(Reuters) – Michael Jackson will join forces with John Lennon and Mahatma Gandhi after signing for Brazilian Serie B club Atletico Goianiense, the club said in a statement.
The 25-year-old’s real name is Carlos Adriano Sousa Cruz but he is usually known by his nickname which he earned for his eccentric goal celebration where he imitates the late American pop star’s dance.
Also known as Adriano Michael Jackson, he will line up alongside defender John Lennon, who was baptized John Lennon Silva Santos, and Mahatma, full name Mahatma Gandhi Heber Pio, at the midtable side.
The squad also includes a player known as Rafael Gladiador (Gladiator).
Brazilian footballers can be known either by their Christian names, surnames, nicknames or a combination of all three, often leading to exotic results.
A forward named Alain Delon, named after the French actor, is regarded as one of the most successful players to have represented Vitoria, while a Michel Platini, namesake of the former France captain and current UEFA president, plays in midfield for Bulgaria’s Ludgorets Razgrad.
Another Michael Jackson, real name Marileia dos Santos, once played for the Brazilian women’s team, taking part in two World Cups and an Olympic Games.
(Reporting by Brian Homewood; Editing by Rex Gowar)