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2018-02-05 09:00:00 CET

Home away from home

From a remarkable win to a special moment on his personal life, Fort Lauderdale is Alvaro Filho’s place in the world

Alvaro Filho serves during the 2017 Fort Lauderdale MajorAlvaro Filho serves during the 2017 Fort Lauderdale Major

Beach volleyball players travel around the world every year and sometimes it’s hard for them to pick a favourite city to play at. For Brazil’s Alvaro Filho, that choice was a lot easier, though.

One of the up-and-coming defenders in the World Tour, the 27-year-old Brazilian has a special connection with Fort Lauderdale, the city where he won the first Major tournament of his career, in February 2017, and the destination he chose to spend part of his honeymoon last December.

“It’s definitely a city that brings me amazing memories,” the 2017 World Tour Sportsman of the Year told us. “Our victory in the Major and our honeymoon are certainly two of the most important moments of my life.”

Later this month, the Brazilian will have another opportunity to experience more memorable moments in the city as the Fort Lauderdale Major, the first five-star tournament of the season, is coming from February 27 to March 4.

Alvaro’s history in Fort Lauderdale started one year ago, when Saymon Barbosa and he won seven matches is a row to advance from the qualification tournament to the top of the podium in the first Major of the 2017 season.

Ten months later, Alvaro made his back to South Florida, again for a special reason. Recently married, the Brazilian and his wife Marcella spent some days of their honeymoon in Fort Lauderdale.

“We had a very good time in Fort Lauderdale,” Alvaro said. “We were there for the New Year’s Eve and it was very fun. We also enjoyed the beach there and the good thing is that the sand is perfect for running, which is something I love to do.”

Alvaro and his wife Marcella during their honeymoon in Fort LauderdaleAlvaro and his wife Marcella during their honeymoon in Fort Lauderdale

During his time in town, Alvaro couldn’t help but return to the Fort Lauderdale Beach Park, where the Red Bull Beach Arena is set up every year. And he was able to relive the emotions he had felt earlier in 2017 just by walking in the sands.

“I had the images very clear in my mind. After you go across that beautiful bridge, you just walk a couple of blocks to the right and that’s where the arena stands.”

The couple’s trip to Florida also included a stop in Orlando, where they had a blast in the numerous theme parks of the city.

“Since I was a kid, I always dreamed about visiting Orlando and its parks”, Alvaro mentioned. “This year was the first time I managed to have kind of a longer offseason break, so we decided it was a good time to do that.”

But Alvaro’s time in Florida was not only dedicated to leisure. As Ricardo Santos, his partner in the 2013 World Championships, when they won silver and Alvaro was awarded the Most Valuable Player, currently lives in Orlando, the defender could not resist to an invitation of training with him.

“The truth is that I cannot stand without playing beach volleyball for a long time,” he admitted. “And Ricardo is an idol that became a friend and it’s always great to be with him and learn from him.”

We hope you enjoyed your off-season, Alvaro! It’s time to defend your crown now!

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