Sada Cruzeiro : This year’s FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship will begin in a little over two weeks, and it will include six clubs. Sada Cruzeiro Vôlei, the defending world champions, will host the tournament in Betim, Brazil from December 7-11. Other Brazilian teams Vôlei Renata and Itambé Minas, Italian teams Sir Safety Susa Perugia and Trentino Itas, and an Iranian team, Paykan Club, will also participate.
Sada Cruzeiro, the reigning winners, will be aiming for their fifth victory in the history of the tournament next month in Brazil, which would be an outstanding milestone. In addition to matching Trentino Itas for the most club championships, the host team would also lead the overall medal table if they were to successfully defend their global title.
Whereas the Italian heavyweights have won five gold, three bronze, and no silver in the Club World Championships, the Brazilians have won crowns in 2013, 2015, 2016, and 2021, and placed second in 2012 and 2019 and third in 2017. Seven of the past nine times this tournament was held, Sada placed in the top three.
Sada Cruzeiro won all four of their matches in the 2021 Club World Championship last December in Betim, losing just one set to fellow Brazilians FUNVIC Natal in the semifinals. And in the championship match, Sada defeated the Italian favorites Cucine Lube Civitanova in straight sets.
The tournament’s Most Valuable Player and a spot on the Dream Team both went to the Cuban outside hitter Miguel Angel Lopez, who was the game’s highest scorer and ultimately the tournament’s MVP. Three more Sada Cruzeiro players—setter Fernando Kreling, opposite Wallace de Souza, and middle blocker Otavio Pinto—made it into the all-star team at the Club World Championship.
Of the four members of the Dream Team, three returned for another title defense. Although the team lost its playmaker, they were able to replace him with the likes of 18-year-old Ramon Santos Duarte and the seasoned Brazilian Rodrigo Ribeiro through trades with Narbonne Volley in France and the Argentinean international Nicolas Uriarte.
Outside hitters for Sada Cruzeiro this year include Lopez, Rodrigo Leao (Brazilian national team, in his eighth season with the club), Gabriel Vaccari (from Tourcoing in France), and 18-year-old Carlos Castro.
Among the new players for coach Filipe Ferraz is star middle blocker Lucas Saatkamp. At his first game for Sada Cruzeiro, the 2016 Olympic gold medalist and 2010 world champion will face off against his former club, Volei Renata, in Betim. Lucao is one of four middle blocks for Sada Cruzeiro this season, along with Otavio Pinto, Cledenilson Souza, and 19-year-old rookie Guilherme Silva.
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The opposing view has not altered. Welinton Oppenkoski, 22, a former junior international, will continue to back Wallace de Souza, a player with a stellar international reputation. Players like Lucas Bauer and Luas De Deus have also decided to remain with Sada.
In order to win their 13th consecutive Minas Gerais state championship this season, the reigning club world champions went on a nine-game winning run. Since the start of the Superliga, Sada have won four and lost two games. One of those losses came in four sets against Itambe Minas Belo Horizonte last Sunday; both of those teams will be competing in the next Club World Championship. Sada defeated their city rivals 1-0 earlier this season to win their sixth Supercoppa title.
Sá Cruzeiro’s Sada Pool Party The Betim match versus Renata on December 7 at 21:00 is scheduled to begin. Home squad hosts Sir Safety Susa Perugia of Italy on December 9 at 21:15.