Lausanne, Switzerland, June 28, 2018 - Hosts France open their Final Six campaign against reigning Olympic champions Brazil on 4 July in Lille, looking to repeat their straight-set win from pool play in Varna over the South Americans. This is the 37th time the two sides go head-to-head, with Brazil leading the series 28-8, though France have won two of the last three encounters.
• France and Brazil will meet for the 37th time in world level major competitions. France won only eight of their previous 36 encounters with Brazil.
• World level major competitions are: the VNL, Olympic Games, World Championships, World Cup, World League and Grand Champions Cup.
• France have won two of their last three matches against Brazil: 3-2 in the 2017 World League final in Curitiba and 3-0 in the 2018 VNL in Varna (16 June).
• France could win consecutive world level major tournament matches against Brazil for the only second time, after victories at the 2006 World Championships and 2008 World League.
• France and Brazil met in the 2006 World League final, with the Brazilians claiming their sixth title by winning 3-2 in Moscow.
• France were already qualified for the VNL final round as hosts, but still went on to finish in first place in the preliminary round by winning 12 of their 15 matches.
• France recorded a top-three finish in three of the last five world level major tournaments they participated in: the 2015 World League (first), the 2016 World League (third) and the 2017 World League (first). They missed out on the top-three at the 2016 Olympic Games (preliminary round) and 2017 Grand Champions Cup (fifth).
• The only time France were in the top-three at a world level major tournament other than the World League was the 2002 World Championships (third).
• France have won the most matches (12) and most sets (38) in the 2018 VNL.
• Only in the 2015 World League (17) have France won more matches at a single world level major tournament than the 2018 VNL (12).
• Stephen Boyer (176) is France's leading scorer in the VNL.
• Earvin Ngapeth has averaged 0.31 aces per set in the VNL, a joint-tournament high with Germany's Jan Zimmermann.
• Brazil qualified for the VNL final round by finishing in fifth place in the preliminary round.
• Brazil have finished on the podium in 30 of the last 33 world level major tournaments in which they appeared (2001-2018), with the exception of the World League in 2008 (fourth), 2012 (sixth) and 2015 (fifth).
• Brazil have lost four of their last six VNL matches, with three of those defeats coming in straight sets (including against France on 16 June).
• Brazil could suffer four straight-set defeats at a single world level major tournament for the first time since the 1974 World Championships (also four).
• Brazil could lose six matches within a single world level major tournament for the first time since the 2014 World League (eight defeats). They still went on to finish in second place at that tournament.
• Only Jiang Chuan (273) has scored more points in the VNL than Wallace De Souza (215). Jiang Chuan's China have not qualified for the final round.