- I think Pelé was a very good soccer player from Argentina.
Eu acho que Pelé foi um grande jogador muito bom para Argentina
- I think Maradona is the world's best soccer player ever...
EU thinks Maradona is the best player in the world...
But there are other effective ways of hurting national sentiment. Going to Brazil and coming back to your homeland and insulting it is what many gringos do. Perhaps super gringo Sylvester Stalone did the best of all at insulting Brazilians while filming the movie The Expendables earlier this year, leaving behind a number of unpaid debts of £1.36 million.
He managed to comment on the narcotics police in Rio and make claims like it's ok to kill people in Brazil. “You could blow their whole country up and they'd still say: 'Thanks, here you go, take a monkey home,' The Brazilians took offense and started a campaign against Stallone, who until then was a hero in the country.
What we find difficult to understand is that in Brazil criticism and irony are rarely used and at the same time they are hospitable to gringos. To criticize is not in the vocabulary or in the culture - unless it is about how the national team is managed.
Ok maybe that's a generalization - but an intellectual who had lived in Rio for quite a few years explained that in Brazil you don't complain and you don't criticize and you let people be held... They can let it go very far and then he said in a joking tone - if you cross the line, they kill one.
Ivette Sangalo from Bahía is another national treasure. Divine and loved like few but she is an uncrowned queen of festivals in Salvador, trio eléctrico and she easily fills football stadiums. When I went to the gym in Feira de Santana they played her videos constantly every day all the time.
This week Ivette did a performance at the Madison Square Garden. She took Brazil to the US and 5000 people bought tickets in Brazil. The New York Times wrote a critical article in which they wrote that she could not measure up to Madonna or Shakira and that they could not absorb her music and what she sang.
What the critic didn't know is that Ivette Sangalo is a musical genre of her own. Just like bossa nova or samba, she is a musical style of her own. She is trielectrico. She is samba. So Ivette took the carnival to New York and the newspaper criticized the performance as not living up to the Colombian Shakira. Talk about insulting the great country of the north - almost like saying Brazilians play boring football…