It’s no secret to anyone that if Brazil has any intentions at a deep run in the upcoming Men’s World Championship, then its ace outside hitter Ricardo Lucarelli better be in top shape. That much was clearly shown by his participation in Brazil’s gold run at the 2016 Olympic Games and 2017 Grand Champions Cup, the latter in which he received MVP honors.
However, the youngster is coming back from a very serious Achilles tendon injury. Although he is now clinically recovered from his surgery, and was called up by coach Renan Dal Zotto, his team, Taubaté, does not want him to participate in the tournament, as was exposed by Brazilian blogger Bruno Voloch:
We will meet next week with representatives from the national team to decide on Lucarelli’s participation with the squad. He has to undergo a very slow return to the courts. I don’t recommend him joining the team before we settle down some ground rules, as to not expose him to any other injuries. That is why the meeting is important, for us to align our goals from now on, always thinking of the greater good. The athlete must be thought of in first place, always.” – Taubaté’s team doctor Alexandre Paiva
Thus, the eternal struggles between clubs team and national teams go on. No club team likes to donate its player to national teams without any kind of compensation or insurance, as no player likes to put his/her future in jeopardy as well. Players are compensated from their clubs, and not national teams, as FIVB’s payouts are barely enough to cover the salaries of a middle-tier star. However, the other side of the coin is that domestic clubs profit a lot from the high-profile exposure international tournaments bring the sport of volleyball. Can this conflict one day reach middle ground?
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