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Brazil maintained its supremacy at the South American Men’s Volleyball Championship for another year as the 2021 hosts secured their 33rd continental title on Sunday and kept their perfect record – Argentina won in 1964, the only edition in which the Brazilians did not compete.

Rivals Brazil and Argentina met on the last day of the tournament at the Nilson Nelson Arena, in Brasilia, in a rematch of the bronze medal match at the Tokyo Olympics. This time, the Brazilians came out on top, winning 3-1 (25-17, 24-26, 25-18 and 25-18) to claim gold. Both finalists qualified for the FIVB Volleyball Men’s World Championship Russia 2022.

A Rio 2016 Olympic champion, Brazilian setter Bruno Rezende received the Most Valuable Player award.

“Playing for Brazil is a big responsibility and we always work hard and give our best to win tournaments,” the 35-year-old setter said. “It was a really important victory as it will give confidence to some of our younger players like Gabriel Vaccari (24) and Adriano Xavier (19), who played really well. It’s good to start over on the right foot. We always target the gold medal and it feels really good when we manage to win it.”

The South American Championship Dream Team featured Bruno as the setter, Colombian Liberman Agamez as the opposite, Brazilian Ricardo Lucarelli and Chilean Vicente Parraguirre as outside hitters, Argentineans Martin Ramos and Agustin Loser as middle blockers and Santiago Danani as libero.

Recognized as the best player of the gold medal match, 24-year-old libero Maique Nascimento also highlighted the good performances of the team’s young players and the positive feeling of beating Brazil’s major continental rival.

“It’s always great to play for the national team and even better to win gold medals,” the defender, who wasn’t part of the Brazilian roster in Tokyo last month, added. “And defeating a continental rival like Argentina always tastes better. The South American Championship marked the beginning of our work towards Paris and it was great to start winning and seeing some younger players performing well.”

Alan scored 24 points against Argentina (Photo: William Lucas/Inovafoto/CBV)

Alan scored 24 points against Argentina (Photo: William Lucas/Inovafoto/CBV)

The top scorer of the gold medal match was opposite Alan de Souza, who delivered 24 points. Argentinean opposite Bruno Lima and outside hitter Nicolas Mendez produced 14 each for the losing side.

This was the first tournament of the Brazilian national team without star opposite Wallace de Souza, who retired from international volleyball after the Tokyo Olympics. Four other players who were part of the squad in Japan weren’t called up for the South American Championship including outside hitters Yoandy Leal, Douglas Souza and Mauricio Borges and middle blocker Mauricio Souza.

Argentina had seven bronze medallists from the Tokyo Olympics on their roster in Brasilia, including Lima, Mendez, Ramos, Loser, Danani, setter Matias Sanchez and outside hitter Ezequiel Palacios.

Chile finished third and took bronze after a 3-1 (22-25, 25-17, 25-22, 25-15) victory over Colombia in the last match of the tournament.