Brazil’s women’s volleyball head coach Zé Roberto has named three players who will definitely be part of his official team selection for the postponed Tokyo Olympics. When asked who would be guaranteed a place at the Games, Zé Roberto said outside hitters Gabi Guimaraes and Natalia Pereira and opposite Tandara Caixa, assuming they are not injured.
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“Gabi is one of the best passers in the world right now,” said the three-time Olympic champion coach.
Her transitory rate in the Turkish League was over 80 percent, which is really imposing, and when you have a player execution so well at the international level, she’s surely part of your side. Natalia and Tandara, too, are players who have showed what they can do at the international level and they will surely be in Tokyo Olympic if they are healthy and in good form.
Zé Roberto also mentioned 33-year-old middle-blocker Thaisa Menezes as one of the players he would like to have on his team. However, the two-time Olympic champion has not been part of the national side since the 2018 International Volleyball Federation World Championship.
Having had a stellar season in the Brazilian Superliga, she has not closed the door on a national team comeback, but also stressed that she would not make a decision until the end of the next club season, which she will play with Itambe Minas.
She has recovered from a really serious knee injury and had a wonderful club season in the Superliga, added Zé Roberto. Minas has occupied great care of her and she’s in great form and substantially very stout. In my belief, she’s the best middle blocker in the world, so I’d clearly love to have her.
Zé Roberto is heading into his seventh Olympics and has said his job has not been made easier due to a difficult selection process. There are some players who are more obvious as they’ve been with the team for some years and have been playing key roles for us, the 66-year-old added. Nonetheless, it’s very problematic to get to the final assortment of 12 names that go to the Olympic 2020 games.
I jerk with a higher list with 60 players or so and go from there. There are always starts for players who do well in their bats and show they can have a big influence in the national side, so the next months will be significant concerning the final choices I still need to make.
Brazil will look to bounce back from their disappointment at Rio 2016, when the reigning champions were knocked out on their home turf in the quarter-finals by China. Zé Roberto coached the women to Olympic gold at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, and did the same with the men at Barcelona 1992.