The head coach of Brazil women’s team, José Roberto Guimarães, today announced, in Rio de Janeiro, the roster for this season, looking forward to the World Grand Prix, but mainly the Olympic Games that will be held in that city, in August.
Nineteen players were called by Zé Roberto, the only coach in history to win the Olympics with both men’s and women’s teams – Barcelona 1992 with the men, and Beijing 2008 and London 2012 with the girls. Only 12 athletes can be registered for the Olympics. Nine out of those twelve players that grabbed the gold in London made the list.
Brazil Women’s Roster
The squad announced today:
- Dani Lins*
- Fabíola Souza
- Naiane Rios
- Roberta Ratzke
- Sheilla Castro**
- Tandara Caixeta*
- Monique Pavão
- Fabiana Claudino**
- Thaisa Daher**
- Carol Silva
- Juciely Barreto
- Adenizia Ferreira*
- Camila Brait
- Leia Silva
*Olympic gold medalist in London 2012.
**Olympic gold medalist in Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The coach made an analysis of the volleyball scenario and also on the chances of the Brazilian team at the Olympics.
The main tournament Brazil will play before the Olympics is the World Grand Prix. The Brazilians, who have won this competition ten times, will make their debut on this season WGP on June 9, in Rio de Janeiro, against Italy. Then they will face Serbia and Japan in the same weekend. The second leg will be held in China, against Serbia, Belgium and the local squad. Third weekend will take place in Turkey, and Brazil will play Turkey, Belgium and Italy. The 2016 finals will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from July 6 to 10, with the host plus the five best teams.
Who will make the final cut?
With just four months until the Olympics (the women’s volleyball tournament starts on August 6), some names are certain to be seen among the twelve in Rio. Dani Lins, Sheilla Castro, Fabiana Claudino, Thaisa Daher, Fernanda Garay, Jaqueline Carvalho and Natália Zilio will be there for sure, unless some injury stops any of them.
It is quite probable fast Gabi Guimarães will be chosen as the fourth wing spiker, battling with Mari Paraíba, whose main asset is her passing/digging skills – something already covered by Garay and Jaqueline.
The fight for a place as the backup middle blocker will be fierce. Adenizia, Juciely and Carol will be battling – four years ago, the race between Juciely and Adenizia had the latter as a winner. It is hard to predict this one since the three players have the same level.
Brazilian fans remember Dani Lins and her outstanding performances in London from the quarterfinals to the gold medal match, and although she has had too many ups and downs in the last seasons, she is supposed to be the starter once again, as she was at the 2014 World Championship, when Brazil placed third.
Coach Zé Roberto created an odd situation here because of the backup setter. Last year, Fabíola, who was surprisingly cut from the team weeks before London Olympics, refused to play for the national team and months later got pregnant. Earlier this year the coach said he would wait for her until the last moment. She is eight-month pregnant now and will have only three months to get in shape, so Naiane or Roberta have some chances to make it.
Naiane, 21, is considered one of the most promising setters in Brazil in a long time, but lacks experience. Roberta, 25, was discovered by coach Bernardinho years ago in a project his club keeps. Usually a backup, she had a great moment this past Sunday, playing as a starter for the first time in a final for Rexona Ades, helping the team to reach their eleventh Brazilian title.
Camila Brait replaced world-famous Fabi Alvim as the main libero in the Brazilian national team. Fabi still plays in the club league, but said goodbye to Team Brazil after she grabbed her second Olympic gold in 2012. Camila has been the number one NT libero since then, but Leia, who recovers from a thigh strain, was the best in the position during Superliga.
Opposite Sheilla Castro is a volleyball icon. Twice-Olympic champion, she was crucial for Brazil comeback against Russia in London quarterfinals, scoring most of the points in tiebreak, in a game where the rivals had six match points. Hired by Turkey’s VakifBank she has barely played in the club season, having lost space to younger Dutch Lonneke Sloetjes. However, Zé Roberto keeps faith in Sheilla, saying today that she remains focused on the Olympics and emphasizing she has been following a physical training program.
Tandara made it to London as Sheilla’s substitute and should repeat it, once she is more powerful than Monique is. Coming back from a pregnancy, Tandara helped Camponesa/Minas to reach third place in Superliga. She told Volleyverse she is still four kilos above her ideal weight, but assured that losing them would not be a problem in the upcoming months.
The physical aspect is a crucial point for the Brazilian team, who will play at Maracanãzinho in August as one of the oldest squads. Paulo Coco, Zé Roberto’s assistant, told Volleyverse. Brazilian players need to focus on their physical condition.