Origins of Brazilian Soccer Scorer Names

The link is for the article at Slate. A good teaser paragraph.

How Brazilian soccer players get their names. By Nick Schulz:

Brazil’s affinity for nicknames might stem from the country’s historically high illiteracy rate. As such, shortened spoken names are typically used more often than longer birth names. In Brazilian society, the use of a first name or nickname is a mark of intimacy. It’s also often a class signifier. Lula, for one, is known for his working-class roots.

This might help those a little confused about Ronaldo and Ronaldinho.

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.

Yeah, its a tad complicated…