Galaxy of Olympic stars in 2016-17 Brazil Superleagues
A lot return from playing abroad in previous seasons, to boost the domestic competitions of Brazil.
Ten of Brazil's twelve men's Olympic champions are back in action next month including setter William Arjona and opposite Evandro Guerra with defending champions Sada Cruzeiro of Contagem and middle blocker Mauricio Souza with 2016 runners-up Brasil Kirin of Campinas.
Wallace, Mauricio Souza and Lipe work together on a monster block over France's Kevin Tillie at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The Brazilian stars will be back in action next month as the domesic Superleague kicks off.
But it's Sesi Sao Paulo that brings together the most Olympic Champions - setter Bruno Rezende, middle blocker Lucas Saatkamp, Rio 2016 MVP libero Serginho, and outside hitter Douglas Souza - as they attempt to regain the title they last won in 2011.
Funvic Taubate will also be fielding an impressive lineup of stars, including middle blocker Eder Carbonera, Rio 2016 top scorer opposite Wallace de Souza and outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli.
"We have a very balanced Superliga, with tough games and strong teams," said Wallace, who moved to Taubate after helping Sada Cruzeiro win the title last season. "We know it will not be easy, but I'm pretty excited now in a new team and we have everything to join the fight for the title."
In addition to the Olympic champions, the men's 2016-17 Superleague will also feature four foreigners - all Cubans. This includes top stars Robertlandy Simon alongside Yoandy Leal at Sada Cruzeiro, as well as Yordan Bisset who will play for Minas Tenis Clube making his first appearance of the season in a fortnight at the 2016 FIVB Club World Championship in Betim.
Despite Brazil's heartbreaking fifth-place finish at Rio 2016, the women's Superleague also features an impressive lineup of stars.
Juciely and Dani Lins celebrate together with Brazil at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, but will face off at opposite sides of the net as of next month in the Brazilian Superleague.
Defending champions Rexona-SESC of Rio de Janeiro will be fielding middle blocker Juciely Barreto and outside hitter Gabi Guimaraes, with the addition of Dutch Olympian Anne Buijs. They will be first tested at the 2016 FIVB Club World Championship next month in Manila.
But Volei Nestle of Osasco will be looking at usurping Rio with the help of Brazil setter Dani Lins, complemented by Rio 2016 silver medallist Tijana Malasevic and fellow-Serb international Ana Bjelica.
"Our team has changed from last season but we are preparing well," said Dani Lins, Olympic champion in London 2012. "We know it will not be easy. Many teams have strengthened and we have everything to have another good edition of Superliga."
But yet more foreigners give an international feel to the 2016-17 edition of the women's Superleague.
Three of Argentina's Rio 2016 Olympians will be playing across the border this season, including Mimi Sosa and Tanya Acosta who will play for Pinheiros Sao Paulo, and Tatiana Rizzo with Rio do Sul Equibrasil.
This is in addition to the two Dominican Republic stars Brenda Castillo and Prisilla Rivera who have moved to Brazil to play for Volei Bauru and USA's Alix Klineman and Cuba's Daimi Ramirez with Dentil Praia Clube of Uberlandia.