Brazil’s men’s national team has a special helper during its preparation for this year’s WCH. Tomohiko Sakanashi, a former professional libero, has joined the team’s technical staff for free in exchange of experience and learning opportunities. The now retired 30-year-old libero spent all of his professional career in the Japanese league, most recently with Sakai Blazer. He was a staple in Japan’s youth national teams in the early 2000’s, even playing at the 2007 U21 WCH, in which Wallace Souza, now in the senior team, guided Brazil to a gold medal.
Sakanashi arrived in Brazil in June and has since then done internships in top men’s clubs such as Minas and Cruzeiro, before also spending a few days with Brazil’s youth teams. He started working with the senior squad in July.
Like any tourist, Sakanashi is excited about visiting the country’s landmarks and is filling up his Instagram account with memories:
“A former coach who worked with me in Japan helped me. He said I should learn more about volleyball in Brazil and made the contacts. Rio de Janeiro is very cool. The food is good, the people are good, cool banter. It is my first time in Brazil. I do not like money, I want to learn and help the Brazilian team. Every day, I learn something new.”
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2018.8.8 ベルナルジーニョ監督と再会！ 彼はオリンピックのメダルを6個も獲得している、言わば世界一の監督である。 今日はブラジル代表の練習を見に来られていました！ 練習も、今週に入ってより一層緊張感が増しており、選手は高い集中力を維持しながら毎日ハードな練習を行っています。 自分も更に気を引き締めて頑張ろう！！ Eu me encontrei com Bernardinho hoje‼︎ Fiquei muito feliz👍✨ #cbv #brasil #vôlei #saquarema #レゼンデ監督 #世界一の名将 #実は #とても気さくで面白い人 #チームブラジルは #世界選手権へ向けて #エンジン全開