Captain Rapha,

first glorious Captain in the history of Verona Volley, who better than You could introduce us to the world of volleyball when we were “born” together in July 2021 and represent us on and off the pitch. You immediately believed in us, it didn’t take much, we know, to convince you. A short phone call from Rado, your leader of many previous triumphs and off you go, you were ready to leave Brazil with all your family, even with a blank contract but with a lot of enthusiasm. We will NEVER forget that. We had never had any doubts that we had chosen the right MAN for us, the most solid and expert basis from which to start, our first step to make all your companions understand the seriousness of our project and the values in which we believe and with who we want to grow. You have been a precious athlete for us on and off the field who knew how to reach out to all your teammates every day and we are well aware, last year, of all the difficulties we experienced together up to the last championship match in which the the stake was really high; you compacted the team by transforming understandable fear into indomitable courage. Wonderful guys, last year and this year, who have been able to listen to you to understand how to become champions and face joys and difficulties and above all help each other and stay united for the common good of the team, the club and the fans. Seeing you every day in training was a show for me and for all of us for your great commitment and dedication and it was also seeing the admiration you were shown by the technical staff and your teammates who always recognized you. It wasn’t at all obvious given your resume and sporting “longevity” but you taught us a lesson there too, I repeat, we had no doubts. You have been able to manage the locker room as only great champions and above all great men can do. Captain giving lots of pats on the back but knowing how to be decisive and direct when it’s needed, always with a smile and with the sole aim of making individuals, the group and our society grow. You have been a precious beacon for many of our boys who were facing for the first time a championship which is at the same time the most beautiful but also the most difficult and competitive in the world and which puts pressure on to be able to manage even when physiologically one does not yet have adequate experience. I hope and hope, on behalf of the whole club, that I have given you even just a small part of what you have given us with your humanity and professionalism. Your sporting successes and your records fully represent you and it was a great honor for all of us to be able to make you wear the first jersey in the history of our club and we will always set you as an example also in the future for our athletes, from the first team to the youth sector. May your seriousness and humility serve as a virtuous model for achieving great goals. Our paths hopefully only momentarily divide but know that you have been, are and will always be one of us. We love you, thanks/obrigado of all our great CAPTAIN.

Stefano Fanini

President of Verona Volley