Venezuela's Fredy Cedeño Márquez is playing in his fourth FIVB World Championship
Wroclaw, Poland, September 7, 2014 - The oldest and most experienced player in the team Venezuela has a positive impression of this edition of the FIVB World Championship and thinks it can be helpful to impulse volleyball back in his native country.
Fredy Cedeño Marquez, 32, is taking part in the fourth and last world championship of his long career and appreciates the opportunity to play in front of the Polish fans.
“It is a pleasure to be here, with the best players in the world and I think the best supporters we can imagine,” Cedeño said. “This competition means a lot to me, because it is my last one at the World Championship.
“It is the last, but probably the most important as we are facing the historical possibility of a promotion to the next phase,” Fredy said. “We came to Poland with a goal to win one game. The second phase is a dream, but it is reachable if our young players stay focused.”
The middle blocker can foresee the opportunity to popularise volleyball in Venezuela after the FIVB Men’s World Championship Poland 2014.
“People in Venezuela like volleyball, but don’t show much support to us. Our problem is playing in the shadow of Brazil and Argentina in South America,” Fredy says. “We are trying to improve our domestic league since 2012, because at the Olympics in Beijing (Venezuela ended 9th) we were the only country, which participated without a league. The economic situation is difficult, but we have got many brilliant players like Kervin Pinerua for example.”
Venezuela, in their 11th appearance at the World Championship, are one of the youngest teams in the tournament. The team average age is 25 years- old and nine players in the squad are making their debut at the competition.
The fact the team is young and inexperienced in such big event does not mean the Venezuelans are not prepared for playing at the international level. The players from the team No. 35 in the FIVB World Ranking have no fear of opponents, but treat them with a respect.
The players really appreciate the organisation and the atmosphere in Poland. For almost half of them it is the first time in Europe, so they are enjoying this moment.
“I have never seen such a great event and fans. Our match against Poland showed the power of people here. I am happy to be a part of this spectacle. If I would get a chance to play in Poland, I would take it right away,” said the 23-year old Jesus Chourio Pirela, who has played only in the South American tournaments before the Polish experience.
Written by Elzbieta Poznar, Young Writer Programme