Andy Dawson: The greatest Brazilan footballer names you’ll ever hear

Ronaldo, Socrates, Rivelino, Tostao, these names roll off the tongue, but some Brazilian footballer names are better than others....

As Liverpool welcome Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson into their fold, the question has to be asked as to whether he’ll have a psychological advantage or disadvantage due to him… well, having a girl’s name, frankly.

Especially given that his middle name is Rameses, which would surely be more likely to strike fear into the hearts of opposing attackers. And that his surname is Becker, so he could call himself Boris if he was desperate. But no – he’s gone with Alisson, and as we live in modern, gender-fluid times, who can really blame him?

It got me wondering how many other unusually-named players there are in Brazil and oh yes, there’s more than enough to knock out a spectacular first XI. If THIS had been the Brazil team at the World Cup, I’ve got no doubt they would have won the thing…

Brazil supporters cheer during the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Brazil and Belgium at the Kazan Arena in Kazan on July 6, 2018. (Photo by Manan VATSYAYANA / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – NO MOBILE PUSH ALERTS/DOWNLOADS (Photo credit should read MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Another keeper with a lady name? Yep – and better still, he’s Alisson’s older brother! Currently operating between the sticks for Portuguese side Belenenses, I wonder if opposing players sneak up and tell him he’s terrible like the creepy sister in Muriel’s Wedding…?


The existence of Fred as a Brazilian player was always a source of fun, but who could deny that Bill is an improvement in the basic, blokeish name stakes. This fella has had a long career with more clubs than you could shake a stick at and is currently at Chiangrai United in Thailand.


Why not name yourself after your film idol? That’s what this lad did, enjoying spells at Sporting Lisbon and Boavista among other clubs. Roberto De Nirao would have been even better though

L’acteur américain Marlon Brando salue des amis venus l’accueillir à l’aéroport d’Orly, le 15 avril 1963. Marlon Brando est à Paris pour y régler des “affaires personnelles”. Il regagnera Hollywood mercredi et commencera à tourner différentes séquences de son prochain film “Le Roi des montagnes”, dont l’action est supposée se dérouler sur la Côte d’Azur. AFP PHOTO
US actor Marlon Brando salutes 15 April 1963 a few friends upon his arrival at Orly airport. Brando is on a private visit to Paris. AFP PHOTO / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER (Photo credit should read STRINGER/AFP/Getty Images)


Is he named after his parents favourite prog rock group or after the short-lived Sega games console of the late 1990s? Perhaps we’ll never know….


No doubt about this one – his parents were DEFINITELY well into 1970s American soft rock and this was the name that appeared on his birth certificate. Not unsurprisingly, he opted to play under the name of Paulista instead.


Yet more vintage music influence permeating the Brazilian footballer-naming rituals – this defender is currently on the books at Cruzeiro and not in the hearts and minds of Beatles fans across the globe.


Ignore this one – I made it up.


We’re back on track with this one though – another film-related name, this bloke played for a host of clubs including Gremio and Santos, before retiring in 2016.


Lionel Messi might be nicknamed The Flea, here comes his Brazilian equivalent… although if he bites you, there’s a chance you could die from Dengue Fever. Just don’t get too close if you got to watch him play for Arsenal de Sarandi in Argentina.


Blessed with the silky skills of Robert Pires and the non-violent activism of the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule in the first half of the 20th century. Probably.


More deadly name connotations – this young lad played in the Copinha youth tournament a few years ago but doesn’t seem to have progressed any further since then. Maybe he fell foul of his own name.


That’s enough, everyone – it isn’t going to get any better than Pedro Ken. has the latest odds for the new season