Brazilian players start 2013 with new national team concept
Emanuel, 39, is back for an incredible 20th season of international beach volleyball. Since playing his first tournaments in 1993/94, the most experienced player on the World Tour has played some 225 international events. The 38-year-old Ricardo, who played with Emanuel from 2002 until 2009, is starting his 18th season.
Under a new system of national teams established by Brazilian Volleyball Federation, the country’s top beach volleyball players will all practice together. Leticia and her staff will decide what the team compositions will be for each competition, including the FIVB World Tour and the South American Tour.
The rest of the male group of 16 is made up of familiar faces Thiago Barbosa, Alison Cerutti, Pedro Cunha, Bruno Schmidt, Pedro Solberg and Hevaldo Sabino, along with Vitor Felipe, Edson Filipe, Álvaro Filho, Evandro Junior, Brian Charles, Daniel Souza, Daniel Lazzari and Leonardo Gomes. Changes might still be made during the season.
Emanuel praised the new system, and the potential for improvement it can bring Brazil’s players.
“The creation of a National Team was necessary, looking at the international scenario,” said Emanuel. “I believe this will be a very important change that will help Brazil to keep its hegemony. During my career, I have been through several training systems and being part of a National Team is really motivating. Each player has to be at his best all the time.”
The women’s team, coached by Marcos Miranda, will practice for the first time on January 21. Neither Larissa França, who had announced her withdrawal from the Tour late in 2012, nor her partner Juliana Felisberta Da Silva have joined the 2013 team. The seven-time Tour champions leave Talita and Antonelli, who finished the 2012 World Tour ranked third behind Larissa/Juliana and Chen Xue/Zhang Xi, to take over as the senior members of an impressive group that also includes Angela Vieira, Lili Maestrini, Bárbara Seixas, Elize Maia Secomandi, Taiana Lima, and the Salgado sisters Carolina and Maria Clara. Carolina is back after taking 2012 off to have a baby.
The final player trying her luck on the 2013 National Team is Rebecca Silva, who is looking to make her first foray onto the World Tour fresh from winning silver at the 2012 FIVB SWATCH Junior World Championships alongside Drussyla Costa.
“The creation of a Beach Volleyball National Team means that now we have, for the first time ever in Brazil, the best players working in the best structure,” said coach Leticia. “Beach volleyball has a lot of room to improve with the support offered by the Federation – especially the youngest, who do not have the means to afford a top-level training structure on their own. Our goal is to earn two Olympic medals in Rio de Janeiro.”