Portugal aiming high in men’s European League


Article Thu, May 9 2024

Since Monday, the Portuguese men’s national team coached by João José has been preparing for their participation in the 2024 European Golden League, with their first matches scheduled for May 17-19 in the Algarve city of Loulé. Portugal will be hosting Tournament 4 at the Professor Joaquim Vairinhos Municipal Pavilion in Loulé, playing against Luxembourg (Friday) and Spain (Sunday), while the Luxembourgers and Spaniards will meet on the Saturday.

Portugal’s coach reveals his expectations and highlights the good work done by the players and coaches across all national teams: “The aim will be to prepare and work so that we can reach the Final Four. This will be another competition for this group to do what they love best: represent their country and have the chance to overcome yet another challenge that is expected to be difficult. It is a new year, the same competition, but a new format, with increased difficulty and the same will and determination to work hard and live up to expectations. We can single out Ukraine and Belgium as the strongest opponents, but all of them will demand our capacity to rise to the occasion as a team if we want to achieve our goals. No one can anticipate the eventual result, but hard work, desire, will and confidence are non-negotiable. This has been a positive year for our national teams, with five of them qualifying for the final stages of the European championships, four age-group teams and the senior men’s team, which qualified directly for the 2026 European Championship. We have the chance to qualify six, as the senior women’s team has yet to make it to the next EuroVolley. The main protagonists of these results are the athletes, their dedication and passion for what they do and all their coaches or those who, throughout their sporting career, have had the ability to guide and help them in what is the life of an athlete, which is divided between family, school, friends and their sport, in the club and in the national team,” José said. 

Head coach João José has high expectations for Portugal's campaign in the European Golden League

In 2024, Portuguese players truly made a name for themselves in international Volleyball.
In France, Saint-Nazaire VB Atlantique, whose roster includes Lourenço Martins, became national champions, and made history by achieving this feat only two years after moving to the top-flight division of the French league. After the transfer from Sporting CP to French Volleyball, more specifically to TOURCOING Lille Métropole, the former team of Miguel Tavares Rodrigues, the outside hitter of the national team joined Saint-Nazaire VB Atlantique in 2021, claiming the Ligue B title first and more recently the Ligue A as well. 

In Poland, Aluron CMC Warta ZAWIERCIE featuring Miguel Tavares Rodrigues, setter of the national team, after lifting the Cup (Tauron Puchar Polski), ended the season as runners-up in the PlusLiga. They only lost to titleholders JASTRZEBSKI Wegiel, silver medal winners in the elite CEV Champions League, thus achieving the most remarkable result in the club’s history, where Alexandre Ferreira, captain of the national team, played earlier in his career as well. 

In Spain, and against the strong CV Guaguas, Iberian champions, Bruno Cunha’s Grupo Herce SORIA had to settle for 2nd place in the Superliga, but Cunha finished the season as the top scorer of the championship on a massive tally of 570 points (503 attacks, 35 blocks and 32 aces).

The Golden League is a competition contested by some of the top European teams and gives access to the FIVB Volleyball Nations League (VNL). In the European Golden League 2023, Portugal finished Pool A in second place, losing only to Türkiye, who ended up winning the European Golden League for a third time after beating Ukraine 3-2 in the final in Zadar, Croatia. 

The preliminary phase of the Golden League will run from May 17 to June 2, 2024, and features a new format. It will reach its climax with the Final Four scheduled for June 15-16 in Croatia.  
Team Portugal’s roster: 

José Pedro Andrade (AA Espinho) 
Miguel Tavares Rodrigues (Aluron CMC Warta ZAWIERCIE/POL)      
Bruno Cunha (CDV Río Duero SORIA/ESP)
André Pereira, Filip Cveticanin (Leixões SC)
Alexandre Ferreira (LKPS LUBLIN/POL) 
Miguel Sinfrónio (SK Zadruga AICH DOB/AUT) 
Bernardo Silva, Eduardo Brito, Nuno Marques, Tiago Violas (SL Benfica)     
Gonçalo Sousa (Sporting CP)
Lourenço Martins (Saint-Nazaire VB Atlantique/FRA)
Rodrigo Pereira (VC Viana/Casa Peixoto/IPVC)
Manuel Figueiredo, Miguel Cunha (Vitória SC)
Bruno Dias (Gas Sales Bluenergy PIACENZA/ITA)