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HomeSport NewsThe reason why some Brazilian footballers only go by one name has...

The reason why some Brazilian footballers only go by one name has been revealed

The reason why some Brazilian footballers only have one name has been revealed.

Ronaldo, Neymar, Kaka, Casemiro and Richarlison are some of the many Brazilian footballers who have followed the tradition of going by just one name.

Neymar’s full name is Neymar da Silva Santos Junior and Kaka is actually called Ricardo Izecson dos Santos Leite.

In other countries around the world, footballers are mainly known by both their first name and surname.

However, a large number of Brazilian footballers only go by one name. But why?

There is no specific cultural reasoning behind Brazilian players’ decision to go by one name, but most Brazilians do so anyway.

Givanildo Vieira de Sousa, known in the football world simply as ‘Hulk’ previously revealed to Tribal Football: “This nickname was given me as a child. I loved comic book characters and when I played my father began to say ‘go Hulk’. From that time it never changed.

Journalist Alex Bellos said in the book, Futebol: The Brazilian Way of Life: “Brazilian football is an international advert for the cordiality of Brazilian life because of its players’ names.

“Calling someone by their first name is a demonstration of intimacy — calling someone by their nickname more so.”

Image Credit: Getty
Image Credit: Getty

Lyris Wiedemann, who worked in the Portuguese Language Program at California’s Stanford University said: “We don’t use the last names.

“It reflects a trait in the culture that’s more personalised. We care about the person, and the person is not the family name. It’s who they are.”

Arguably the best Brazilian footballer of all time, Pele, went by one name for the large majority of his life.

Pele’s real name is actually Edson Arantes do Nascimento.



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