With the Socceroos heading to play the five time FIFA World Champion, Brazil, next week, let’s hope that they overcome some of the bad press Australia has recently received there.
When the Channel Nine Today Show decided to celebrate Australia’s recent qualification for the World Cup following super-sub, Josh Kennedy’s 83rd-minute headed winner against Iraq, the presenter asked viewers to help them brush up on their Spanish.
One of the other presenters then disputed this assertion, and said that Spanish was not spoken in Brazil by responding, “Don’t they speak Italian there?”
After asking viewers to send in some Spanish phrases, a savvy Brazilian decided to get his own back by sending in a supposed Spanish phrase ‘do caralho‘ which the presenters were told means ‘amazing effort’.
The problem is that ‘caralho’ is in fact the Brazilian Portuguese word for ‘penis’ and ‘do caralho‘ is a common Portuguese swearword.
The following clip from the show was aired on Brazilian TV, which I am sure you will agree was “not a good look” of Australia, for the hosts of the upcoming World Cup next year.
The ‘Legendinho’, Tim Vickery, the well-known English football pundit, and who now resides in Brazil, mentioned this on the BBC World Football Phone-In programme recently.
Tim, who knows everything there is to know about football in South America, quite rightly, made fun on Australia’s behalf.
Let’s hope the Socceroos make amends for this ‘Faux pas’ (of the type that is sometimes the domain of some ill-informed Americans) and give the Brazilian team, which will field none other than FC Barcelona’s newly signed superstar, Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior, something to worry about on the field of play.
Brazil has won four of its previous meetings, with the Socceroos earning a famous 1-0 victory in Ulsan (South Korea) over ‘Seleção Brasileira’ (in Portuguese this means the ‘Selected from all over Brazil’) at the 2001 FIFA Confederations Cup in the third-place play off.
The winner in that game was scored by a headed goal from centre-back Shaun Murphy, who jointly top scored with two goals in the competition, and who was on loan to Crystal Place from Sheffield United at the time.
Highlights from that game can be found here:
The Socceroos suffered the pain of yet another failed qualification against Uruguay five months after this game, while Brazil went on to win its fifth FIFA World Cup in the 2002 tournament at Yokohama a year later, beating Germany 2-0 from a brace by the great Ronaldo Luís Nazário de Lima.
The ninth and 46th FIFA-ranked teams play each other this time at the Estadio Nacional Mané Garrincha Stadium, Brasilia less than 10 months out from the world’s biggest sporting event next Saturday, 7th September.