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2018-07-05 02:27:00 CET

Alvaro to play with Luciano in Gstaad

With Saymon facing personal problems, the defender picked up a new partner to compete in the Swiss Alps

The Brazilian defender selected an old partner to fill in for Saymon in GstaadThe Brazilian defender selected an old partner to fill in for Saymon in Gstaad

One of the top Brazilian teams won’t be contending for medals on next week’s Swatch Major Gstaad as Saymon Barbosa and Alvaro Filho, who won the bronze medal in the Swiss Alps last season, won’t return for the 2018 edition of the tournament together.

Facing some personal problems, Saymon decided to return to Brazil after the World Tour four-star event in Warsaw last week. Temporarily left without a partner, Alvaro, the 2017 Sportsman of the Year, decided to turn to an old partner and invited 32-year-old Luciano Ferreira to be by his side in Gstaad.

“We’ve played together in 2012 and we had some good results in Brazil and also won the bronze medal in the World University Championships,” Alvaro told beachmajorseries.com. “We want to do our best and go as far as we can in the tournament.”

The team has already debuted as they played in the Brazilian country-quota of the World Tour four-star event in Espinho on Wednesday, but failed to qualify against the teams of Thiago Barbosa/George Wanderley and Ricardo Santos/Guto Carvalhaes, the same duos they’ll face next Monday for a spot on Gstaad’s qualification tournament.

However, their hopes are that they can play at a much better level in the Swiss Alps.

“He arrived in Espinho the day before the country-quota, so obviously our chemistry was far from ideal,” the defender added. “We’ll use the next days to prepare and get to Gstaad in better form. I know Luciano is super excited to play there and I’m also very motivated because I think it’s the greatest tournament of the season, I feel great there.”

Luciano and Alvaro played in the Espinho country-quota, but didn't advance (Photocredit: FIVB)Luciano and Alvaro played in the Espinho country-quota, but didn't advance (Photocredit: FIVB)

And Luciano’s excitement comes with good reason. The blocker, who has shared the court with some big names of Brazilian beach volleyball such as Marcio Araujo and Harley Marques, has just 11 World Tour events under his belt and will play for the first time in the Beach Major Series.

“I was playing in some World Tour events this season to get some points and have a chance of pairing with a top-level player at some point, but Alvaro’s invitation was kind of unexpected,” he said about the opportunity.

“And to play in Gstaad…every time I asked other players about their favorite tournaments they’d say Gstaad, so I’m really pumped to play there and even more with a great partner as Alvaro. I get goosebumps when I watch video from the event there and it’s truly a dream to be able to play.”

Começa hj o country cota aqui em Espinho 🇵🇹 vou jogar ao lado do monstro @alvarofilhovolei ...conto com a energia de todos!!! @rawbrazil @nefeclinica @ponto1vilavelha @studiofernandopadilha 🙏🏼🙏🏼

261 Likes, 11 Comments - Luciano Ferreira de Paula (@lucianobeachvolley) on Instagram: "Começa hj o country cota aqui em Espinho 🇵🇹 vou jogar ao lado do monstro @alvarofilhovolei ...conto..."

Despite of being a rookie in the Beach Major Series, Luciano has had some international success in 2018 as he won the one-star tournaments in Miguel Pereira, Brazil, with Vinicius Rezende, and Manavgat, Turkey, with Oscar Guimaraes, in the last couple of months.

Now, he knows, his beach volleyball career is set to enter a whole new stage as he could be faced with some of the sport’s biggest stars in the Swiss Alps in just a few days.

“I’m in good form because I was playing some lower-level World Tour tournaments, but of course the Beach Major Series is different as all the beach volleyball legends will be there,” the blocker commented. “But we’ll focus on our preparation and hopefully we can do well. Alvaro is a very talented player and a great partner and I can’t wait to play in Gstaad with him.”

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