By Theresa Gonzalez
When a country boasts some of the world’s best beaches, it’s likely to produce some of the world’s best beach volleyball players. Brazil’s Alison Cerutti earned a reputation as one of the best in the world after he and his teammate swept three major tournament titles in 2015: the World Tour Finals, the World Championships in the Netherlands and the World Series of Beach Volleyball in Long Beach, California.
Born and raised in Espírito Santo, Brazil, Cerutti began playing indoor volleyball in 2001 and three years later switched to beach volleyball after watching two star players from his home state compete in a tournament. By 2005,Cerutti claimed the under-21 State Championship title in men’s beach volleyball and found himself at a crossroads pursue the sport professionally or move on to university. Without sponsorship funding, he chose to pursue a business degree. But then, during what was supposed to be his final match, sponsors took notice when he made it to a qualifying round. By 2006, the innovative player known for his blocking technique was named Brazilian National Tour Top Rookie and over the course of the next four years received two national “Best Blocker” awards.