Van Garderen: Is this really happening?


Ruse, Bulgaria, September 15, 2018 - The Netherlands shocked with the biggest surprise in Pool B at the 2018 FIVB World Championship! Gido Vermeulen’s players achieved an amazing win against the current Olympic champion Brazil 3-1 (21-25, 25-20, 25-20, 25-21) in one of the most interesting matches in “Arena Monbat”. 

Gido Vermeulen, coach of the Netherlands: “It was an amazing match today. I think we surprised them with some other players and they made an incredible game. It was a memorable game as the last time the Netherlands defeated Brazil at a World Championship was 52 years ago. We are very happy. I think we still cannot believe it.”  

Nimir Abdel-Azis, captain of the Netherlands: “It is a surprise for us because we played against the Olympic champion. It was a great match and it is amazing. Of course, we wanted to play good but we did not expected to play this good. We can only be proud that we managed to defeat the Olympic champion. Tomorrow is another day, so we need to prepare and to be ready for another battle.” 

Maarten Van Garderen, player of the Netherlands: “It is the best victory of my life! Even in my career I guess. We have been together for a long, long time and we had a lot of ups and downs. Now we are finally at this big tournament and we beat the Olympic champion. We got a lot of critiques last year saying that Holland was not that good anymore. It is true that we have not always performed that well, but I am so glad that we showed our potential and I will never forget this. After the last point I was looking at my team and I was like: “Is this really happening?”. At such moment you cannot think that you won. Even if you are winning, you can never expect that at the end you will be the winner for sure. Especially against Brazil. They did some great serves, but we did keep our focus. It was one unbelievable experience. We actually thought that the only chance we have is against China and Egypt, but the momentum is on our side. So why not to show this again tomorrow and if France play better, then they will deserve to win. I think it will be a nice match.” 

Bruno Mossa Rezende, captain of Brazil: “I want to congratulate the Netherlands. I think they played better than us in some aspects of the game, especially in defense. They were more patient in the difficult situations. They were really aggressive in the serve and they deserved to win. Volleyball is like this: even if before the game you are considered to be a favorite, it is not enough. You have to play in the match. Now we have to keep going and be focused for the next match because for us all games here are like finals. We just have to think about Canada now.”