The Brazilian Volleyball Federation has announced in its official Instagram page that Lipe Fonteles has decided to retire from Brazil’s national team after the conclusion of this year’s WCH. The 34-year-old Lipe has been with the team since 2005 and in addition to his two WCH silvers, he won gold at the 2016 Olympic Games.
Lipe played most of Brazil’s WCH campaign with an injured left elbow, a sacrifice he had to endure since the team was already missing its two starting outside hitters with injury. Still, he performed very well, giving the circumstances, specially at the scoring and receiving end, where it matters most for outside hitters. Most importantly, he acted as a mentor to Douglas Souza, only 23 years of age, and by far Brazil’s most important player in the competition.
Here is how Lipe broke the news to fans:
“First of all, thank you very much. It was a wonderful championship, a wonderful overcoming. We were happy with silver too, although we obviously we wanted gold. They were superior. We fought. Anyway, it is part of the sport to lose and admit when the other team was better, and today they were better. Kurek had an incredible game. Silver is worth a lot, another WCH final for Brazil. I’ll now be cheering for this generation of boys, who are stars and have shown that they will keep Brazil up there. I thank you for all this time, for all these years and I am very happy for all that we managed to win.”
Lipe will continue his club career with Sesi-SP as they will try to improve from its runner-ups campaign in last season’s Superliga.