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01. 01. 2018

NEW YEAR'S INTERVIEW: Tifanny - „I was like fish out of water while playing in men’s competition“

Source: Photo: Marcelo Ferrazoli/Volleyball Bauru

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Whatever you may think of her, Tifanny Pereira de Abreu is a phenomenon in the world volleyball sky.


A 33-year-old Tifanny became the first-ever transgender player in the Brazilian women’s volleyball championship Superliga. But, she had to cross a long road from playing in the men’s competition under the name Rodrigo, undergoing a sex change and finally getting a permission from the International Volleyball Federation (FIVB) to compete as a female, which happened more than a year ago. Her entire career as a male, of which she can be proud of despite playing it against physically stronger players, now seems as a career of some other person. And Tifanny is definitely a different person now, not only physically but also mentally. Her rivals in Italy, while she was playing for Golem Software Palmi last season, did their best to make her volleyball beginning as a female player harder as possible by constantly questioning her right to be the part of their competition. Moving to a club in her home country, Vôlei Bauru, recently, showed that she can be a hell of a female player, becoming a league’s star after several games only.

Describe the feeling when you got a permission to compete as a woman from the FIVB.

“Well, it was not different than when everybody wishes something and work hard to have it. So, I felt awesome.”

How hard was to play in the men’s competition knowing you are a woman?

“It was difficult. I was like a fish out of the water. Everybody looked surprised. It was like, what she’s doing there, the boys will ‘kill’ her? So, it was not nice to see this every day.”

How would you describe your first season as a female player in Italy?

“I did a good job. I and my teammates worked hard and it was OK.”


Some of your rivals in Italy openly protested against you playing in the women’s competition last season. So, how hard it was to deal with that kind of pressure?

“I didn’t give any attention to this and still don’t give to no one. I am here to focus on my club, my manager, and my fans. Who doesn’t like me it is their problem, the rules are on my side and that is more important.”

How did the cooperation with Vôlei Bauru start?

“It started when I came to Brazil to recover from the surgery of my hand. Day by day, they started to like what I was doing and I liked them, too. So, in the end, we decided to make a contract.”

Were you surprised with how quickly you adapted to playing in such a strong league like Brazilian?

“It was not that fast. I still train a lot and make some mistakes, but day by day, my coach helped me to find my best.”

The Brazil national team head coach Zé Roberto said he will pay attention to your playing this season. So, what do you say about a possibility to play for Brazil in the 2018 World Championship?

“The Brazilian National Team is amazing and strong and only best players will be there. If I make a good season maybe I will have the chance, why not, but all will depend on how good I am. The league has just started and I still have a lot to do.”


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1 Comments about "NEW YEAR'S INTERVIEW: Tifanny - „I was like fish out of water while playing in men’s competition“"

01.01.2018 | 19:03 |   Carlos Medina-Auza [unregistered]

I am a volleyball lover

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