Brazil has been the South
American No. 1 power since 1951 when they won the
continent's championship for the first time. A
winning streak of 24 consecutive titles has
continued onto the international scene.
Brazil ended a spellbinding 2003 season ranked as
the world’s best Volleyball team having won both the
World League in Spain and the World Cup in Japan.
Now in 2004 they enter the Olympic Games with their
World League title successfully defended in Italy in
The country's Volleyball excellence, however, has a
far greater reach. The Brazilians, who competed at
their first World Championship in 1956 finishing
11th, have been among the world's best leading
Volleyball nations since 1978. At the 1982 Worlds in
Argentina, they won the silver medal,then finished
fourth three times in a row in France, 1986, Brazil,
1990, and 1998 in Japan before finally collecting
gold for the first time in Argentina in 2002 when
they beat Russia 3-2 in a nail-biting final.
The team put on an outstanding performance there as
a complete unit, but also had its stars, among them
Andre Nascimento who was awarded the best spiker of
the tournament and Maurico Lima who was named the
best setter. The World Championship victory was yet
another prize for Brazil's impressive collection of
major international titles.
In 1992, Brazil won the Olympic tournament in
Barcelona after they had also won the silver medal
earlier in Los Angeles in 1984. They also have an
impressive record at the World Cup having only
missed one tournament – the first in 1965 – and
collecting gold last year and two bronze medals in
1981 and 1995 in the process.
Brazil is also one of the countries to have
participated in all editions of the prestigious
World League tournament. Head coach Bernardo "Bernardinho"
Rezende, who took over the national squad in 2001,
led Brazil to victory in the competition in the same
year and in 2003 and 2004.
As World Championship winners, World Cup and World
League title holders Brazil are definitely one of
the favourites going into the
2004 Olympic Games.