Lausanne, Switzerland, October 26, 2016 – By winning the FIVB Volleyball Men's Club World Championship for the third time in four years, Sada Cruzeiro have cemented their place in volleyball history, but the journey doesn't stop in Betim. There are still peaks to climb.
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And coach Marcelo Méndez knows it’s not an easy task maintaining such a high level of performance, despite defending their title with a straight-sets win over Zenit Kazan.
Marcelo Méndez looks on during the Men's Club World Championship in Betim
“It’s harder to stay at the top than to get there,” he said. But it’s looking pretty easy at the moment. Since 2010, the team in blue has played 29 tournaments, reached 27 finals and won 23 trophies.
They are the second most successful team in the history of the tournament, behind Italy’s Trentino, who have won four trophies.
“Before us, the best result by a Brazilian team was runner-up,” Méndez pointed out, speaking after his team's victory. “No Brazilian club has come close to this team and we have gone down in volleyball history, which makes us very happy. What we’ve done is amazing, but we haven’t run out of steam yet.”
They will need to rediscover their power when they contest the Brazil Super Cup on October 29 against Brasil Kirin in Fortaleza. That will be followed by matches in the Brazilian Superliga and the South American Championship.
Middle blocker Isac Santos said it’s all down to hard work.
“This is the story of a team that works incredibly hard every day to win,” he said. “We work to get where we are, to get on the podium and to have fun. Ahead of the game against Zenit Kazan, we spoke about leaving everything out there and we did. We played really well.
“We trained to win this championship, so we were prepared for the various situations in the match. We just spend every day working to win whatever competition we are in. This is who we are.”