Year in Review: Brazil complete undefeated run to capture third World Cup title


Lausanne, Switzerland, December 30, 2019 – Rio 2016 Olympic champions Brazil proved that they are still a force to reckon with after completing an undefeated run to win the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Cup title – a feat that puts them into an elite class of teams with their third title victory in the history of the competition.

With so much talent and experience in the Brazilian team, Alan Souza and Yoandy Leal Hidalgo injected new energy to coach Renan Dal Zotto’s line-up.

The two wing spikers were Brazil’s two prolific scorers who tallied 165 and 146 markers in the team’s 11 total matches.

Brazil began their campaign in Nagano with two straight-set wins against Canada and Australia, then won in four sets against Egypt. They beat back-to-back VNL winners Russia in straight sets before they eluded Iran in a four-setter.

In Hiroshima, they came up with three straight 3-0 victories against Argentina, the United States and Tunisia. Their toughest opponents were Poland as they prevailed in a five-set encounter with the reigning world champions, then another tight finish in four sets against hosts Japan, before they completed the sweep with a straight set triumph against Italy.

Poland and the United States had an even win-loss record of nine wins and two losses, but the reigning world champions gained the silver medal finish with a slight edge of one point in the ranking than the North American team.

Hosts Japan also made an impressive performance in the tournament as they defeated eight teams and lost their matches to all three podium finishers. However, the positive display of their hitters Yuki Ishikawa and Yuji Nishida is something that puts a them in an upbeat perspective in the upcoming season when they host the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

Brazil’s sweep of the tournament rewarded individual efforts of Alan Souza, who snatched the Most Valuable Player award, while his teammates Lucas Saatkamp and Thales Hoss won the Best Middle Blocker and Best Libero awards, respectively.

Micah Christenson and Maxwell Holt also represented the United States well as they claimed Best Setter and Best Middle Blocker honours, respectively, while Poland’s Wilfredo Leon gained the Best Outside Spiker award together with Japan’s Ishikawa. The Best Opposite Spiker was awarded to Japan’s 19-year-old up-and-coming star Nishida.