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Alvaro Filho named as new partner of Ricardo

The new partnership - Alvaro and Ricardo (right)
Rio de Janeiro, 20 March, 2013 – Former Olympic champion Ricardo Santos will team up with Alvaro Filho for his 13th year on the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. The four-time Olympian was without a partner following Pedro Cunha’s retirement earlier in the year, but Alvaro has been promoted from the 15-man squad that trains at the Volleyball Development Centre.

The 22-year-old Alvaro comes with strong pedigree having won silver at the FIVB U21 World Championships in 2009 and 2010. He was victorious at the Brazilian U19 championships in 2008 and the U21 Brazilian championships in 2009 and 2010. Then on this year’s South American Tour he and Thiago won the Peru tournament. 

Despite being 16 years younger than the 38-year-old Ricardo, Alvaro is unfazed by playing alongside someone who has a complete set of Olympic medals, as well as gold from two FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships.

"I always wanted to play alongside Ricardo, who is an idol when it comes to beach volleyball,” Alvaro said. “From now on though I will have to look at him as my partner, it will be a novelty at first, but it is something I got used to when I played with other experienced athletes, such as Fabio Luiz and Benjamin.

“All my former partners have helped me get where I am. I want to thank Thiago, but this opportunity was vital for my development.”

Alvaro was only nine when Ricardo won the first of his three Olympics medals. He and Ze Mario claimed silver at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Four years on alongside Emanuel Rego in Athens he won gold and the pair then finished with the bronze at Beijing 2008.

He was unable to add a fourth medal at London 2012 when he and Cunha fell at the quarterfinal stage. It was their final tournament together and Ricardo then teamed up with Vitor Felipe at his most recent tournament, the Mazury Grand Slam in Stare Jablonki, Poland.

“Alvaro is an athlete who has grown massively on the national circuit and was voted best young player a few years ago,” Ricardo said. “He is a great defender and I think we have a lot of potential. Hopefully we will make a great pair.

“I am a little sad on one hand because Pedro has stopped, but happy on the other with this new partnership.”

It is a pairing endorsed by Brazil men’s head coach Leticia Pessoa, who added; “Alvaro has demonstrated his maturity and developed well. Ricardo wanted a younger partner and after talking it over, we decided on Alvaro.

“Ricardo is happy with the choice and happy about the team’s potential and of course Alvaro is happy. He grew up watching Ricardo winning titles and says it was his dream to be part of one of the top teams in the country.”

With the start of the 2013 World Tour coming soon, Brazil have selected both their male and female teams for a number of training camps in the coming weeks.
Male - Alison, Alvaro Filho, Brian, Bruno Schmidt, Daniel Lazzari, Edson Filipe, Emanuel, Evandro, Hevaldo, Leonardo Gomes, Oscar, Pedro Solberg, Ricardo, Thiago and Vitor Felipe.

Female - Agatha, Angela, Barbara Seixas, Carolina Solberg, Elize Maia, Lili, Maria Clara, Maria Elisa, Rebecca, Taiana and Talita.

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