Volleyball and its little brother, beach volleyball, are two extremely popular sports in Brazil.
Brazil have a good level of Olympic success in volleyball. The men´s team have won 3 Olympic gold medals whilst the women´s have won gold twice. Brazil has either won a gold or a silver medal at every Olympic beach volleyball tournament since it started in 1996.
The national teams are followed by a huge majority of Brazilians and are volleyball in Brazil is classified as ball sport number 2 in the country!
Volleyball and beach volleyball in Brazil
Volleyball, a sport loved by Brazilians
Just like football, volleyball in Brazil deserves its place in the heart of the Brazilian people because of its great international success: with three gold medals at the Olympic Games, two World Cups, three world championships and twenty-nine South – American championships, the national team is the pride of its supporters.
In addition, Brazil is currently positioned as the top nation in the official ranking of the International Volleyball Federation, the FIVB.
Brazil’s volleyball victory at the 2016 Olympic Games
The popularity of Volleyball in Brazil is enormous, especially as the last title of importance, the victory at the Olympic Games, was acquired “at home” in the charming Maracanazinho stadium of Rio de Janeiro in an indescribable festive atmosphere! The players were celebrated as they should, but even more, their coach became a true hero.
Bernardo Rocha de Rezende, nicknamed ” Bernardinho ” because of his relatively small size for an ex-volleyball player (6ft all the same!), has the advantage of having trained the women’s team in the eighties. He won thirteen South American championship titles before taking charge of the men’s team at the start of 2000, and having taken them to stratospheric levels, he is the volleyball coach with the best track record in the world!
As with Football or Formula 1, the party is massive during a volleyball match in Brazil. Each interruption gives the batucadas an opportunity to celebrate with the highest possible volume, the frenzy of the spectators not being left behind. All this is part of Brazilian culture: one expresses one’s feelings in an exuberant way, and what better field than sport to give free rein to one’s passion? Moreover, when music and dance join the party, passion pours into a fourth dimension so special to this country!
Brazil, the kingdom of beaches – ideal for beach volleyball!
Born in California in the twenties, beach volleyball could only be exported to Brazil, a sun-drenched country with 7500 kilometers of coastline, bordered by more extraordinary beaches than any other country.
Beach volleyball, a very popular sport on Brazilian beaches
This sport, which is practiced in teams of two players, was quickly established on the beaches of Rio de Janeiro where it met an immediate success. In fact, nothing is easier than planting two stakes and a net, and playing until under the sun until you are thirsty! Everyone plays beach volleyball, from the most humble to the most affluent.
The passion for this sport is comparable to that of football and it’s cool and sexy side – fits perfectly with Brazilian culture. Beach volleyball is practiced by about 15 million people and the country has a thousand clubs. Some practitioners even dare to admit that this game is better than football, in Brazil – that’s saying something!
On the strictly sporting side, the country had to wait until the nineties and the introduction of this discipline at the Olympic Games to shine on the international scene. The men’s teams have two gold medals (2004 and 2016) and the women’s one (1996), not counting silver and bronze, bringing the total number of medals to 13. Brazil is currently one of the best nations alongside the United States and Australia.
Brazilian beach volleyball, always on top!
At the recent Olympic games in Rio, beach volleyball could have been a total victory for Brazil. In the hot atmosphere of the bullring on Copacabana beach, the men’s team of two-time world champion Alison Cerutti and world champion Bruno Oscar Schmidt mimicked its counterparts in the Volleyball by winning gold at the expense of Italy. The women’s team, the 2015 World champions with Bárbara Seixas and Ágatha Bednarczuk, lost in the final against Germany.
But, the party was pushed to its climax by a raging audience singing in chorus the songs of carnival groups present at the top of the stands as soon as the opportunity was given to them, and the Brazilian beach volleyball proved that it remained at the top of the world.