16. 09. 2019

INTERVIEW: Rafael Araujo - "Our main target is to hit the playoffs"

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Rafael Araujo, the Brazilian international, is set for a new adventure in his career!


He will play in France for the first time in his career. Araujo's new career destination is Rennes. We have talked with the Brazilian opposite about the upcoming challenges.

How’s it going with the preps the new season?

Yes, everything is good. I joined my teammates a week later because I was waiting for the visa. However, I came here at the same shape as my teammates. We played the first friendly game, we won it and it’s a good start for us. However, there are a lot of things we need to make to prepare for the season as best as possible.”

Are you satisfied with the club and place so far?

Yes, I am definitely. The team is good, teammates are great. I knew some of the players even before I joined the team. The club is providing everything we just need to train well and to make good results.”

How do you spend your free time there?

I am a person who likes to travel, to visit the new places. Usually, at the beginning of the preps, you have slightly more time so I am using it to get the know the French culture. I visited some interesting places with my wife. Also, I like to visit some good restaurants in France, to taste the local cuisine.”

Rennes reached the playoff quarterfinals in the last season. Do you think you can make a better result in the 2019/2020 season?

It’s difficult to compare this team to the previous one. For sure, our main target is to hit the playoffs. In the previous season, they played good matches against the rival in the quarterfinals but unfortunately didn’t manage to reach the semis. They lacked something to get there. We need to prepare more for this season especially for the playoffs. We will have more travels since we will play in European competition.”

How would you rate the seasons in Poland? Have you reached your personal goals there?

No, not yet. I like the championship, it’s very competitive. I played in a club with high ambitions. I can say I hit my personal goals, was one of the top scorers, but my goal is to win the medal in the league. Who knows, we never know about the future. I am happy in France now, focusing on my new challenge.”

How did you feel after leaving ONICO in the last season?

When I was there, we started the season in a good way. We were playing well, we were in the third place, everything was perfect. At one moment, the club decided to sign the world star player and I lost my minutes on the court. Since I wanted to play, I started searching for a club and I couldn’t find an offer in Europe that will fit into my plans. The club from Qatar showed an interest and I went in Qatar.”

What’s your impression about the league in Qatar?

They love volleyball. They surprised me. I didn’t expect that. It was a really good experience. I went to play at the Emir cup. They have a lot of work to do, to improve more the level of the league. It’s not easy to do it but they are on a good way to make it.”

How did you spend your summertime?

I was in Brazil and it’s wintertime there. I got married and I was on the national team. I played two rounds in the Volleyball Nations League. I was in the roster for Panama Games, but I injured my calf and missed the tournament. Everything is fine now with the injury, of course.”

Since you are playing three years in Europe is there something that you are missing so much from Brazil?

Well, from volleyball point of view, I can say nothing. But I miss food and what else… weather I will say. I mean, I can easily adapt to the weather, my stay in Poland proves it,” says Rafael Araujo.


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