Born: March 9, 1974 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil
Category: Male Indoor Player
Known as the “eternal captain,” Nalbert Bitencourt was a multi-dimensional player equally skilled as a passer, defender and attacker on Brazil’s dominating teams of the early 2000s.
A volleyball athlete from 1984 to 2009, Nalbert began his professional career in 1992 by winning the FIVB Youth World Championship in 1991. He followed that feat with a first-place finish at the FIVB Junior World Championship in 1993 and later winning the FIVB World Championship in 2002. Nalbert was the first player in the world to be a youth, junior and senior world champion.
Nalbert played professionally in three countries. He played nine seasons for Brazilian clubs, four years in Italy, and one season in Japan. But it was always while playing for the Brazilian National Team that Nalbert would reach his greatest achievements.
He was part of Brazil’s Triple Crown of gold medals in winning the 2002 FIVB World Championship, the 2003 FIVB World Cup and the 2004 Olympic Games. During that Triple Crown run, Nalbert additionally helped Brazil capture the 2001 and 2003 FIVB World League titles to go with the 2002 World League silver medal.
He was selected as Brazil’s Sportsman of the Year in 2002.
After fighting to recover from shoulder surgery, it seemed Nalbert might not be ready to compete in the 2004 Olympics. But he overcame the pain and realized his dream of Olympic gold. His dedication, determination and spirit of leadership earned Nalbert the title of “eternal captain” of the Brazilian Men’s National Team.
Nalbert also found success playing two seasons on the FIVB Beach Tour finishing as a high as fourth place at a Grand Slam event.
Above all, Nalbert was always an example of an athlete who took the Brazilian name to the world. Retired from playing, he is still connected to the sport as a commentator for the games on TV and through motivational speeches.
For his drive and determination to be the best player and leader on the court, we welcome Nalbert Bitencourt in the player category, as a 2014 Inductee to the International Volleyball Hall of Fame.