Today in the world of eSports it is normal to know athletes more by their nicknames, that is, the identifiers they choose in the game, than by their real names: n0tailone of the most successful Dota 2 players is the Danish Johan Sundstein, the American Jonathan Wandel is Fatal1ty I Moon, well known to the Warcraft 3 community, is South Korean Jang Jae-Ho. The list, that it would still be long, could lead to the question of how nicknames are born and asserted in sport. If the choice of nicknames is made by the individual athlete, for reasons that are sometimes unfathomable, it should be borne in mind that the nickname is certainly not exclusive to the world of eSports, on the contrary: athletes are always they have been assigned nicknames. , for different reasons.
In some cases these are reasons why it is not an exaggeration to define culture, as any South American athlete amply demonstrates. In Brazil it is often a matter of convenience: especially long Portuguese names are usually shortened as a matter of practice. Ronaldo Luis Nazário of Lima became then simple Ronaldo, Adriano Leite Ribeiro is only known as Adrianoand the current captain of the national volleyball team Bruninho it actually corresponds to the full name of Bruno Mossa de Rezende. In Argentina, however, yes a cultural issue for all intents and purposes: it is common to assign nicknames based on physical or athletic characteristics. If Javier Saviola was The Rabbitthe rabbit, by the protruding teeth, and Juan Riquelme was The Dumbthe mute, by his silent and introverted character, was Hernan Crespo El Valdanito by the resemblance to Jorge Valdano.
In other cases, however, the nickname was born to indicate the origin of a specific region: Juninho Pernambucano, born Antônio Augusto Ribeiro Reis Júnior, gave the nickname to the native region of Pernambuco; Ronaldo of Assisi Moreira, on the other hand, better known as Ronaldinho, was also called Gautxo: a reference to Rio Grande do Sul, the state of birth of the champion. Looking at other sports, anyone who has ever tried them online poker hand they will have had the opportunity to meet some of the most famous names of what, born as a hobby, is now a real competitive sport, especially in its modern digital form: M.inneapolis Meehan, Texas Doyle i Do you love me Cernuto are just some of the American poker players that are associated by nickname in their home area or city.
Other times the nickname is a matter of family, which is passed down from father to son. Just think of Juan Sebastián Verón, known as The Witch after his father earned the nickname The Witch, or Giovanni Pablo Simeone, today protagonist of the transfer market and nickname, El Cholito, derives from that of his father, El Cholo. Gonzalo Higuain also owes his nickname The Pipita to that of his father, who was nicknamed El Pipa by a particularly pronounced nose.
Finally, there are cases where the nickname comes from some anecdote, sometimes mysterious and sometimes linked to more colorful episodes: Julio Cruz, for example, has been throughout his career. The Gardener, The gardener. Legend has it that this nickname was given to him because he was also involved in the maintenance of the Banfield field, the team that made him debut; the interested party, on the other hand, believes that he was baptized in this way because he was playing with some teammates after training near a lawn mower. Valentino Rossi, on the other hand, owes his nickname, The doctor, to his circle of friends, which referred to his ability to “diagnose” the means with which he had to deal from time to time. And if Dries Mertens is known as Cyrus thanks to the head of a bowling alley, who monitors the score thus renamed the Belgian to protect her anonymity, Larry Johnson was given the nickname grandma for an ad. In the early 1990’s, in fact, the basketball player became the face of a Converse ad, in which he played an old lady who played basketball: the character, who also appeared in the famous sitcom Otto Sotto Un Tetto, became so iconic that it soon became Johnson’s nickname.