The Brazilian men’s team go into the 2014 World Championship with high expectations, as they look to win a fourth consecutive title and tighten their stranglehold on the competition. Their 2002 world title, sealed with a win over Russia in the final, was their first in the tournament’s history after 20 years of near misses. In 1982 they lost 3-0 in the final to the Soviet Union, and over the following four editions finished either fourth of fifth. But having picked up their first win 12 years ago, Brazil have simply kept on winning. In 2006 they defeated Poland in the final, while four years ago in Italy they defeated Cuba.
One threat to Brazil’s dominance could be Russia, who have beaten them three times at major tournaments in the past two years, including the 2012 Olympic Games final in London. They will also be wary of the United States, who defeated them in the final of the 2014 World League.
Brazil’s recent success has been masterminded by the renowned Bernardo Rezende. Now in his 13th year as coach, he has led the team to eight World League titles, two World Cups (2003 and 2007), and Olympic gold in 2004. The team have also won every South American Championship since he took control in 2001. Before he took charge, Brazil’s finest moment was victory at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona.