That the pandemic has rocked the world of sports is nothing new. Positive test results, hygiene regulations and matches canceled at short notice have turned the schedule and the athletes’ lives upside down. Matheus Krauchuk Esquivel Rodrigues faced a particular challenge: he was suddenly no longer allowed to kiss a volleyball, which he usually touched with his lips before each serve.
“The ball is my tool of work and it has given me and my family a better life,” he says. A small kiss between them is an expression of gratitude. “I love this sport. At the moment, it’s the ball and just me.” Last season, Krautzhoek had to abstain from his small ritual due to the pandemic, so he is looking forward to kissing the ball again soon, a blue and yellow striped ball with the inscription “German Federation volleyball “.
Because the Brazilian has signed a one-year contract with BR Volleys and he should help The gap left by Qatar striker Benjamin Patch, to fill. The 24-year-old has accepted volleyball in many countries, most recently in Turkey, where he played for Bursa Buyuksehir Belidisi. “I am very happy to come to Berlin,” he says excitedly. “It was a very emotional moment when my family and I made this decision.” His wife Amanda will accompany him to Germany. She also used to play volleyball and then worked as a scout in the Brazilian Pro League. “We are very Christian. My wife has supported me in every match since we got married and is praying for me.”
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It’s Krautzhoek’s first time in Germany, and he doesn’t know his teammates yet, but he’s been keeping up with what they’ve been doing over the summer. Despite the summer vacation, the air balls are very crowded. Cody Kessel, who was first nominated for the US national team, is currently winning one win after another with his team in the Nations League. “Japan is a great experience,” he says over the phone. “It’s a great opportunity for me to be with the best players in the world, to compete with them and show off my skills.”
Advanced cold water training
Blocker Anton Brehme, who was injured last season, is currently working on his comeback – when the temperature is high, he sometimes turns to the cold pool to train. He is due to return to Berlin next week and continue his training here, just like Robin Schutt, who was unable to travel to the Nations League with the national team after having knee surgery, but is doing rehab training here and hopes to play. to participate in the World Cup.
Speaking of the German national team: things are not going smoothly here at the moment, the team had to endure six consecutive defeats before they could finally beat Australia. As for the food, things are going well, because new volleyball player Satoshi Tsuiki invited the team led by volleyball player Johannes Thiel to the restaurant where he is currently working. In Berlin he wants to continue eating together – and then also with Krauchuk.
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