The Wisdom of Socrates

Is it just me, or are Brazilian football mononyms just not as cool as they once were? I mean, “Robinho” is okay; “Vagner Love” is stone-cold cool in a kind of ’70s black-is-beautiful I’m-gonna-have-some-women-over-and-drink-Colt-45 way; and “Kleber” has the virtue of being completely bizarre. But now that the Brazilians have exhausted every possible variation of “Ronaldo” and churned out multiple “Fred”s for some reason (why no “Barney”, or even “Wilma”?), it’s hard not to be nostalgic for the days of truly epic aliases. Like “Socrates,” for example—has there ever been a better ‘un?

Idea: the Brazilians should seek renewed inspiration in the Classical World. Think of this starting XI:

Cato * Cyrus the Younger * Thucydides * Pericles
The Emperor Diocletian * Darius II * Alcibiades * Crassus
SPQR (“The Senate And People of Rome”!) * Octavian

Seriously. How bad-ass would a player have to be to call himself “The Emperor Diocletian”?


About zachdundas

Freelance journalist. Author of The Renegade Sportsman (Riverhead Books). Thank you.
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