Twelve different countries have appeared in the final of an FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship over the first 19 editions of the tournament, and all 24 teams competing from August 26 to September 11 in Poland and Slovenia will of course be looking to do at least as well.
A record on the horizon for Brazil
The South Americans could become just the second team to make it to six consecutive World Championship finals
Published 09:15, 25 Aug 2022
For three-time champions Brazil, however, advancing all the way to the last day of the tournament would mean they match one of the longest-standing records in the event.
Five editions of the Men's World Championship have been played since the turn of the century, and Brazil have appeared in all of the finals. The South Americans won gold in 2002, 2006 and 2010 and took silver in 2014 and 2018, becoming just the second nation to appear in five consecutive finals.
If they have another successful run this year, the Brazilians could repeat what Czechoslovakia were able to do in the very early days of the tournament. The Europeans made it to the final of the first six editions of the World Championship, defeating Romania to claim gold in 1956 and 1966 and falling to the Soviet Union in 1949, 1952, 1960 and 1962.
A successful campaign at the World Championship would also help Brazil make up for some inconsistency over the last 12 months.
After their victory at the Volleyball Nations League 2021, the Brazilians finished fourth in Tokyo, failing to win a medal at the Olympics for the first time since Sydney 2000. This year too, they were not able to defend their VNL title, falling to the United States in the quarterfinals.
“We’re going through a transition moment, but we’re confident we’re going to fight for the World Championship title,” head coach Renan Dal Zotto said. “We had ups and downs during the VNL and, for a number of reasons, ended up falling in the quarterfinals to an American team that improved a lot during the tournament. There’s some pressure, of course, but that only makes us work harder.”
Setter and team captain Bruno Rezende and middle blocker Lucas Saatkamp, who both played in the last three World Championship gold medal matches, will rely on the return of another veteran to the team.
Less than a year after he announced his international retirement, Wallace de Souza will provide another option at the opposite position, to compensate for Alan Souza's absence due to injury.
The Brazilian squad will also include setter Fernando ‘Cachopa’ Kreling, opposites Darlan Souza and Felipe Roque, outside hitters Ricardo Lucarelli, Yoandy Leal, Rodrigo ‘Rodriguinho’ Leao and Adriano Xavier, middle blockers Flavio Gualberto and Leandro ‘Aracaju’ Santos and liberos Thales Hoss and Maique Nascimento.
“The goal is to return to where we were between 2017 and 2020,” Renan added. “We know we won’t win every single tournament, but we want to be in every final and to compete against anyone. We will always be among the favourites, that’s what people expect from us.”
Brazil will play the opening match of the World Championship against Cuba, their opponents in the 2010 final, on August 26 at 11:00 local time / 9:00 GMT. Their other matches in Pool B will be against Japan on August 28 and against Qatar on August 30.