“It was my first game in the European Cups, so it definitely was something special” Thiago says. “I played only the last two sets and by that time we had already claimed our ticket to the next round. However, it was very important that I joined the actions because you are always a little nervous while making your debut with a new team. This way I got ready to keep on working hard and help the team even more in the next matches. I will never forget this experience; the sports hall was fully packed there in Finland and the home fans did not stop cheering on their heroes even though they knew they were already eliminated from the competition.”
This is only the second time Thiago has left his home country to play abroad after spending one season in Japan together with the Panasonic Panthers, a team from the city of Osaka. “That was a very unique experience especially because I was the only foreign player in the team” Thiago recalls. “Apart from this, I had to adjust to a culture and lifestyle that are totally different than what we are used to in Brazil. However, I really liked staying there and I think this helped me mature as a player and as a person as well.”
Together with Felipe Fonteles and head coach Daniel Castellani, Thiago compose a kind of South American community in Istanbul. “Yes, I can say that all together we are like a family. I know Felipe since many years and as for Daniel, he is a very skilled coach that knows and respects my game.”
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