There is no denying that Brazil’s female national team is one of the greatest volleyball teams ever. In all, it has won two Olympic golds (2008 and 2012) and a record 11 Grand Prix titles. Coach José Roberto Guimaraes’ greatness walks in unison with most of the team successes, as he was present in most of its titles. However, despite the team’s dominant play in recent memory, it has so fair failed to win a World Championship gold medal for its trophy room. It came close in 1994, 2006, and 2010 with silver medals, and 2014 with the bronze, but no cigar. Can Guimarães and the team finally get past its last volleyball barrier? The coach recently spoke to Globo.com on the matter:
“It’s something I’m concentrating on a lot, praying a lot. We have chances. We were close in 1994 with Bernardinho as head coach, in 2006, and 2010. Then in 2014, we came in third. Reaching a final is very important. But we need the title now. We know the way, which is arduous and long. But we have chances. I think we have to stick to all forms of motivation, training, planning, to get to that title that we do not have. They are all very focused on this. My motivation is very great. This team wants to do a great job, despite all of our difficulties. We, of course, want it very much, But I’d rather surrender things to God. Let’s play, do our best and then we’ll see.
I see the team thinking a lot about it day in and day out. They are talking a lot, training a lot, seeking their best. This gives me very great satisfaction. If I were seeing a team that was not motivated, thinking it would not win, it would reflect in the training. They want to fight. And if they believe they can do it, they have great chances. I think we’d love to win that title and say: “Well, we’ve won every possible title.” We know it will be difficult, but not impossible. You can not forget the past, but you need to focus on the present. Having a new opportunity to play in the World Championship is fantastic.”
Brazil will start its WCH quest against Puerto Rico on September 29. It will then go on to face the Dominican Republic, Kazakhstan, Kenya, and Serbia in Pool D play.