For the first time in many years, the setter Bruninho was not a starter in decisive games of a tournament for the Brazilian men’s volleyball team. In the world championship, which ended last week – Brazil won the bronze medal –, Cachopa, who usually only entered the inversions, took the title.
It is a novelty in the captain’s victorious career. He was always a protagonist in the teams he played and also with hopscotch.
Bruninho during the World Cup — Photo: Disclosure
Bruninho still has many years of high performance ahead of him, but it is normal and necessary for Brazilian volleyball that, little by little, he passes the baton to someone younger. That’s how it came about, replacing established names like Ricardinho and Marcelinho. Everyone remembers the pressure suffered by being the son of coach Bernardinho.
It’s strange to see Bruninho outside the court, but it was interesting to see his behavior and the way he contributed to the team in another perspective. Many athletes when they are not protagonists or lose the title change their focus and collective commitment. In all sports, we see these situations and we have good examples. Filipe Luís, left-back for Flamengo, gave an excellent interview talking about this recently. It’s not that simple, this change of status, but Bruninho showed that it can be important in another way.
+ Bruninho celebrates the world bronze: “I’m very proud”
In addition to always talking to Cachopa, usually pointing out the positioning of the opponents’ blocking, he served as an assistant to Renan Dal Zotto. After a rally at the end of the first set against Poland, he insisted with the Brazilian coach to ask for a challenge. No one had seen a tap on the lock. Just him. And Brazil took the point and the set.
Example, posture and respect he learned at home. The Mossa Rezende of his surname – from Vera and Bernardo – endowed him not only with an enormous talent for playing volleyball, but also with an exemplary set of ethical norms and behavior.
Leal on the other side of the net, against Brazil by Bruninho and Lucão — Photo: Getty Images
+ Bruninho drops third place trophy and goes viral on the web
I’ve known Bruno since the day he arrived in Florianópolis. He was just 17 years old. I went to pick him up at the airport. He was a boy who dreamed of playing volleyball, still a little shy, but with personality. I play with him to this day for calling me “your Chico” when he saw me in the arrivals hall. He and I did not suspect that this would be the first day of a huge and brilliant career.
Maybe I’m a little suspicious, and I really am, but I consider Bruninho one of the main athletes in Brazilian sport in the last 15 years. He won all the titles possible, in the national team and in clubs, and he will celebrate even more.
When he stops, he will leave not only the image of a great player inside a volleyball court, but also of someone who knew how to overcome obstacles, reach the top with determination and a lot of sweat and have respect and professionalism as non-negotiable bases.