Current Portuguese League runner up Benfinca has announced in its official website the signing of Brazilian volleyball world champion Theo Lopes to its roster. The 34-year-old 6’6″ opposite hitter is transferring out of Argentina’s Bolivar. He has also had professional stints in Italy and Japan. With Brazil’s national team, he was a World Champion in 2010, and also a World League and Grand Champions Cup in the same time span. In the 2011, he was chosen as the World League’s best attacker, but Brazil ultimately came out with the silver medal.
Here are Theo’s first words as a member of his new team:
“My first impression in these first three days since I’ve been here is really very good . It is a very large club, known worldwide and has a good structure . I am very happy with what I have seen and with the people I have already had contact with at the Club. My expectation are very high. Benfica is a very traditional club, very big. That attracted me . I also talked to several players who have already been here with the new coach, and they all told me very good things, both about the Club and about the city. It’s the ideal place. I hope to be at my best within my duties on the court. I try to bring motivation and always help the group, especially in difficult moments, giving encouragement.”
Benfica’s manager, Domingos Almeida, was likewise very excited:
“It is a pleasure for Sport Lisboa and Benfica to have in their volleyball team such a prominent international volleyball player. We hope Theo will help us recover the hegemony in volleyball, to regain the space we have lost. Theo knows that this team is only focused on winning and it is in this expectation that we had the happiness of hiring Theo. We are very satisfied and with a great hope that he will contribute to make the group very strong so we can achieve our goals.”
In addition to Theo, Benfica has also added former Brazilian national teamer Raphael Margarido and Austrian national Peter Wohlfahrtstätter to its roster.