2017-11-16 09:00:00 CET
Bruno to team with Ricardo… but for one weekend only!
When he enters the court to compete in the third stop of the Brazilian Beach Volleyball Tour in Itapema, Santa Catarina, this weekend, Bruno Schmidt will have a fellow Olympic champion by his side. But no, you guessed wrong, it won’t be Alison Cerutti. Not this time at least.
With the Mammoth sidelined due to an overuse injury, Bruno invited Athens 2004 Olympic champion Ricardo Santos to be his partner in the last tournament of the year, which starts for the provisory team on Friday.
Bruno, a Rio 2016 Olympic champion, and 42-year-old Ricardo have been rivals in the sands of the world for over a decade. However, they have never had the opportunity to share the same side of the court. Not until this weekend, at least.
“When I started my career, Ricardo was an example and an inspiration to me,” Bruno said. “One of my first goals was to beat him for the first time. We’ve been rivals for a while and I had never had the chance to play with him, so this was an opportunity I couldn’t miss. It’s a dream to be able to play with someone who means so much for our sport.”
Ironically, both of them partnered with American players in the previous stop of the Brazilian Tour with Bruno teaming with Jeremy Casebeer, who is married to Brazilian player Maria Clara Salgado, and Ricardo pairing with indoor volleyball Olympic champion Reid Priddy.
Amanhã estaremos viajando para 3 etapa do circuito brasileiro em Itapema -SC . Será a primeira vez que estarei jogando ao lado de @_bruno_schmidt_ , esse craque de bola, escolhido como o melhor atleta da atualidade. #brunoschimidt #alisonebruno #beachvolleyball #voleidepraia #brunomagico #blockmachine
645 Likes, 21 Comments - Ricardo Santos (@ricardobeach1) on Instagram: "Amanhã estaremos viajando para 3 etapa do circuito brasileiro em Itapema -SC . Será a primeira vez..."
For Ricardo, who has competed in over 200 events in the World Tour, the chance to play with Bruno is a really exciting one. Despite of only training together for a couple of days, he is optimistic about a good performance.
“It will be amazing,” he says. “Bruno is a phenomenal athlete, the best in the world in the last years and a reference outside the courts. He adapts to new partners really easily and we expect to play well even with a very short time of preparation.”
The strategy of the tandem will be to make the most of their individual skills to compensate for an eventual lack of chemistry.
“Playing with him, I know we’ll be competitive,” Bruno added. “He is so technically gifted that he can play is so many different ways. Of course we won’t have a great coordination but we can do well if we potentiate our skills. Also, we have no pressure. We just want to have fun.”
Hard not to have fun when you are two of the best players of the history of the sport, right?