2019-08-06 17:20:00 CET

Vitor splits with Pedro, joins Ricardo

It’s yet another change involving Brazilian teams

Pedro and Vitor during the World ChampionshipsPedro and Vitor during the World Championships

We all thought we had seen enough of Brazilian men’s beach volleyball teams shuffling in the last year or so, but there was still more reserved for the end of the Beach Major Series season as Vitor Felipe has split with Pedro Solberg and is set to join the legendary Ricardo Santos for the remainder of 2019.

Vitor and Pedro had a short and unsuccessful union as they joined forces last March with the aspiration of competing for an Olympic berth but never got past the ninth-place in ten World Tour events. Most recently, the team was 17th at the World Championships and lost in the country-quota in Gstaad and in the qualifier in Tokyo.

“It’s hard to keep things going when you don’t have the results,” Vitor said. “But now I’m really looking forward to play with Ricardo. I’ve never had a partner with so much experience as him and I’m excited to see what I can learn. He knows a lot about the sport, is a real professor of the game, and I can’t wait to be on the court with him.”

Vitor and Ricardo played together in a World Tour event in Poland in 2012 (Photocredit: FIVB)Vitor and Ricardo played together in a World Tour event in Poland in 2012 (Photocredit: FIVB)

Vitor and Ricardo, a 2004 Olympic champion, shared the same training center, the CT Cangaço, in João Pessoa, for several years, and were partners once before, when they finished ninth in a World Tour event in Stare Jablonki, in 2012. The new team will debut in a Brazilian Tour event by the end of the month and will probably first play internationally at the World Tour Finals in Rome, the following week.

For Vitor, one of the most versatile players in the Tour, the chance of playing with Ricardo, who was about to make a World Tour comeback with Guto Carvalhaes at the Gstaad Major but was sidelined due to a calf injury, also means he’ll be able to stick to a more defined role.

“I’ve realized that the only way for me to accomplish my goals will be playing on defense and that’s what I have in mind for my future,” he explained. “I’ve been blocking or splitting block for the last years because I couldn’t find a full-time blocker to play with in the World Tour and now I’ll have a chance with Ricardo.”

Pedro, however, is yet to find a new partner, something he plans on taking care of in the next days.

“I just got back to Brazil after several weeks on the road and I haven’t really even thought about it yet,” he told us. “But I hope to have a decision within the next few weeks.”

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