Brazilian national team players follow their country's custom and use catchy, one-word nicknames. Some simply go by their first name. Others have nicknames that require further explanation:
MF Cidinha [cee-JEEN-yah]:
Maria Aparecida Souza Dias
Cidinha is the diminutive form of the nickname "Cida", which is short for Maria Aparecida, a name often given to girls in homage to Brazil's patron saint, Nossa Senhora Aparecida.
D Fanta [FAHN-tah]:
Rosilane Camargo Motta
Her name comes from her affection for soft drinks, in particular Fanta, an orange-flavored Coca-Cola product widely sold in Brazil.
MF Formiga [for-MEE-gah]:
Miraildes Maciel Motta
Formiga means "ant" in Portuguese, and she won the nickname because of her sweet tooth.
GK Maravilha [mah-rah-VEEL-yah]:
She hails from a small town called Maravilha -- "Marvel" in Portuguese -- located in southern Brazil. Her nickname was coined years later when she arrived in Sao Paulo to play professional soccer. Asked by teammates where she was from, she told them the truth, and they made her "Maravilha."
F Maicon [MY-cohn]:
Andreia dos Santos
Dos Santos is a fan of American pop star Michael Jackson, and "Maicon" approximates the pronunciation in Portuguese of the name "Michael" as spoken in English.
D Nene [neh-NEH]:
Elissandra Regina Cavalcante
In Portuguese, the word "nene" means "baby", and for Cavalcante the nickname fits. The native of Porto Velho, in the far western state of Rondonia, is the youngest in a family of 12 children.
F Pretinha [preh-TCHEEN-ya]:
Pretinha means "little black girl" in Portuguese. To Americans this may seem derogatory, but to Brazilians -- who share European, African and indigenous ancestry -- it is a term of endearment. As she played pick-up soccer with friends one day in 1989, her nickname was born. "There's already a women player called Peleia [a play on soccer legend Pele's name] -- you will be Pretinha," her friends said.