Why Ronaldinho Has No Last Name
Nick Schultz looks at How Brazilian soccer players get their names. If you don't feel like reading, download the podcast.
Seventeen of the 23 players on Brazil's current World Cup roster go by a single name. Players with the same first name often change their moniker to differentiate themselves. In recent decades, there have been several Ronaldos at the national level. One became known as Ronaldao, meaning "big Ronaldo." Another became Ronaldinho, meaning "little Ronaldo." When another Ronaldinho came along in the late 1990s, he was called Ronaldinho Gaucho—that is, "little Ronaldo from Rio Grande do Sul." Eventually, the first Ronaldo left the Brazilian national squad, so Ronaldinho became Ronaldo. Ronaldinho Gaucho became Ronaldinho.Maybe that's what Team USA needs. After playing like a bunch of uninspired amateurs against the Czech Republic, they should give it a try.
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Tuesday, June 13, 2006