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2016-07-29 19:44:00 CET

The master and the apprentice

Ricardo teaching the next generation of Brazilian stars

Ricardo rises highest at the net during an epic on Center Court. Photocredit: Bernhard Horst.Ricardo rises highest at the net during an epic on Center Court. Photocredit: Bernhard Horst.

He’s won gold in Klagenfurt an astonishing four times and stood on the podium a total of 10 times.

Oh, and he’s won three Olympic medals and four World Championship medals!

He might be 41 years old now but that isn’t stopping the legend that is Ricardo Santos from strutting his stuff on the sand at the A1 Major Klagenfurt.

Together with 21-year-old teammate Andre Loyola Stein, the veteran beach volleyball hero is putting his enormous experience to good use on the shores of the Wörthersee.

“I like to help young players improve when they play with me,” Ricardo told us. “That’s what I try to do: to help accelerate their learning process.

“I know that you can only learn through experience and I sometimes sense that players are a little afraid of expressing themselves because perhaps they are wary of my reputation. But I tell them they have a bright future and not to worry about pressure.

“Of course it is frustrating but young players don’t know any better. I like to teach players how rallies work, I want them to learn how to play on court in certain situations and how to anticipate certain plays.

“I have to calm myself down sometimes and not get frustrated because I shouldn’t expect a player with less experience to do such things.”

The Brazilians battled back brilliantly against a noisy home crowd to win their last-24 match against Austrian young guns Ermacora/Pristauz-Telsnigg to set-up a meeting against Brouwer/Meeuwsen on Saturday.

“Klagenfurt is and always has been special,” added Ricardo. “What I like most is that the crowd not only watches the game, they live it. They understand the game, they are very knowledgeable.

‘The tournament is organized so well and having won here before, I know how important it is.”

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