|Full name||Gilberto Amauri de Godoy Filho|
|Born||23 December 1976|
Londrina, PR, Brazil
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||88 kg (194 lb)|
|Spike||325 cm (128 in)|
|Block||312 cm (123 in)|
|Last updated: 24 August 2016|
Gilberto Amauri de Godoy Filho, known as Giba (born 23 December 1976), is a Brazilian former professional volleyball player who played as an outside hitter. For much of the 2000s, he was widely regarded as one of the best volleyball players in the world. During his professional career he played in Brazil, Italy, Russia, Argentina and briefly in the United Arab Emirates. He is mostly remembered for his successes with the national team.
With the Brazilian National Team he won a total of 8 South American Championships, 3 America's Cups, 8 World League titles, 3 World Grand Champions Cups, three World Championships (2002, 2006, 2010), a gold medal at the 2004 Summer Olympics and two silver medals at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics, where he was the team's captain.
During summer 2014, Giba retired from professional volleyball at the age of 37.
Giba debuted in his country for clubs such as Curitibano, Cocamar, Chapecó, São Caetano, Nipomed, Olympikus and Minas. He later moved to Italy, acquired by Yahoo! Ferrara, playing the Italian Top Division (Serie A1). After two years with that team, he signed a contract with Noicom BreBanca Cuneo (2003). In 2006 he won the Italian Cup, and was named the Most Valuable Player of the competition. In the summer 2007 he left Italy to play with Iskra Odintsovo. After playing 2 years in Russia in 2009 Giba moved back to Brazil and played for Pinheiros where in the first season with the club he won a bronze medal of the Brazilian Superliga. Over the last years of his career he also played for Club Ciudad de Bolívar in Argentina and briefly for Al-Nasr Dubai in the United Arab Emirates it is last club.
Giba debuted for the Brazilian National Team at the age of 18 in 1995 and in that year already he won his first major title which was the South American Championship. As the result Brazil qualified to the World Grand Champions Cup in 1997 as the continental champion and eventually won the tournament. In the subsequent years Brazil came up short in both the 1998 World Championship in Japan, where they lost a 5-set semifinal against the two-time defending champions Italy and in 2000 Sydney Olympics where after winning their group without losing a match, Brazilian team was upset in the quarterfinals losing 1:3 to Argentina. In 2001 Giba won his first World League title, while Brazil beat 8-time winners Italy in the final.
The following years are described as the Golden Era of Brazilian volleyball where Giba was a leader of a team, coached by Bernardo Rezende, which featured such players as Dante, André, Gustavo, André Heller, Ricardo Garcia and Sérgio Santos. After losing the 2002 World League final to Russia in Belo Horizonte, the team won all of the next 11 major international competitions, including: 5 World League titles, 2 World Championships, 2 World Cups, the World Grand Champions Cup and the Olympic gold medal.
At the 2002 World Championship in Argentina, Brazil took revenge on both Italy (beating 3-time defending champions 3–2 in the quarterfinals) and Russia (winning in a dramatic five-set final). It was the first World Championships title for the Brazilian National Team in history. In 2003 led by Giba the Brazilian team won the first of five consecutive World League titles, beating Serbia and Montenegro in the final (31–29 in the fifth-set tie-break).
At the 2004 Summer Olympic Games in Athens, Giba was at his best helping Brazilian National Team to win its second gold medal in history and being voted the tournament's Most Valuable Player. On 29 August 2004, in front of 10,000 fans at the Peace and Friendship Stadium in Piraeus, the Brazilians overcame Italy 3:1 in the gold medal match. His tremendous form continued during the next couple of seasons when in addition to winning titles, Giba was also awarded the MVP trophies for his performance at the 2006 World League, the 2006 World Championship and the 2007 World Cup. In that period he was considered by many to be the best volleyball player in the world. In 2006 he was given Prêmio Brasil Olímpico as the best Brazilian athlete of the year.
In 2008 with 32 year old Giba still in the starting lineup Brazil began to lose its aura of invincibility. The first upset came in the final tournament of the World League held in Rio de Janeiro. Playing in front of the home crowd Brazil was expected to win sixth title in row. In the semifinal however they were shocked by the United States losing the match 0:3. Later on that year Brazilian Team was able to reach the final of the Beijing Olympics, but again they lost to the US, this time in four sets. In a result Giba added a silver medal to the gold won four years earlier in Athens.
The following year Giba was included in a rebuilt squad which bounced back from the disappointing losses and regained the World League title. In the final played in Belgrade, Brazil faced Serbia and more than 22,000 of its supporters and won in a close five-setter. In 2010 Giba lost his spot in the starting lineup, as Rezende preferred to use younger Dante and Murilo as starting spikers. Giba however remained the team's captain and was still an important part of the national team, winning his eight World League title and the third World Championship in the tournament held in Italy.
In 2011, with Dante injured, Giba returned to the starting lineup and was close to add another World League title to his collection. He came up short however, as the Brazilian Team lost a close five-set final to Russia. At the 2012 London Olympics, with Giba again used mostly as a reserve captain, Brazil was on its way to another gold medal. Leading 2:0 and having a commanding advantage in the third set in the final against Russia, Brazilians missed out on couple of match points and were eventually beaten in five sets. The loss meant that Giba's third Olympic medal turned out to be a silver. After the Olympics, he retired from the Brazilian national team.
Giba is not very tall for a volleyball player but he made up his height limitation with his unique physical skills and jumping abilities. In his playing days he was considered one of the best wing spikers in the world. Giba was not only appreciated for his spectacular play but he also had desire, appeal and drive that made him loved by volleyball fans all over the world. He was named a captain of the national team because of his leadership skills. He was recognized for his highly energetic personality which was helping to motivate the whole Brazilian team to play its best. Brazil was considered nearly unbeatable in the 2000s and Giba was a big part of its success.
Giba was born in Londrina, but raised in Curitiba. He works with children fighting leukemia. He was diagnosed with this disease when he was six months old.
In 2003–2012 he was married to the Romanian-Brazilian former international volleyball player, Cristina Pîrv. They have 2 children together, a daughter Nicoll (born 2004) and a son Patrick (born 2009). In November 2012, Cristina filed for divorce. In 2013 he started dating with Maria Luiza Dautt. Giba is fluent in three languages; Portuguese, English and Italian.
Giba has been involved in commercial campaigns of such brands as Vogue Italia, Nissan, Technos and Olympikus.
Giba has been supporting orphans and children suffering from cancer. He is active in the campaign against prostate cancer. Giba and his ex-wife Cristina Pirv, who was also a volleyball player, entered the campaign of the Institute Art of Living Well, against breast cancer. Giba has also celebrated Olympic day with 600 children from social projects in Rio de Janeiro. He is a president of the FIVB Athletes’ Commission. He is also active in social responsibility projects.
The Brazilian Olympic Committee produced a documentary under the title of Heróis Olímpicos for Giba. His autobiographic book titled Giba Neles! has been translated into two languages Polish and Italian.
Giba in 2016 selected as President of the FIVB Athletes Commission. The Commission is made up of 10 athletes from nine different countries representing both volleyball and beach volleyball and will be officially launched at the Volleyball House in Rio during the 2016 Olympic Games in the presence of the IOC and the IOC Athletes' Commission.