When Bernardinho was announced as coach of the French volleyball team, the position seemed perfect for the Brazilian, who would assume a team of intermediate international level, but with the potential to fight at the top. Before he took the job, however, France surprised and became Olympic champions in Tokyo.
Thus, Bernardinho reached the position with the best team in the world. And his debut, at the European Championship, was a failure. After closing the qualifying phase with the best campaign, the French team was eliminated today (13) with a surprising defeat by 3 sets to 0 against the Czech Republic, in the round of 16.
The European, like the other continental championships being played after the Olympics, qualifies for next year’s Worlds, which will take place in Russia. But, in order not to run the risk of leaving out top teams, the Worlds only has champions and runners-up from each continent. The remaining 12 places are defined by the world ranking.
So, despite the elimination still in the round of 16, which leaves France out of the group of the top eight at the European Championship, Bernardinho’s team should qualify for the World Cup, because they are fourth in the ranking after the gold medal in Tokyo. Brazil leads the list and, in any case, qualified for the World Cup winning the South American.
The European is being played in parallel in two countries, Poland and the Czech Republic, with the final set to take place in Poland. In the bracket there, the quarterfinals will have Holland x Serbia, Poland x Russia. In the Czech key, Italy x Germany and Slovenia x Czech Republic.