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July 31, 2007
Brazil also has a 'dream team'

Team Brazil at the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at the Peace and Friendship Stadium part of the Faliro Coastal Zone Olympic Complex in Athens, Greece. Brazil defeated Italy to win the gold. (Photo by Adam Pretty/Getty Images)
Men’s volleyball team thrills supporters and wins unprecedented title
By Vicente Dattoli
RIO DE JANEIRO, July 31, 2007 -  Our dream team.  The sentence, proudly written on a page, is a good reflection of the feeling that has taken over the Brazilian supporters of the men’s national volleyball team.
Last Saturday July 28, the team lead by coach Bernardinho won another title - the only one missing since he took over command, in 2001. This time, the victim was the American team, which, as well as all the other teams that played against Brazil in the Pan American Games, was defeated by 3 sets to nil (partials of 25/16, 25/20 and 25/22), in a match that took less than an hour.
Since Bernardo Rezende, known as Bernardinho, took over the lead, the Brazilian men’s volleyball team has achieved 16 titles, including, among others, the gold medal in the Olympic Games (Athens/04), 6 World Leagues (01/03/04/05/06/07, only loosing in Brazil in 2002) and 2 World  Championships (Argentina, 2002; and Japan, 2006).
The one they hadn’t won yet, though, was the elusive gold medal in the Pan American Games, which they lost in 2003, in San Domingo. And it was acquired precisely at home, before a crowded  Maracanăzinho, to the great excitement of the almost 20 thousand supporters present in the gymnasium that evening.
“Our group really needed this medal. We’d already won everywhere else in the world, except in Brazil. This victory is for all of you,” said captain Giba, moments after the winning match, still in the court of the renovated gymnasium, to the joy of supporters who faced an evening of exceptional cold and rain to watch their dream team play. And it was not an overstatement of Brazil’s number 7 t-shirt, responsible
for 18 points of his team in the final match. After all, in the Pan American Games of San Domingo Brazil’s dream team recorded their worst results ever since 2001 – a bronze medal.
Although, judging from the results, the achievement seems to have been quite easy, the Brazilian team went through hard times in the beginning of preparation for the Games. Having just won the World League title, Bernardinho ended up dismissing the setter Ricardinho for the continental tournament. Considered the best player in that competition Ricardinho’s place was taken by Bernardinho’s son, Bruno Rezende. “These last few days I’ve been called arrogant and even breren accused of nepotism. If what I did had been that absurd, the team wouldn’t have maintained the level of performance they did,” the coach revealed after the medal.
This year Brazil still must play the Cup of America, in Manaus (Brazil), in August; the South American Championship, in Chile, in September and the World Cup, in November, in Japan. The priority, naturally, is the intercontinental competition, which ensures a place in the Olympic Games of Beijing/08. But until then the Brazilian dream team has other achievements ahead, to the happiness of their loving supporters.
BRAZILIAN CAMPAIGN IN THE PAN AMERICAN GAMES
3 x 0 Canada (25/19, 25/18 e 25/17)
3 x 0 Cuba (25/23, 25/20 e 25/20)
3 x 0 Mexico (25/17, 25/23 e 25/21)
3 x 0 Venezuela (30/28, 25/18 e 25/16)
3 x 0 the USA (25/16, 25/20 e 25/22)
FINAL RESULTS
Gold                Brazil
Silver               United States
Bronze             Cuba
4th Venezuela, 5th Puerto Rico, 6th Argentina, 7th Canada, 8th Mexico
MVP               Giba (Bra)
Best scorer      Hector Soto (Pur)
Best setter       Marcelinho (Bra)
Best libero      Serginho (Bra)
Best receiver   Serginho (Bra)
Best blocker    Roberlandy Simon (Cub)
Best server      Thomas Delano (USA)
Best digger       Gregory Berrios (Pur)
              
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