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Thaisa bids farewell to national team

 

A day after leading Itambe Minas to victory in the 2020-21 edition of the Brazilian Women’s Superliga, two-time Olympic champion Thaisa Menezes called time on her international career.

“Inevitably, everyone wants to know if I will be with the Brazilian team in the next competitions – including the Tokyo Olympics. Unfortunately, the answer is no," she wrote in a statement sent to the press. "Today, I say goodbye to the national team with my heart in pieces. For 14 years I have played for my country in the senior team (18 years if I count the youth and junior seasons), always with the determination and respect that our flag deserves. There has never been a lack of love and commitment in this beautiful story for both sides.”

Thaisa struggled with the consequences of a knee injury she suffered in 2017, but returned to the highest level and earned the MVP award for her performances in this year’s edition of the Superliga. It was expected that the middle blocker would be part of the Brazilian national team at the FIVB Volleyball Nations League and Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 later this year, but she will now take time to rest.

“It is precisely because I am no longer able to deliver this, physically and mentally, that I end my history with the national team," she added. "The last few years have been hard for my body, dealing with pain on a daily basis. I cannot help the team the way I would like and I believe that it would be necessary. I need to rest and show respect for my body, which is my work tool. Thinking about my career longevity, it is time to recover. I talked to the doctor and to my family and we came to this conclusion.”

In a spectacularly successful international career, Thaisa won gold at the Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games with Brazil. She also helped her country to victories at the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix, silver and bronze medals at the FIVB Volleyball World Championships, and silvers at the FIVB Volleyball World Cup and FIVB Volleyball World Grand Champions Cup.

Thaisa’s full message:

The night of April 5, 2021 will take a special place in my life. After a difficult period in my career, when I had injuries, doubts, uncertainties, and in the midst of a pandemic that saddens the world, I managed to smile again with volleyball. I smiled and cried. Every tear shed yesterday was a hardship that I overcame. Being a Superliga champion again, playing at a high level, was something that no one, three years ago, believed I would be able to do. But I did it. With the support of my family, my fiancé, my teammates, the staff of Itambé Minas and my friends, I again felt the taste of raising a trophy after almost five years.

Anyway, there is always a tomorrow, the day after – it is the law of life. Past, present and future. And after a historic day for me yesterday, today, April 6, 2021, it will also be a day that I will remember forever. It is a day that definitely interferes with my future. Today, I made one of the most difficult decisions of my career as a professional athlete.

Inevitably, everyone wants to know if I will be with the Brazilian team in the next competitions – including the Tokyo Olympics. Unfortunately, the answer is no. Today, I say goodbye to the national team with my heart in pieces. For 14 years I have played for my country in the senior team (18 years if I count the youth and junior seasons), always with the determination and respect that our flag deserves. There has never been a lack of love and commitment in this beautiful story for both sides.

It is precisely because I am no longer able to deliver this, physically and mentally, that I end my history with the national team. The last few years have been hard for my body, dealing with pain on a daily basis. I cannot help the team the way I would like and I believe that it would be necessary. I need to rest and show respect for my body, which is my work tool. Thinking about my career longevity, it is time to recover. I talked to the doctor and to my family and we came to this conclusion.

I especially want to thank (coach) Zé Roberto and all his family who were essential in this return. Also my gratitude to the club staff and everyone who accompanied me on this journey. Without their effort, support and encouragement, I am not sure if I would be able to go this far. Thanks to all my teammates who were on my side during trips, training, joy and sorrow. I will always carry with me every piece of memory.

I will be here, cheering for Brazil, especially with the volleyball lovers. I will always be here as a helping hand and, above all, to celebrate our achievements.

Much gratitude!

Also read:
Thaisa: A special relationship

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