in fifth place. After that, the national team won the World Championship Qualifying Tournament and the South American Championship, in Argentina. At the end of the year, the Brazilian players participated in the World Grand Champions Cup, in Japan, where they finished in fourth place.
The first competition of 2002 was the Montreux Volley Masters, in which Brazil finished fourth. In the Grand Prix 2002, Brazil showed young faces such as Valeskinha, Marcelle, Sassá, Luciana and Paula Pequeno. Despite their age, the players showed courage for their new responsibilities. The team finished in fourth place in the competition. After that, the World Championship was the following challenge. In the tournament, the Brazilian players took seventh place. The most important fact was that the Brazilian setter Marcelle received the best setter award of the championship after recovering from a serious knee injury.
In the 2003 season, Brazil took the bronze medal in the Montreux Volley Masters and was seventh in the Grand Prix. After that, there was another change in the team when José Roberto Guimarães replaced Marco Aurélio Motta. In the same year, Brazil won the gold medal in the South American Championship and the silver medal in the World Cup, in Japan.
In the 2004 Grand Prix, after three weeks of qualification games, Brazil arrived in Italy to play the final against the Italian team. With the experience of Fernanda Venturini, Virna and Érika, Brazil won the final 3-1 and took its fourth title. Fernanda Venturini was elected the best setter of the competition. After that, the team finished fourth in the Olympic Games.
In the 2005 season, the Brazilian women won all their tournaments. The first gold came in the Courmayeur Championship, in Italy. After that, the first place in the Montreux Volley Masters, in Switzerland. The main title was the Grand Prix, where the team won its fifth title and Paula was chosen as the best player. Brazil also won the Qualification Tournament to the 2006 World Championship, the South American Championship and the World Grand Champions Cup.
In 2006, Brazil won the Montreux Volley Masters and the Courmayeur Championship. In the Italian competition, Fofão was elected the best setter and the MVP.
José Roberto Guimarães was born in Quintana, a city 500 km away from São Paulo. His career as a player started in 1967 playing for Randi Esporte in Santo André. This team changed its name to Aramaçan and later to Pirelli, in which Zé Roberto played as a setter from 1979 to 1982.
“Maybe that was what turned me into a coach. The setter is the player who keeps contact with the whole team. It is easier for him to get used to the attacking style of other players and this gives him a better vision of the game and creates a closer relationship between the setter and the coach”, explained Zé Roberto.
After Pirelli, the Brazilian head coach played for Olímpico (1982), Atlético Mineiro (1983), Paulistano (1984), Banespa (1985/86), Transbrasil (1987) and ended his career playing for Asbac (1988).
As a national team player, Zé Roberto won the gold medal in the South American Championship twice (1973 and 1975) and finished in seventh place in the Olympic Games of Montreal (1976).
In 1988, Zé Roberto started his career as a coach training Eletropaulo women’s team. In the following three years, he worked for Pão de Açúcar. Meanwhile (1989/90) Mr. Guimarães was the assistant coach of Mr. Bebeto de Freitas in the Brazilian men’s national team. In 1991, he started to coach the Youth and Junior categories.
In 1992 he achieved the most important title of his career: the gold medal at the Olympic Games of Barcelona, with the Brazilian men’s team. After that he kept on winning medals and good results: first place in the Top Four (Japan/1991); first place in the World League (Brazil/1993) and first in the South American Championship (1993); bronze medal in the World League (1994) and fifth place in the World Championship (Greece/1994); silver medal in the World League (1995), gold in the South American Championship (1995) and bronze in the World Cup (Japan/1995); third place in the World League (1996) and fifth in the Olympic Games of Atlanta (1996).
After finishing his cycle in the national team, Zé Roberto started to coach Banespa men’s team and won the gold medal in Superliga (Brazilian Championship) 1996/97. After that, he coached Dayvit, a women’s team, finishing the Superliga in fifth place. In the following season he worked as a volleyball and soccer manager.
Zé Roberto came back to volleyball in 2001 to coach BCN/Osasco and in the 2001/02 season finished the Superliga in second place.
In 2003 Zé Roberto started to work as the coach of the Brazilian women’s national team. In that same year he won the South American Championship and came second in the World Cup.