NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE ‘J ogo Bonito,” the Portuguese phrase Nike adopted as a marketing slogan in the build up to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, means “play beautifully.” The idea behind Nike’s multi-pronged ad campaign was to curb diving, faking, and bribery while promoting the beautiful aspects of the sport — professionalism, teamwork, integrity, skill. The great, retired French striker Eric Cantona was featured in some of the ads, reading from the “Manifesto Futbolista”: “Arguing is for politicians and diving is for swimmers.”
Aspirational words, to be sure — Cantona’s own checkered record of sportsmanship as a player made him a particularly odd choice to …
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