The best moment of the season didn’t come without reason for concern, though, as, while still on the court during the Brazilian celebration, head coach Renan Dal Zotto announced his decision to step away from his position, leaving the team without a manager less than a year before the Games.
Already without Renan, Brazil went to win gold at the Pan-American Games with a young squad led by Darlan, ending a complicated season on a high.
It was a lot to unpack and, in order to better understand how 2023 played out for Brazil and what the plans are for 2024, Volleyball World caught up with team captain and setter Bruno Rezende.
Volleyball World: The 2023 season was a busy one for Brazil, with four tournaments in just over five months. What are your thoughts about the season that just ended?
Bruno Rezende: It was a year with a lot of ups and downs for our team, but, with a lot of effort, we managed to accomplish our main goal, which was qualifying for Paris 2024. I think we were way too inconsistent in the VNL before falling to Poland in the quarterfinals. The South American Championship was definitely the lowest point of the season as losing at home was really frustrating and a tough blow. After the Olympic Qualifier, we sent a young team to the Pan-American Games and it was great to see them not only win gold, but also acquire some experience. So I’d say that although it certainly wasn’t a perfect season, we accomplished our main goal, which was important.