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2017-02-02 18:32:00 CET

Legend Ricardo pumped for #FTLMajor debut

Brazilian wildcard can’t wait for his first taste of Fort Lauderdale

Ricardo (right) will be playing in Fort Lauderdale for the first time.  Photocredit: Joerg Mitter.Ricardo (right) will be playing in Fort Lauderdale for the first time. Photocredit: Joerg Mitter.

Over the course of his glittering 22-year career on the sand Brazilian legend Ricardo Santos has competed in beach volleyball tournaments in every possible city around the world.

But next week the Athens 2004 Olympic champion, who has 228 international events under his belt, will step into unexplored territory, as he will play in Fort Lauderdale for the first time.

Together with his partner Harley Marques, the 42-year-old was awarded a wildcard into the main draw of the Fort Lauderdale Major, the opening tournament of the beach season on Florida’s glorious golden sands.

“I am thrilled that we were awarded the wildcard,” Ricardo told us. “I have never played in Fort Lauderdale before so this tournament is very special to me. At my age, I know I don’t have many seasons ahead of me, so I try to enjoy the most each of them.”

This will be just the second time the experienced Brazilians will share the court internationally following their 25th place in the Maceio Open last year. However, a combined 137 medals on the international scene tells its own story – and no team will relish playing Harley and Ricardo.

“I am very pleased to have Harley on my side. He’s a very passionate player and a two-time most valuable player of the World Tour,” says Ricardo. “We’ve played together a few times before and we used to train together in Joao Pessoa, so we know each other very well. I’m really confident that we can achieve a good result.”

Even though Ricardo will make his debut in Fort Lauderdale, the Brazilian star will still feel at home in Florida: he recently moved with his family to America’s Sunshine State to start a new project as beach director of the Orlando Tampa Volleyball Academy.

“Volleyball has given me a lot and I want to share everything I have experienced with the future champions,” he says. “I am working with one of the biggest academies of the country, now in Orlando, but we plan to expand to other areas.”

Remember if you want to catch all the action from the Fort Lauderdale Major you catch Ricardo strut his stuff on the sand by subscribing to our online video platform, BeachStream, which we launched this week.

What’s more signing up and subscribing now will give you the chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships in Vienna. So what are you waiting for? Click here to subscribe!

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