The Beautiful Game

John
filed under:
Image credit: 

I presume that everyone in America has quit their jobs in order to watch every game of the World Cup (I can't confirm this on account of how I haven't left my apartment since the tournament started last week), and so you probably know that the Brazil is favored to win, due to its overwhelming awesomeness.

There are many theories about why Brazil is so good at football, but I personally believe it is the nicknames--a tradition that dates back almost a century. According to this article, the first Brazillian national team featured an attacking player named Formiga, or ant.

These days, for some reason, Brazil's best players tend to be named Ronaldo. The current starting line-up features two. Ronaldinho, which means "Little Ronaldo," is the greatest player in the world (I mean, seriously--he's so good that sometimes opposing fans cheer him). And Ronaldo used to be Brazil's best goal scorer. But it may be time for Ronaldo to start going by Ronaldao (meaning "Big Ronaldo"), since the President of Brazil recently phoned the national team's coach to ask how Ronaldo got so fat.
Incidentally, the goal-scorer in Brazil's 1-0 defeat of Croatia today? Kaka. Get your head out of the gutter, dear readers--it's just a shortened form of Ricardo.

More from mental_floss...

June 13, 2006 - 9:07am
submit to reddit