Brasil underwent major changes after the Olympic Games in Rio 2016 with personalities like Perrone, Vrlić and Rudić leaving the roster and staff. Bernardo Rocha, center back for the Brazilian water polo team, took some time to share his thoughts with Total Waterpolo right before the World Championships in Budapest.
Do you think you have the quality to win to your group? What do you expect from Canada, Kazakhstan and Montenegro?
Winning the group is a little out of our reality, but we want to play good games against every team. Canada is a young team that we know well. They have a very good center and the whole team follows their game plan. Kazakhstan has experienced players and they had a good preparation leading to the World Championship. Montenegro is a traditionally strong team, expected to win the group.
What would Brasil consider as a success in Budapest?
Qualifying for the quarter finals would be a success for Brazil, taking into consideration our preparation and our history of World Championships.
In your opinion, who are the favorites for the medals?
This tournament will be very evenly matched. Serbia is probably the strongest, but Hungary is playing on home court and they will be very dangerous. Besides those two teams, Croatia and Italy definitely have the quality to reach the medal games.
What has changed in Brasil team since Rio? How is the atmosphere among the players?
A lot of things have changed from the Olympic Games in Rio 2016. Only three players from then are still in the team, Ratko Rudić isn’t the coach anymore which makes a huge difference. The preparation for World Championship was different than the one we had before the Olympics, but we are positive and we will try to put up our best performance at this moment.
Thank you Bernardo, we are looking forward to see what Brazil can do at the Fina World Championships on Margaret Island.