Chile's Matias, Tomas and Vicente Parraguirre (left to right)
Mexico City, Mexico, June 4, 2016- In Chile’s men’s national tea mall runs in the family, with brothers Matias, Tomas and Vicente Parraguirre being important members of the squad that’s aiming to make history at the Men’s World Olympic Qualification tournament in Mexico City.
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When approached by several media representatives here in Mexico about their relationship and what they feel about the situation of being part of their national team they smiled and joked that it is an issue they always answer to.
Parraguirre brothers always make headlines in Chile and recently at the South American Confederation Championship.
The youngest of the Parraguirre, Vicente with 21 years, has had an outstanding performance in these past two days. Vicente led his team as top scorer in both outings, projecting himself as one of Chile's star players.
Vicente is thrilled to be playing with his brothers “I always went to watch Matias practice, I always played around with my ball and began to get involved. Like he said, it was something natural and no pressure from our parents; it was the next step to follow into my brothers footsteps”.
Matias, with 28 years is the oldest, began practicing volleyball since he was nine years old. “I’ve been part of the national team since 2004 in the youth category, when I was sixteen years old” he expressed. “I made the senior team in 2005 and since 2011 we have been all playing together; it’s something that came out naturally and fun” he added.
About brother rivalry he said “there has never been this feeling among us, even playing in different clubs back home”.
Since he was fourteen sixteen years old, Tomas became part of Chile’s national team in 2005, “in the same year that Matias was called for the senior team, I made it into the U-18 team and in 2007 I joined my brother. I have a very close relation not only with my brothers, but with the whole team, we all consider ourselves family”.
The dynamic after practice is going back home and talking about volleyball “I’m sure our relationship would be very close even if we didn’t have volleyball in common” Tomas finished.
But in Chile’s national team, there’s more family tradition to talk about. Rafael Grimalt, captain of the senior team is brother of Esteban Grimalt, recognized Beach Volleyball player who competes in the FIVB World Beach Volleyball Tour with his cousin Marco Grimalt.
Rafael jokes that Chile has a long history of family related players “we make fun of the situation, but volleyball has brought our families together and we’ve enjoyed and suffered thru out many years, making our way into life more united”.