Lodz, Poland, September 18, 2014 – Brazilian Leandro Vissotto just knows when to step in for Brazil and have been the role player to help his team in their matches in the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship.
Vissotto and his team-mates are focused on one philosophy – making it to the semifinals, and they did just that after defeating Russia in straight sets on Wednesday.
“First goal is our passport to the semifinal,” Vissotto said. “We had to keep our head strong and keep our emotions intact. We used a lot of support from the other players in this match. Murilo and Wallace are back and they played a really good match. We are happy to take these next steps and we hope to arrive in our best shape in the semifinals.”
Even with less time on the court, Vissotto puts importance to the contribution of his team-mates. Murilo Endres, who suffered an injury on his leg, is back in starting line-up and have contributed well on the Brazilian defence.
“I think it was about this security in our team that all players come together and support the team to win,” Vissotto said. “I could not play today because Murilo is playing and he is like our second libero. He gives a lot of balance to our system. It is always difficult to play without him. I am happy that he could still play even with the trouble in his leg.”
A match-up with Russia is something that makes them very excited but the job is quite difficult, as their European opponents also know so much about their kind of game.
“It feels really good to play in this match against Russia,” Vissotto said. “I have this job to block and I am happy to be able to contribute in plays that can make two or three points to gain the lead and give our team the victory.”
Vissotto know very well his role in the team and he admits that everything lead to one goal, to win for the country.
“My job today is perhaps to help the younger players,” Vissotto explained. “I was playing the 2010 World Championship when we won in Italy. I think with age, it is starting to get heavy to play all the matches. Now, Wallace is in really good shape and he plays really well with Bruno. I am happy with my role, I will do everything I can for my country to win. I think each player needs to contribute to win, even with a single point in a match.”
Vissotto had been to a lot of countries with the national team and every experience in Poland is memorable for him, especially the supporters.
“Each time we play in Poland, it’s great,” Vissotto said. “The supporters are great, there’s no one like them. They are always happy and enjoy the matches. Each time we come here is a great experience.”
After the World Championship, Vissotto will head to Asia to play in the Japanese League for the JT Thunders club. Vissotto is not new to the city but recognises that his talent will be a big contribution to the success of the club.
“I am really happy I will go to Japan,” Vissotto said. “I have been there three times – two times with the national team and one time to get a visa to go to Korea. I really enjoyed the culture and appreciate the people. I think with my height and skills – being good with high balls – I can help the team. I think I will have a great time in that league.”