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Dante carrying a bag full of experience to Japan

Dante carrying a bag full of experience to Japan

Posted by Laura Zúñiga on March 26, 2014

Dante Amaral has yet to be introduced to the Panasonic Panthers volleyball community in Japan, a ceremony scheduled to take place next December, but the veteran Brazilian player is quickly adjusting and planning ahead of the latest challenge in his long and successful career.

First he needs to overcome the language barrier and then find ways to imbue their new teammates with his inspiration and experience.

“I will be introduced in December and I am looking forward to it,” Dante confessed after the victory of Panasonic over Kal-Kalleh of Iran on Wednesday. “I really want to get there and show my experience and my ways of playing the game.”

Playing overseas is nothing new for the globetrotter Dante whose career includes stints with Palavollo Modena in Italy, Panathinaikos in Greece and Dynamo Moscow in Russia.

For the time being, the communication with his teammates in the playing court is mainly eye to eye, signals, volleyball gestures and also a few words in English.

“I have an interpreter who helps me a lot,” he said. “When in court we look at each other and understand well. In volleyball the gestures are unique.”

At 33, and playing since he was 14, he is entering a stage in which he intends to transfer all the knowledge acquired throughout the years.

“It's bad to say that I am nearing the end, but I'll take my experience to this team so young and so eager to learn all that I have to pass,” he commented.

Dante’s bag of experience is a rich one considering the success he has achieved with the Brazilian men’s national team at the highest levels and different scenarios.

“First I will try to pass them a little of my experience and then we will focus in reception, setting and attacking,” he added.

The reasons to accept the Japanese offer is really a two-way street and a win-win situation for Dante.

“I was really impressed with the structure of the team they presented to me and that’s why accepted the challenge, but at the same time is an opportunity for me to grow more as a leader,” he responded when questioned about.

Early results in the FIVB Men’s Clun World Championship are a proof of what an experienced player like Dante can bring to a young squad.

“This is a very short championship with games after games we don’t have the chance to talk too much but today’s attitude was different and the players looked more confident,” he said. “We went furiously after the victory the way we Miners (natives of Minas Gerais) do it, fighting with tooth and claws.”

The role of Dante in the victory was acknowledged by the opponent’s coach Behrouz Ataei of Kal-Kalleh.

“One of the factors for the victory of Panasonic is having an experienced player like Dante,” Ataei admitted. “His experience proved to be a factor today.”

Finally Dante spoke in high terms about the FIVB Men’s Club World Championship being played in Brazil.

“Brazil and its volleyball needed an attractive club championship like this one,” he expressed. “There is no other championship as important as this one and playing it in Brazil I feel practically like sitting on my home’s sofa.”


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