RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — A little-known second-division soccer club in the center of Brazil has a new lineup with some well-known names — thanks to the popular national tradition of giving celebrity monikers.
The club Atletico Goianiense this week signed Michael Jackson to play alongside others on the team like John Lennon and Mahatma Gandhi.
Michael Jackson’s real name is Carlos Adriano de Sousa Cruz, but like many Brazilian players he goes by a nickname rather than his given name.
Jackson could play with team members including John Lennon, whose given name is John Lennon Silva, and Mahatma Gandhi, whose full name is Mahatma Gandhi Heber Pio.
Jackson played with Brazilian clubs Palmeiras and Fluminense, and had a stint in China. But he’s no Pele — the soccer star with Brazil’s most famous nickname.