Montreux, Switzerland, September 3, 2018- As World Ranked Number Four Brazil prepare for the defence of their Montreux Masters gold, it is no secret that José Roberto Guimarães must rely on his wealth of defensive talent as well as that of his attackers.
One component in the well-oiled Seleção machine is experienced 31-year-old Middle Blocker Thaisa Daher De Menezes, who plays her club volleyball at Turkish titans Eczacibasi VitrA Istanbul. She has enjoyed success at that level in recent years, having been a 2016 FIVB Club World Championship Gold medallist.
Boasting 13 years of international experience, an imposing 316cm spike, an iron 301cm block, & a commanding height of 1.96m, Thaisa is a vital part of Brazil's blocking and counter-attacking game which has often proved so decisive in their many successes. She is no stranger to that winning feeling in national colours, having been a double Olympic gold medal winner in 2008 and 2012, to go with Silver and Bronze Medals in the 2010 and 2014 FIVB World Championships respectively.
This year’s Montreux Masters will be of particular significance for Thaisa, however, having been ruled-out of Brazil's gold medal run last June following a broken foot. This time around, she will undoubtedly be keen to make up for lost time on the Swiss Riviera.
Yet she will need to recapture the form she showed back in 2012 in particular if she is to be at her best for the Brazilians here in defence of their title. In the FIVB World Grand Prix of that year, Thaisa won the silver medal with her national team and the individual award of Best Blocker to add to her Olympic success in London. With added experience on her side this time, the veteran will seek to inspire her younger teammates as they prepare for a mouth-watering opening Pool B match against a youthful Russia, who will be more than motivated for a potential giant killing.
With her return in this tournament a long-awaited one, she is sure to prove a real player to watch over the 33rd instalment of the famous invitational showpiece, and volleyball fans following the action across the world can look forward to witnessing her infectious influence on court.