There is lots in a name for these Brazilian footballers...
While it is not uncommon for footballers to have intriguing names at times like Kaka, Mata or Nani, nothing beats Brazilian footballers’ uncanny penchant for whacky names and nicknames, according to an article written by Adam Hurrey in www.telegraph.co.uk.
Take, for example, Brazilian midfielder Mahatma Gandhi Heberpio Mattos Pires, who plays for Serie B outfit Atletico Goianiense. Joining the 23-year-old in the Atletico dugout are other curiously named players like John Lennon Silva Santos and Carlos Adriano de Souza Cruz, also known as ‘Michael Jackson’.
While Lennon, named after the legendary Beatles singer and songwriter, plays as a left-back, striker Jackson now plies his trade for South Korean side Daejeon Citizen.
Lennon and Jackson are not the only players to have musical influences behind their names. There’s also Santa Cruz striker Creedence Clearwater Couto, named after rock band Creedence Clearwater Revival, a band active in the late 1960s and early 1970s. They happen to be Couto’s father Aflanio’s favourite band.
Movies too have inspired a fair share of names among Brazilian footballers.
Midfielder Ben-Hur Moreira Peres, for example, was named after the 1959 American epic film Ben Hur, and Mário ‘Marlon’ Brandão da Silveira, who was last seen in action for a Hong Kong second division football side, has been named after the legendary Hollywood actor Marlon Brando.
But perhaps the most comical name of all is Brazilian football club Paysandu’s full-back Glaybson Yago Souza Lisboa or Yago Pikachu as he is popularly known. Apparently, the footballer was nicknamed after the popular Japanese children’s animated character, Pikachu, for his liking to the ‘Pokemon’ franchise, which encompasses animated television shows, video games, comic books, and toys.