Portuguese veteran Nuno Pinheiro returns to help lead World League side
Porto, Portugal, May 31, 2013 - Portuguese veteran Nuno Pinheiro has spoken of his excitement about returning to the international volleyball side after a five-year absence. Setter Pinheiro has not played for Portugal since 2008, but the man with 140 caps, who helped secure 8th place at the 2002 World Championship and 5th place in the FIVB 2005 World League, says that his comeback feels right.
“My comeback was natural, as it was something that we’ve been speaking for some time,” says Pinheiro, who has won league titles in Portugal, Belgium and France. “Fortunately this year, the conditions for me to help the national team were right. I have a simple objective, to help. This is a young group, still forming, and I will try to help them grow.”
“This group has quality and potential to be explored,” says the man who will be setting the Portugal attack. “Given the position I play, for me it’s a great challenge, as I have to play my game and help the team’s grow without crossing the line of what is asked by the coach, Flavio Gulinelli.”
Having won the French league championship with Tours VB, Pinheiro can end the season superbly. “The main objective is not the upcoming FIVB 2013 World League, but the 2014 World Championship Qualification set to January,” he says. ”This year’s competition will do to build a strong team to qualify for 2014. We’re taking things slow, to present the best team possible in January 2014.”
What can Portugal hope for in FIVB 2013 World League Pool C? “I believe that with this team and with the opponents that we’ll face, we’re left with few options,” he says. “Nevertheless, I believe we can perform well and put a good show on, especially at home.”
The side departed to Sofia, Bulgaria, for a training camp before their first match, in Finland on Friday at 16:30 (GMT).
Click here for more information on the World League.