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Brazil and Italy prepare for showdown in Jaraguá do Sul

Brazil play Italy at the Arena Jaraguá on Friday and Saturday. The second match will feature as the FIVB's Match of the Week.
Santa Catarina, Brazil, May 22, 2014 - Brazil and Italy have arrived in Jaraguá do Sul. On Wednesday, both teams held training sessions at the Arena Jaraguá, where Brazil play hosts to Italy for their first two matches of FIVB World League 2014.

Hosts Brazil, who have won a record nine titles, will take on eight-time winners Italy at 14.45 local time on Friday, May 23. The second duel between the two teams will begin at 10.10 local time on May 24.

Brazil's legendary head coach Bernardo Rezende talked about his team's responsibility, ahead of its first game of the season at home.

"We have nine titles of the FIVB World League and this is a lot," said Bernardino. "However, people are always thinking of the next title. We are not the main favourites, but we have what it takes to fight for the title in all competitions that we play. We will have three strong opponents in the Intercontinental round that are Italy, Poland and Iran. We will have a lot of difficulties to overcome this week in Jaraguá do Sul."

Brazilian captain and setter Bruno Rezende, who is playing his 11th edition of the FIVB Volleyball World League, talked about the tradition of volleyball in Italy.

"Italy is a team that is always on the podium at the international competitions," Bruno said. "It is a team with a lot of tradition and we have a lot of respect for them. Italy has a young and talented team with strong serve and attack."

Italy is under the leadership of wing spiker Ivan Zaytsev, who was the top scorer in the 2013 Intercontinental Round with 215 points. Setter Dragan Travica also arrived with a lot of motivation for the 2014 FIVB Volleyball World League, after helping Belogorie Belgorod win the title at the FIVB Volleyball Men´s Club World Championship.

Brazil and Italy have won 17 of the 24 titles on offer to date and they are the only teams to have played in the 24 editions of the FIVB World League.

Click here for more information about the FIVB World League. The match schedule is available here. Intercontinental round matches begin on Friday.

Live streaming of the second match is available here.


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