What Are Brazil Soccer Players Hulk and Pele’s Actual Names?

No, Brazilian soccer player Hulk is not Bruce Banner in disguise, and Pelé is not Pelé’s real name.

Hulk’s real name is Givanildo Vieira de Souza. The native of Paraiba — a northeastern Brazilian state — was given the moniker Hulk by his father when he played soccer at the youth level. Incidentally, Hulk does like Marvel’s Hulk as a boy, according to the Telegraph.

The 27-year-old made his professional debut at Bahia state club Vitória. He later went out on loan to Japanese side Kawasaki Frontale at the age of 18, before moving to Consadole Sapporo, where he scored 25 goals. Hulk became the Japanese second tier league’s top scorer the following season, notching 37 goals in 42 appearances for Tokyo Verdy.

Hulk eventually moved to Porto in 2008, and currently plies his trade at Russian club Zenit St Petersburg.

Like Hulk, Pelé has a real name, Edson Arantes do Nascimento.

As a youth player at Brazilian club Santos, the world’s most famous (former) soccer player was known as Gasolina (Gasoline). Pelé explained in his autobiography, “My Life and the Beautiful Game,” that he got his Gasolina nickname because while he doubled as an assistant for the senior players as a youth, and the seniors often told him not to spare any gasoline when traveling about settling their chores.

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