Fabi retires from Brazilian women's volleyball
The 34-year-old double Olympic champion announced she would not play for the green and yellow team.
The libero will continue playing for Brazilian club side Unilever and will focus on personal projects, completing one of the longest and most victorious volleyball careers with the shirt of the Brazilian national team.
Fabiana 'Fabi' Oliveira won 275 games out of 313 played over 12 years of playing for Brazil, who will start the defence of their FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix title on August 1.
Amongst the major titles won by Fabi are two Olympic gold medals, six World Grand Prix titles, two World Championship silver medals, six South American crowns and one Pan-American Games trophy.
“It was a very difficult decision., I thought about it all last year and up to this moment,” she said. “I thought about what I had done in the national team. My relationship with the national team was the best wedding that could happen. After two Olympic medals I had a clear view of what I had achieved, being aware that it was nice that everything went well and I did everything I had to do. I contributed as best you can and leave a nice story. My mission was accomplished.
"This is the hardest time for the athlete to decide when to stop. Today I have been thinking about other things, like studying, and I see myself more within the selection. Starting today, I am a big supporter of that group. I leave friends and unforgettable moments. What I will miss most is the interaction with the group," Fabi said.
Coach Jose Roberto Guimaraes lamented the decision of the athlete, but made a point to thank Fabi for years of service to the Brazilian national team.
"We tried to change her decision because her story mixes with the history of this group,” he said. “She overcame many difficulties and obstacles for the player she is today. Her story is the commitment, dedication and resilience, especially in the most difficult moments of her career. We have to respect the choice and hope she is very happy. Nevertheless, what is important is the legacy and the example of a person and athlete that she gives for everyone. I know how much Fabi is loved and that will be greatly missed. I appreciate everything she did for the team."
The double Olympic champion Sheilla Castro also commented on Fabi’s decision.
"I did not expect her to make that decision this year, but I understand her choice. She talked about the decision and I understand the reasons. I'm sure she will be successful in what she chooses in her life."