By Joyce Ashuntantang
Not many FIFA world cup fans know that the official name of the 2014 FIFA World match ball is “Brazuca” and not many know that the name was selected by Brazilians after an unprecedented voting frenzy on the internet. The “Brazuca” won by over a million votes, an overwhelming 77.8 percent ahead of ‘Bossa Nova’ (Popular Brazilian dance style) and ‘Carnavalesca’ (Someone who loves a carnival). It is not surprising that the football loving nation chose “Brazuca”. Brazuca means “fella” and means “Brazilian” in some countries. Therefore “Brazuca” simply means “Brazilian”. Naming the official world cup “Brazilian” seemed like a natural progression of things. The soccer ball must be Brazilian; after all they seem to have domesticated the sport. The country has not only won the coveted trophy five times, It is the only country to have appeared in every tournament since its inception. Brazil is also the country that gave the world Edson Arantes do Nascimento a.k.a Pelé, widely regarded as the best player to have ever played the beautiful game. But by claiming the ball to be Brazilian, the Brazilians may have succumbed to hubris. “Hubris” which originates from ancient Greece means excessive pride or self-confidence which leads to action (s) or spoken word(s) that are offensive to God (s). Many heroes in Greek tragedies like King Oedipus were brought down by “hubris”.
Some may think that calling the official world cup ball, "Brazilian” may be nothing egregious for a nation that has come to believe that “God is Brazilian” but a look at the successive names for the world cup balls may reveal that naming the world cup Brazuca might have been the most potent form of hubris.