10 of the Oddest Brazilian Mononyms

Tony MabertContributor IMarch 3, 2012

10 of the Oddest Brazilian Mononyms

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    One of the things that makes Brazilian football so appealing is the novel nature of their footballers' names.

    The awesome yellow and blue kit plays a part, of course. So does the nostalgia of the "Samba" football that they were last true exponents of around 20 years ago.

    But there is something so cool about watching a team of players who all—or at least some—go by single-name monikers. After that, it only takes referring to yourself in the third person before you qualify as a pro wrestler.

    Here are 10 Selecao members who have had the oddest or most amusing names. This list gets crazier is it goes on. 

A Sample of Single Names

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    While most Brazilian mononyms have a real exotic flourish to them (think Ronaldinho, Rivelino, Jairzinho) there are some which are more evocative of a bloke you know down the pub than a Latin superstar.

    Names such as Alex, Fred, Bill, Lenny and Max have all graced the backs of shirts in Brazil. Surely there is another, sexier name that can be conjured from the half-dozen on their birth certificates.

    The most humdrum nickname for a Brazilian in recent times that comes to mind is Alan.

    The Braga striker became something of a cult hero among Liverpool fans when he played against their team in the Europa League last season, and could only stare in bafflement as the traveling supporters chanting his name when the Reds visited the Estadio Municipal.


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    Keirrison—full name Keirrison de Souza Carneiro—was not so long ago rated as one of the hottest talents in world football after making his debut for Coritiba as a teenager and going on to score 33 goals in 63 league games for the club.

    A big move to Europe came when he was bought by Barcelona in 2009, but he has since had largely unsuccessful loan spells at Benfica, Fiorentina, Santos and Cruzeiro.

    Keirrison may seem washed up at the age of just 23, but this seems in keeping with the rock and roll origins of his name: his father created an amalgam of his two musical idols, Keith Richards and Jim Morrison, with which to call his son.

CCR (Creedence Clearwater Couto)

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    This one is a bit of a cheat, admittedly, but this is potentially the coolest name of all time, in or out of football.

    Unlike most Brazilians who either go by nicknames or derivations of their given names, the Taubate striker has no work to do to find a distinctive moniker.

    Inspired by the incredible sounds of swamp-rock king John Fogarty and his band, Creedence Clearwater Couto will never have to suffer from having a low profile.

    And you thought Keirrison's name was rock and roll.


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    One final player with a rock and roll theme, and he is named after the big one. The King himself, Elvis.

    Elvis Vieira Araujo is a 21-year-old attacking midfielder, named after the ultimate pelvis thruster form Memphis, Tenn.

    He is currently on loan from Atletico Goianiense at Portuguese club Uniao Lieria, where he has scored one goal in 20 league appearances this season.

    A poor scoring record, perhaps, but his name is Elvis, and as such you cannot question him.


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    If fate were to give you a nickname taken from a comic-book hero, then you do a lot worse than be likened to the Incredible Hulk.

    The Porto striker boasts an enviable strike record. Last season, he scored 23 goals in 26 Portuguese league games as Porto romped to the title without suffering defeat. 

    Strike partner Radamel Falcao (a great name in its own right) left for Atletico Madrid, while Hulk remains at the Estadio do Dragao by way of his reported £83 million release clause.

    Manchester City still found a way to tease the bulky forward for his name last week when they chanted: "You're not incredible!"


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    One of the greatest players never to win the World Cup, Socrates captained the Brazil side which, perhaps more than any other, encapsulated the Jogo Bonito philosophy.

    The crafty and gutsy attacking midfielder was given his name for his deep intellect. A qualified, practicing doctor, he used his high profile to speak out against the oppressive regime which was in charge of Brazil during the 1960s and '70s.

    However, he also enjoyed the party lifestyle, and it was his chronic alcoholism which led to his death late last year.


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    Carlos Eduardo Alves Albina may be a 28-year-old striker for Juventude, but he also goes by a name evocative of that epic movie which involved Michael Caine putting on a posh accent.

    If one player named after a great warrior wasn't enough, when he was a player at ABC a few years ago, he shared a locker room with another who went by the name of Ben-Hur.

    It brings a whole new meaning to the notion having a squad full of warriors and generals. 

Great Names

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    Speaking of Ben Hur, there are plenty of other great historical names who have taken heir place in the annals of Brazilian football.

    In addition to Inter Milan goalkeeper Julio Cesar, you can hardly move for Jeffersons, Edisons, Wellingtons and Washingtons up and down the leagues.

    There was even a Bismarck, who enjoyed a fairly decent career as a midfielder who shared his time between stints in Brazil and Japan before retiring in 2003.


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    Rumours abound that Hollywood actor Michael Douglas was the inspiration for the Douglas family naming their son, and future Inter Milan right-back, Maicon. This was later denied by the defender.

    However, one player whose name is more evocative of something to which his name is unrelated is former Corinthians, Zaragoza and Borussia Dortmund forward Ewerthon.


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    As to how the Atletico Mineiro midfielder, Richarlyson Barbosa Felisbino, was named is not something that is known by me. But, nevertheless, his is a memorable name even if it doesn't roll off the tongue.

    His brother plays for Vasco de Gama, his brother-in-law is Deco and his father is an ex-footballer.

    But, perhaps most noteworthy of all, is the defamation lawsuit he filed against Palmeiras director Jose Cyrillo Junio after he claimed that Richarlyson was gay (h/t Brazil News).