Zé Roberto sees Brazil in the fight for the unprecedented title of the World Cup: “Team boring” | volleyball

The calm of the speech is opposed to the optimism of the look. In the midst of a renovation process, José Roberto Guimarães is excited. On the eve of the Women’s Volleyball World Cup, the coach avoids predictions, but is excited about the evolution of a renewed team. Although he points out other favorites, he sees Brazil in the fight. With chances, finally, to get out of the queue in search of an unprecedented title.

Brazil has never won the World Cup. Two-time Olympic champion, he has three silvers and one bronze in the history of the dispute. Zé Roberto, who still has an Olympic gold medal with the men’s team, is also looking for his first title in the competition. He, who came to believe that the 2018 World Cup, in Japan, would be his last, renewed his breath after silver in Tokyo and stayed. He stayed on to lead the change process towards Paris 2024.

Brazil debuts in the World Cup this Saturday, against the Czech Republic, at 15:30. The sportv2 broadcasts live, and the ge track everything in real time

+ Check out the complete table of the Volleyball World Cup
+ Brazil tests and trains with USA before World Cup debut

Zé Roberto Guimarães Volleyball Nations League — Photo: FIVB/Disclosure

The good performance of the new group in its first competition, in the League of Nations, supports the predictions. Silver in the dispute that opened the season, Brazil accredited to fight for the title. Zé Roberto sees other teams ahead, but does not rule out a dreamed-up gold.

– I think we have title chances. We have a boring team that fights, fights and bothers. I think we can get there, as it was in the League. It’s not surprising. It’s having a style of play that bothers opponents and that can fight against any team in the world. Against Italy, we need to evolve the blockade-defense system. Against the United States, match the volume of play. Serbia, with the entry of Boskovic, gets stronger. But it’s a game.

Coach José Roberto Guimarães talks about the renewal process of the women's team

Coach José Roberto Guimarães talks about the renewal process of the women’s team

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Italy, by Paola Egonu, is the biggest favorite in Zé Roberto’s accounts. The European team, champion of the League, has faced a process of evolution in recent years and arrives at the World Cup as a team to beat. The coach still lists other rivals, but sees the selection with chances to face.

– I think Italy is, today, the best team in the world. It’s on a different level. I’ve been following these girls since 2015. It’s a team that has already played two Olympics. Played a World Cup. It’s almost the same team that played in the Grand Prix final in 2017. I see Italy ahead. Serbia, with Boskovic, the United States always. China, without Zhu and Zhang, will suffer a little. But it also has a great team.

Coach José Roberto Guimarães evaluates Brazil's opponents in the first phase of the World Cup

Coach José Roberto Guimarães evaluates Brazil’s opponents in the first phase of the World Cup

But first of all, there are steps. Brazil is in group D of the World Cup. In the first phase, they face the Czech Republic, their debut opponent, in addition to Colombia, Argentina, Japan and China. The four best advance to the second stage, waiting for the crossing with the classifieds of group A, from Italy and Holland. A good campaign right off the bat is essential to the coach’s plans.

– My dream would be to reach a podium. But we know that the first phase will be very important. We have traditional opponents. The Czech Republic is the first team and the least we know about. But Argentina is a traditional opponent, they really want to beat us. And Colombia is not even mentioned, with (Antônio) Rizola as a coach, who is doing a great job. Then we have Japan and China. They are two Asians that we always have a hard time winning. We have to try to get through this phase well and then see the crossing.

We can even know 80% of what the intersection should be. Bet on who should leave the other group. But I can’t say because we haven’t passed yet.

— Zé Roberto, coach of the Brazilian national team

Although he is undergoing a process of renewal, Zé Roberto does not see Brazil free from pressure. The coach believes that the team will be in the same spotlight as soon as it takes to the court at the World Cup.

+ Brazil tests and trains with USA before debut

– I think there’s always pressure. Any championship you’re going to play. When the Worlds starts, we will put pressure on ourselves to fight for the title. We know that everything will depend on our beginnings, on our performances. We know that the team grows during the competition. That’s why the first phase will be so important.

Zé Roberto guides the team in the match against Serbia in the League of Nations — Photo: Wander Roberto/Inovafoto/CBV

After the League of Nations, the group got two weeks off before performing in Saquarema. During the training sessions, Zé Roberto saw a committed group and got excited. It’s the recipe for a good result at the World Cup.

– I notice that it is a generation that has a great desire to learn. To train, to dedicate yourself. And with good attitudes. They showed it in the League of Nations. In training, always with a lot of energy, with important attitudes. There is no lost ball, they believe until the last moment, with maximum effort. This is really cool.

Zé Roberto’s focus goes beyond the Worlds. The coach has the Paris Games as the main objective of the cycle. Although he predicts the group’s peak in a little less than two years, he believes in the importance of good results along the way.

– We have big goals. Do well in all competitions. But our biggest goal is the Paris Olympics. And the World Cup, where we have a chance if we play well and perform well.

About Abhishek Pratap

Food maven. Unapologetic travel fanatic. MCU's fan. Infuriatingly humble creator. Award-winning pop culture ninja.

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