‘Thermometer’ of Olympic volleyball teams

‘Thermometer’ of Olympic volleyball teams
‘Thermometer’ of Olympic volleyball teams

As a good volleyball fan and a slightly anxious person, I enjoy overthinking things ahead of time. And as the saying goes, ‘Paris is right there’, so what would be better than thinking about the Olympic teams, with names that will, can or should appear in Bernardinho and José Roberto Guimarães’ squads?

Challenged by the dear Guilherme Costa, one of my greatest references in Olympic journalism, I bring a ‘thermometer’ of the volleyball teams, with whom I believe will wear the Brazilian shirt in Paris.

Remembering that, as these are the Olympic Games, the list is reduced, with 12 names, which makes the ‘joke’ more difficult. I tried to maintain each coach’s style in relation to the positions called, based on the last calls, without addressing athletes who have publicly declared that they have no interest in returning to the national teamsuch as Camila Brait, Wallace and Douglas Souza.

Women’s team

The women’s team is a little easier to name names of players who I believe are guaranteed to be present. Firstly because some players are performing at a high level, and secondly, because Zé Roberto has been at the head of the group for longer, making the job of trying to ‘read the commander’s mind’ easier.

Correctly called up: Macris, Gabi, Ana Cristina, Thaisa, Roberta, Carol, Rosamaria, Kisy and Julia Bergmann

Gabi and Ana Cristina need no introduction. The captain is one of the main players in the world in recent years, as well as being one of the best passers. The team needs Gabi. Aninha is one of the main jewels and returned from injury at a very high level. At 19 years old, she already has extensive international experience in the national team and has just won the Turkish Cup with Fenerbahçe, as well as an eye-catching height (1.93m).

Macris and Roberta remain a shelf above the other Brazilian setters, and to complement, the third option, Naiane, did not have a good season at Praia Clube. Macris, in addition to having gone to play with Zé Roberto at THY (no wonder, obviously), still has an incomparable vision of the game, and if she is physically recovered, she just won’t go on the court if she doesn’t want to. Kisy is campaigning to defend the title of Superliga MVP and should not be left out of the plans.

Probable players: Diana, Julia Kudiess, Nyeme, Natinha, Lorenne and Pri Daroit

If I were Zé Roberto, I would be losing sleep over two position disputes: central defenders Julia Kudiess and Diana, and liberos Nyeme and Natinha. Brazil has the habit of taking only three central defenders, and with Thaisa and Carol certain, there is one place left for two young stars. Diana didn’t go to Turkey to play with Zé at THY for no reason, but Julia Kudiess took over as Minas’ starter with mastery. The VNL will be essential to define who gets this vacancy.

The liberos fight is also good. Both are doing well in the last cycle with the coach, who has already publicly expressed his displeasure with the rule of only being able to register one libero in the Olympics. For me, Nyeme makes the final stretch of the Superliga a little more consistent in defense, and I like the style of play introduced by Nicola Negro of encouraging lifts in moments of non-ideal passing, but I don’t know if José Roberto Guimarães has the same opinion. Whoever is called up will be a good piece on defense.

New names: Helena Wenk, Luzia Nezzo

With the companies consolidated at a high level, I think it is difficult for Zé Roberto to bet on a new name, but, if he decides to do so, it will probably be a tip. Helena is a good name if the coach really wants to take a ‘new girl’ to gain experience, as he did with Ana Cristina in Tokyo. The girl is 1.99m tall and has been standing out with Bernardinho at Sesc Flamengo.

May surprise: Carol Gattaz, Lorrayna

I put Carol Gattaz in this category because she is not exactly a new name, but I believe that, for this Olympics, she is still out there. It’s true that she still plays at a high level and her leadership on the court is unparalleled, but the unfortunate injury delayed her dream of a second Olympic medal. After returning, Gattaz barely played for Minas and, today, the central position is one of the deepest in women’s volleyball. Lorrayna is another discreet name who, if given the opportunity in the VNL, could appear on the short list. Explosive and with high range, she comes from two seasons in Italy, where she accumulated international experience.

Men’s team

More expected than Bernardinho’s return to head the coaching staff, just his call-up. With the commander, the squad gains experience and tactics, but the time he was away makes this ‘foresight’ exercise much more difficult. What Bernardinho will we have in 2024?

Unlike the women’s team, the men’s team was much more complicated to name the right names. Not because of a lack of talent, but because we have names that I believe have been ‘asking for passage’ for some time, who could appear on the list, at the same time that Bernardinho could go the more traditional route and take names that he has already known and worked with for longer. Let’s go:

Correctly called up: Cachopa, Lucarelli, Bruninho, Leal, Darlan and Flávio

Bruninho’s cycle was one of ups and downs, yet I believe that the setter still has a confirmed presence on the list. Cachopa, however, could be ahead of the captain currently, mainly to work on the ends. Lucarelli is still one of the main scorers, in attack, serving and passing. Loyal, if he’s healthy, he doesn’t lose space in the group.

Darlan needs to be on that list. It’s true that he’s still a kid (19 years old), but he’s been playing at such a high level that it’s impossible to ignore that he’s already earned his place in Paris. In the Pre-Olympic he gave the name and was one of the main responsible for Brazil’s place in the tournament.

Probable squad members: Alan, Felipe Roque, Maique, Thales, Lucão

There are many opposites that can appear, and to complement Darlan, I would bet on his brother Alan, who is coming off a great season in Poland, a very high level tournament. Here on this side of the world, Roque also comes from dominant performances.

The big doubt for many years is among the liberos. Maique, today, is the best in Brazil, but Thales comes from constant calls and consistent performances. It’s difficult to say which path Bernardinho will follow here, but, if I were in charge of the drawing board, he would have put the green-and-yellow shirt on the Itambé Minas libero much longer ago.

New names: Arthur Bento, Judson, Cledenilson

Judson is an excellent name among central defenders. He had two very consistent seasons in the Superliga and when he was called up to the national team he lived up to the task, even though he had few opportunities with Renan. Depending on the VNL, the young man from Suzano could appear on the Olympic list. Arthur Bento was unfortunate with two consecutive injuries, but returned at a high level. He is only 19 years old, has good height (2.08m) and experience in the youth teams. If it has a good VNL, it could be an interesting name among pointers, like the traditional ‘new’ name that technicians usually carry.

Cledenilson is discreet and solid. He took over at Sada Cruzeiro and did the job. He can fill the spot that was previously occupied by Otávio, his teammate.

Could surprise: Lukas Bergmann, Abouba

Lukas Bergmann had a ‘shy’ performance last year, although solid, but this year he arrived flying for Sesi Bauru. He is a good name to be investigated and prepared for future calls, as is Arthur Bento.

The experienced Abouba is a name that deserves to at least be considered. He has already had important stints with the national team, including last year, even with very little chance of having a follow-up with Renan. Abouba’s ‘bad luck’ (and the fans’ luck) is that today there are many opposite sides playing at a high level and the fight for places will be fierce.

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The article is in Portuguese

Tags: Thermometer Olympic volleyball teams



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