The Rio Report

Cheeky masseurs, wacky names and grade-a flirting: a year in Brazilian football

The New Year may already be a week old, but it’s not too late to reflect on the past 12 months. Here are some of the worst (best) gaffes and assorted ephemera of the last year.

Spelling bee

The São Paulo football federation pulled out all the stops to announce the Byzantine new format of the Campeonato Paulista, projecting flashy images on a screen and roping in the usual scantily-clad assistants. But someone obviously forgot to run a spell check on the PowerPoint. The presentation was riddled with spelling errors, while the full names of Palmeiras and Corinthians were wrong. The devil's in the details, amigos.

Masseur of the year

This one, obviously.

Shake, rattle and troll

Hey you! Did you like the vuvuzela? You’re in luck! Say hell to the Caxirola, the official instrument of the World Cup. Shake it to make a rattling sound. Yes, just like that! Oh, and if your team are losing, you’ll find it doubles as a handy projectile to hurl at your under-performing players! Please use with discretion.

Best name

Petroswickonicovick Wandeckerkof. Seriously.

Keep rolling

Plus-size Goiás striker Walter ahead of Copa do Brasil final against Flamengo: “I’m going to lie down and roll on them!” Flamengo win, have last laugh.

Candid camera

In the changing rooms at the Maracanã after helping Brazil overcome Spain in the Confederations Cup final, Hulk snaps a picture. In the foreground, the winger is holding the trophy with Réver. In the background, Diego Cavalieri’s modesty is definitively not preserved by a towel. Internet infamy ensues.

PR 101

Maybe try using a club-brand armoured vehicle next time.

Celebration of the year

19-year-old Maurides scores first goal for Internacional, celebrates with ill-advised back-flip, cries as stretchered from field of play, misses months with knee ligament injury. Lessons learnt the hard way, #183.

Dishonourable mentions go to Rafael Ratão, Ronaldinho and Aloísio. This, meanwhile, trumps everything else for awkwardness.

Everybody needs an editor

Poor old Breno. Viewed as a hot prospect just a couple of years ago, the troubled defender is currently in prison for, er, burning down his own house. Allegedly.

Even sympathy comes back to bite the former Bayern Munich man. A Globo piece on him in November was accompanied by an overlaid image of a letter from his long-suffering wife. So far, so good, but a careless photo editor accidentally included what we may presume was the racy post-script to a heartening missive. A few choice phrases (“taste your sauce”…“just the tip”) can be spotted. When it rains, it pours.

Rant of the year

The appropriately named Edson Pimenta (Edson Chili) on being booed in his first game in charge of Portuguesa: “These guys come here to moan at us while their wives go shopping. I’m talking about half a dozen p***y-whipped guys who don’t like having sex.” Okay...

A well-earnt rest

Worries that Cruzeiro might take it easy on their final opponents after wrapping up the league title proved to be fairly prescient. Sample quote from Dedé with four rounds remaining: “I’m on holiday, man!”

Cultural capital

Pray silence please for Vanessa Tasquetto, a model-turned-singer (“singer”) whose (apparently non-ironic) musical debut is basically a manifesto for wannabe WAGs, and name-checks Ronaldinho and Adriano.

“I don’t want to go round in a Beetle, I want an imported car,” she whines. “It’s not enough to be nice, you have to give me presents and shower me with money.” The Mercury Prize committee are yet to get in touch.

Dream debut

Thrust into the limelight, he made a commanding debut even as Ji-Paraná lost to América-RN. A round of applause, then, for Brasil Afora, the rooster who stepped into the breach after the career of the club’s regular mascot came to a premature end. He was eaten by an anaconda.

He shoots, he scores

Renowned Casanova Fred does it again. Don Fredon indeed.

Room with a view

Worried about missing a goal when you visit the toilet during a game? No such strife for supporters of Acre…

Intolerable cruelty

The year in trolling: Fred comes under fire for party lifestyle; Atlético Mineiro remind Série A-winning neighbours Cruzeiro who won the Copa Libertadores; Atlético-PR fans taunt opposition coach Renato Gáucho with a life-size cut-out of his daughter in a bikini; Fluminense are ribbed after another fruitless Libertadores campaign; “Allow me to sort out my non-existent hair before I tackle you”; Ademílson falls for a classic schoolboy prank.

And of course, “Nutmeg me once, shame on you,” etc.

Fashion news

- The Cuban revolution celebrated on the shirt of a tiny club from Rio de Janeiro? It’s what Che Guevara would have wanted.

- Relegated to Série B in the courtroom, Portuguesa are weighing up using the colours of Fluminense to show their ire at the side who escaped the drop at their expense.

- Carmen? Dona Maria? Not the names of Corinthians players, but printed on their shirts anyway in a sweet Mothers’ Day tribute. The same club also produced this natty, fake-blood-spattered number in honour of Zé Maria, who soldiered on despite cutting his head during the 1979 Campeonato Paulista final.

- Must-have accessory of the year.

- In space, no one can hear you scream about São Paulo’s awful season.

And finally

This is why we can’t have nice things.