Facundo Conte is on his first season with Sada Cruzeiro
Betim, Brazil, December 5, 2019 – Facundo Conte can already consider 2019 a very successful year in his career. But the Sada Cruzeiro Volei outside hitter hopes to add another cause for positive memories this week as his team play at the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Club World Championship in Betim, Brazil.
Conte’s winning trajectory in 2019 started miles away from Betim, though. Playing for the first time in Brazil, the Argentinean needed just a few months in the country to win the Superliga with EMS Taubate Funvic back in May.
In August, just two weeks before his 30th birthday, the outside hitter helped Argentina secure a spot in the Tokyo 2020 Games by scoring 45 points in victories over hosts China, Finland and Canada in the Olympic qualification tournament in Ningbo.
Back to Brazil, Conte signed with Sada Cruzeiro and it didn’t take long for him to lift his first trophy with his new club in the Minas Gerais State Championship, in early November.
“It’s been an almost perfect year so far,” the Argentinean reflected. “Not only for the results, but also because I really enjoyed every moment on the court, it was really amazing. I got to play really well in the playoffs of the Superliga and we ended up winning it. And with the national team, qualifying to the Olympics was the only actual goal we had for this year, so it’s great that we accomplished it. I hope the year ends the same way here with Sada Cruzeiro, hopefully we’ll have another reason to celebrate soon.”
If 2019 was a big year for the Argentinean, 2020 could be even more special. At a club level, Conte’s choice of Sada Cruzeiro has put him in a team that has been a perennial contender in every tournament for several years, meaning he could compete for a few more gold medals in the upcoming months.
At an international level, Conte, who has been a part of the Argentinean national team since 2008 and won gold at the 2015 Pan-American Games, dreams about taking the South Americans to the medal rounds after campaigns that ended in the quarterfinals at both the London 2012 and the Rio 2016 Games.
“I can only hope 2020 will be even better,” he added. “I always try to keep my focus on the present because you never know what the future will be, but there will be a lot of important tournaments to play with Sada Cruzeiro and, of course, the Olympics, so it’s already exciting to think about it and dream about what can be achieved.”
Facundo Conte playing for the Argentinean national team during the 2019 Volleyball Nations League
The son of the legendary Hugo Conte, a bronze medalist at the 1988 Olympics, will have a familiar face by his side in all the battles he takes on next year in head coach Marcelo Mendez.
The 55-year-old Argentinean, who’s been the coach of Sada Cruzeiro for the last ten years, took over the national team in May 2018 and is working full-time with Conte since his arrival at the Brazilian club.
“Having the same coach at the club and the national team is really helpful,” Conte explained. “It’s the same mentality and the same system in both places, so I don’t really need to adjust during the season. He’s a guy who sets ambitious goals for his teams and is always focused on winning, which is a mindset that certainly aligns with mine. I hope we can continue working together for a long time and that we can accomplish our goals at both club and national team levels.”