We face the volleyball factory on my favourite court - Brazil coach Bernardinho


Brazil's coach Bernardinho is happy to play in Spodek with a lot of memories there

 Katowice, Poland, September 9, 2014 - After a couple of wobbles against Korea and Cuba at the end of the FIVB Men's World Championship first-round pool stage, coach Bernardo is pleased defending champions Brazil are staying at Spodek and have moved into the tournament's second phase with maximum points.

"We know it's going to be a great fight in the next round, we're glad to stay here in Katowice and it's good to have nine points," he said looking ahead to Brazil's next matches.

Before the tournament Bernardo said it would be an honour and pleasure to experience the Polish atmosphere at matches and, especially, to be playing at Spodek, a venue that holds plenty of positive memories for him.

He started his career with Brazil's men's team more than a decade ago by winning the 2001 World League title when the finals were staged at Katowice's iconic venue, and then repeated the feat in 2007. 

After going undefeated through the first round, Brazil will now play Pool C's four best teams Bulgaria, China, Canada and Russia and Bernardo already has a strong idea of what to expect.

"Bulgaria, new coach, very good team, trying to play a little bit smarter, in a different way "than normal", but a very powerful team, and China; we already had a very big experience playing with an Asian team," he said referring to the difficulties they encountered in the 3-2 win over Korea.  

"They are a very quick team. They are bigger than Korea and with players almost as quick, so it's important to be prepared for a match like that."

The final two matches are against Canada and Russia, both teams that Brazil met at the 2013 World League finals in Mar del Plata, Argentina. While they beat Canada 3-0 in the pool stage, they were comprehensively blown away 3-0 in the gold medal match by the 2012 Olympic champions Russia. 

"What can you say about Russia?" he said with a shrug of his shoulders in reference to the country he described as a volleyball factory in 2013. "One of the big favourites and just as strong as they always are."

Bernardo is also clearly reserving plenty of thought for Canada, a team he said were a new power of volleyball before going on to highlight the skills of free-scoring opposite Gavin Schmitt.

"Canada is a very consistent team, well trained and gaining experience with a very good group, and always growing in the rankings in the last two years. They beat Bulgaria 3-2 and lost just to Russia in the pool, so they are a very strong team."

Brazil are about to take the next step on their journey to what would be the first ever fourth consecutive world title, and one thing is for sure - their decorated coach Bernardo will be prepared.


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