Before introducing this blog, I must first introduce the author. If I had to guess, I’d say that very few people outside of Brazil know who Neto is. One of Sport Club Corinthians Paulista’s (or simply Corinthians) best players, José Ferreira Neto won the first Brazilian Championship with the team in 1990 and instantly became loved and idolized by all fans. Perhaps the reason why he isn’t known internationally is due to the fact that he played almost his entire professional career in Brazil, with only a few months played in Colombia and then in Venezuela in the late 1990s. Nonetheless, he did manage to make his appearance in the Brazilian National Team, and was in fact one of the first players to play in all of the National Team’s underage teams. His accomplishments include winning the Silver Medal at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. Today he is a commentator for Brazilian soccer, focusing on the main Brazilian Championship and the state tournament of São Paulo.
The blog, which is mostly written using sarcastic humor and provocative statements, can be unattractive for some. That is, of course, for fans who do not support Corinthians. Although it states that it strives to provide information about sports happening across the world, its main focus is on reporting news about Corinthians and in sometimes ridiculing the team’s main rival: Palmeiras. Roughly translating from Portuguese, he claims that his “controversial blog, coming from someone who played soccer for two decades, gives reliable news” and that “he’s not scared of saying what he believes.” On television, Neto is known for being very controversial as well, oftentimes screaming during live broadcasts and in this video (skip to 00:25), even slapping a fellow comentator for “speaking too loudly.”
As someone who grew up in São Paulo and became heavily interested in soccer during Corinthian’s golden years (late 1990s to early 2000s) when the team won the Brazilian Championship three times and the FIFA Club World Cup in the year 2000, I instantly became a fan. Only later would I find out that everyone roots for Corinthians in some form or another: the fans cheer for the team, while everyone else in Brazil roots against us. That’s why, for me, reading Neto’s blog is great as for once we are not the center of the online mockery.
The retired midfield displays his same personality in his blog as he does in live television. One of the most recent posts, Why Train with Mickey?, addresses his frustration with the team Corinthians, after one of the team’s key players, Guerrero, posted a picture on Twitter with Mickey Mouse in Disney world.
In that blog post, Neto claims that after seeing so many Brazilian teams travel abroad to the United States for pre-season training, he is worried that Corinthians is doing the same for marketing and monetary purposes. In addition, he claims that instead of working hard at the gym and trying to improve their physical and technical abilities, many of the players are seen either taking selfies with Mickey Mouse (such as Guerrero), or the goalie, Cássio, getting an autograph from Donald Duck. From Neto’s perspective, this is a waste of time and a shame professionally for the team.
Another interesting post, that happens to mock Palmeiras, is called “Where’s the Professionalism???” (Yes, with 3 question marks). In this article, Neto begins by saying that people accuse him of always criticizing Palmeiras’ main player, Valdivia. However, Neto counteracts this claim by saying that the Chilean only does things to mess up his reputation. Last month, the Chilean chose to return to Chile to be treated by Cuban doctors instead of taking advantage of Palmeiras’ fully equipped medical team for his leg injuries. This, Valdivia claims, will help him perform better in the next season, although Neto remarks that he can’t perform worse since as a striker he didn’t managed to score a single goal last season. With this in mind, he finishes his article wishing the club “best of luck,” as he believes that the player and the team’s lack of professionalism in allowing Valdivia to take months off to go to Chile is not a smart move. Nicknamed “the magician,” he hopes to see Valdivia perform his best trick and surprise everyone, however unlikely it may be.
While Neto’s posts tend to follow the world of sports as it’s currently happening, he occasionally blogs about players’ lives after they retire. In his weekly series “Life After Cleats,” Neto writes about the different paths that Brazilian players took after giving up the sport. Given the reality that most players end up mismanaging their money and declaring bankruptcy a few years after they retire, Neto has been criticized of only displaying the negative side of retirement. He responded to this claim by saying that not all players end up bankrupt, and that this is a sad reality that occurs very frequently. Therefore, to show some “positive” stories, in the most recent post, Neto writes about the goalie Danrilei, one of Grêmio’s most idolized players who won over 10 titles with the club between 1993 and 2003. As captain, his accomplishments ranged from State Championships to National Championships and the most coveted title in Latin America: the Libertadores Cup in 1995. Years after retiring, Danrilei took his leadership on the field to the political world and now sits in the country’s Parliament. His main focus is in improving the lives of people in his state, yet he’s not shy of letting his fans know that his dream job is to be Grêmio’s President in the future.
Overall, Neto’s blog is a fun blog to read and be informed about what’s going on in soccer (mostly Brazilian soccer). Though fans of teams such as Palmeiras might not appreciate every blog post he publishes, he certainly has content that can be appreciated by anyone.