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Volleyball pays tribute to Bebeto

Lausanne, Switzerland, March 14, 2018 – The volleyball world has been paying tribute to coach Paulo Roberto ‘Bebeto’ De Freitas, who died aged 68 on March 13. 

Bebeto died of a heart attack shortly after attending a news conference for Atletico Miniero, the soccer club for whom he worked.

The club said in a statement that he died after feeling chest pains at the club's training ground in Belo Horizonte. Bebeto was taken to a hospital by helicopter but could not be revived.

He played in the Munich 1972 and Montreal 1976 Olympic Games during his times as a player, but enjoyed greater success as a coach most notably when he led Brazil to their first Olympic medal when they won silver at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.

Bebeto coached Brazil at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games, where they finished fourth and then moved to Italy to coach Pallavollo Parma, a position he held for six years. 

In Parma Bebeto led his team to two Italian titles, one Italian Cup and two CEV Cups. His success was the springboard to being appointed as head coach of the Italy team and he continued his run of success with gold at the Japan 1998 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship, gold at the 1997 FIVB Volleyball World League and bronze at the European Championship. 

After he returned to Brazil he moved into football, but was recognised for his work in volleyball by being named to the Volleyball Hall of Fame. 


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