Turin, Italy, September 29, 2018 - Gilberto Amauri Godoy Filho, the legendary 'Giba' who led Brazil to their three world championship titles plus an Olympic gold, has been actively following his country's team at the 2018 FIVB Men's World Championship from the stands of Turin's Pala Alpitour.
Just ahead of the semifinals, the 41-year-old former outside hitter, nowadays president of the FIVB's Athletes Commission, sat down with young reporters Alessio Caria and Elisa Seghetti to discuss Brazil, Italy and volleyball in general.
The young reporters are participants in the "Giornalisti domani" (Journalists of Tomorrow) programme run by the local Organising Committe in Turin and coordinated by journalist Giorgio Barberis. The two were selected amongst other entrants and awarded with a place amongst the staff of the 2018 World Championship Press Office.
Here are some excerpts from their conversation with Giba:Giba remains impressed by the Italian fans at the 2018 FIVB World Championship.Could we compare the actual Brazilian team to the one in which you played in the 1990s?
Making comparisons could be difficult. When I played for Brazil we followed a different path, we worked hard for ten years before managing to win something.How did the role of attackers change?
When I played for Brazil, spikers' level was the same: today our players don't have the same level of experience.What do you think about this Final Six?
We saw a strong Poland against Serbia on Thursday. Serbia too played very well and put Italy in difficulties. Yesterday they had to perform an impossible feat. I think that the main problem of Italy is that the match depended on Juantorena and Zaytsev.You played in several championships, in Italy too. Even today the Superlega hosts a lot of champions. Can we consider it as one of the best tournaments all over the world?
Absolutely yes, when we won everything between 2001 and 2007, only losing 5 games in 7 years, most of the Brazilians played for Italian clubs. I think that the Superlega could be considered a sort of year-long World Championship.Football and volleyball are very popular sports in Brazil. We know that a lot of volleyball players, as you, are friends with footballers.
The thing that brings us together is leaving the same life which is characterized by a great media impact. As a result, we often go out together and meet. We know that we have a great responsibility on our shoulders: to represent our country and our people.How important is it for Brazil to reaffirm themselves in this World Championship after the success at the Rio 2016 Olympics?
We should be proud of another participation at a World Championship Final Six. We have the opportunity to win another time after having taken part in all the finals of the two most important volleyball tournaments since 2002.Which is the strong point and which the weak one of the Brazilian team?
The strength is the teamwork as they never give up. Sometimes Brazilians fight during the match but the goal is always that of trying to win and do their best. Our weakness is the substitutes. There's too much difference in experience among the players.There's a big audience from Italy at this World Championship. Maybe more people are gaining interest on volleyball during these days.
I played for many Italian teams and I can say that the fans have always followed volleyball. Surely, the National Team is key: When they win, people are more interested in following it.Quick links - Volleyball:FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship Italy-Bulgaria 2018NewsScheduleCompetitionTeamsResults and rankingTicketsVolleyball TV