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Nalbert expects Russia and Brazil to lead the way

 
Nalbert Bitencourt believes Russia and Brazil will continue their rivalry in 2014
 
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 22, 2014 - Olympic and world champion Nalbert Bitencourt expects Russia and Brazil to lead the way when the men’s best teams compete at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championships and FIVB World League this year.

"It is a new volleyball season, but I believe the favourites for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championships and FIVB World League will be the same teams we have seen take the top honours in recent years. 

"Brazil and Russia are the two who are ahead of the other teams, having consistently finished on top of the podium in recent years. Just behind them is a group of teams such as Italy, Bulgaria, USA, Serbia and Poland who have enjoyed a taste of success in various tournaments and want to repeat that feeling. 

"It would be great to see Cuba return to their previous level of excellence. If they include the players that play for foreign clubs, then I don’t see why they can’t become a very strong team. 

"Brazil have a very physically strong team and I believe it can be a great year for them, but I think Russia are playing at a slightly higher level for now. They have more technical players and more outside receivers with greater experience. I believe that this rivalry will continue in 2014, as the other countries haven’t yet reached Russia or Brazil’s level of play. Furthermore the more international titles Russia win, the more their confidence grows and their dominance of the past three years continues. 

"For Brazil, I hope that Lucarelli, Lucao and Wallace are able to use their skills to make the difference, and they will also look to the leadership of Bruno and the return of Murilo to help them defend their world title.

"When Russia play, the highlight is always the giant Dmitry Muserskiy and the way he goes on the attack, though he is one star in a team of great individual talents. Italy won bronze at the London 2012 Olympic Games and 2013 World League and much of that comes from the skill and guidance of Ivan Zaytsev.

"Then there is Tsvetan Sokolov from Bulgaria, the USA’s Matthew Anderson and Bartosz Kurek of Poland, who will be seeking to make their mark at the World Championships and World League. 

"For Kurek and his teammates, this year’s World Championships will be a truly special occasion as they host the biggest volleyball tournament in front of their family and friends.

"For any player the best thing is playing with a great crowd and in Poland the crowds are always fantastic. The fans there love volleyball and create an unbelievable party atmosphere. It will be a special time to be in Poland and I hope to be there."

Nalbert Bitencourt is one of the most decorated volleyball players ever. He helped Brazil win gold at the 2002 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championships, Athens 2004 Olympic Games and the 2003 FIVB Volleyball Mens’ World Cup. He also won three FIVB World League titles and was the first player to win senior, youth and junior world titles. 





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