If Bruno Rezende were to present his resume to recruiters, it would take them a while to read through his impressive list of achievements. Be it with the Brazilian national team or with the clubs he has represented so far, the 35-year-old setter has won all of the major volleyball tournaments in reach at least once.
Winning never gets old for Bruno
Bruno Rezende stars in one of the most successful careers in volleyball
Published 09:30, 18 Nov 2021
At a club level, his winning cycle was completed – at least for now – at the end of 2019, when he captained Italy’s Cucine Lube Civitanova to victory at the FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship, adding yet another jewel to his crown.
But, after a brief return to his native Brazil, he is back in Italy, distributing the play at Leo Shoes PerkinElmer Modena.
"It was special," he said shortly after lifting the world trophy with Lube two years ago. "I tried to approach the tournament as naturally as possible, but it was different, I knew it was the only title I was missing."
The victory with the Italian powerhouse in Contagem highlighted a successful club career built over the last 17 years in Brazil and Italy. In his home country, where he starred for five different teams, Bruno collected six titles from the Superliga and one each from the Brazilian Cup, the Brazilian Super Cup, the Trofeu Volei Brasil and the South American Club Championship.
And most recently, he was named both Best Setter and MVP at the 2021 South American Championship as he led Brazil to the title and a ticket to the 2022 FIVB World Championship in Russia.
The setter is now in his fourth stint in Italy – three (including this year's) with Modena and one with Lube. He returned home at the end of the 2019-2020 season with two victories in the Italian League, three in the Italian Cup, one in the Italian SuperCup and one in the CEV European Champions League.
"He's one of the best volleyball players ever, a very good friend of mine and an amazing person," said Serbian outside hitter Uros Kovacevic, who previously played with Bruno at Modena. "We had an amazing three years together in Modena and I learned a lot from him."
Bruno has also had that sort of positive influence on his Brazil teammates. A four-time Olympian, he has brought a medal back home on three occasions, claiming gold at the Rio 2016 Games and silver at Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The son of former players Bernardo 'Bernardinho' Rezende and Vera Mossa, his trajectory with his country's national team is literally packed with victories and includes golds at the 2010 FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship, the 2007 and 2019 editions of the FIVB Volleyball World Cup, the 2009, 2013 and 2017 editions of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup, the 2006, 2007, 2009 and 2010 FIVB Volleyball World Leagues, the 2007 and 2011 Pan-American Games and the 2007, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017 South American Championships - and, most recently, the 2021 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
More than a key player, Bruninho has been a true leader for the South American side and has always been an influential voice in the team’s locker room. His role grew after the London 2012 Games, when most of the players who had been part of the country’s Athens 2004 Olympic champion squad retired from the international game.
"The team was gradually being renovated and after London, I was among the ones with the most experience, so I believe that’s when my role as a leader became more prominent in a certain way," he told Volleyball World. "But we always had a shared leadership system within the national team. We have several players who are leaders and each of us does it in our own way to help the team."
"If I had to pick a specific moment in which I believe my leadership was stronger, I’d say it was during the Rio Olympics. It was a very tense and challenging tournament for all of us and I tried to make sure we were all sticking together and remained motivated and confident even in the most difficult moments."
Brazil's home victory at the Rio 2016 Olympics is the most remarkable moment of Bruno's victorious career.
That tournament, by the way, was the one Bruno picked as the most meaningful moment of his career in the last decade. The victory in front of his home fans at the Maracanazinho, when he also received the best setter award, left a mark on the Brazilian player, but he hopes there’s still a lot more to play for and to win as his career continues.
"That was certainly my most memorable moment in the last decade," he said. "Our team had been in big moments before, but to get that kind of recognition and excitement in our country, it was just different. But it hasn’t slowed me down or reduced my passion for working and my desire to win. I'm still as hungry and motivated as I was when I first started playing."
After all, winning never gets old for Bruno.