‘Marias Chuteiras’: Brazil’s ‘soccer gold diggers’ are mostly interested in top soccer players; relationships lead to tens of thousands in monthly child support

Note from BBT: We are all familiar with what many would classify as that notorious class of women known as ‘groupies’ and ‘gold diggers’. For the most part, just hearing these terms, we know what these women are about and what they want. So whether they make their ways to the backstage areas of their favorite singer or rapper, or to the sidelines of the games of the baseball, basketball, football or soccer player that they desire. As it is usually obvious what they have to offer, they often, or usually, make sure that their best assets are on full display for the object of their desire.

The details and stories that we hear about these types of women, their adventures and sometimes the ways that they manage to attain lifestyles far better than anything they could have earned for themselves have never been as easy to know. In today’s era of social media, some of these women brag about what they do, how they do it and what they do to get it.

What’s funny to me is that, even knowing that these types of women can found in probably any city where there is a major professional athletic team, every day, athletes continue to get caught up and losing significant percentages of their income by having to support their female admirers and/or the children that come out of the relationships that these women seek.

Every year we hear stories of athletes who went from rags to riches and then back to rags within only a few years after their professional sports careers ended. Of course, it is true that some of these athletes go broke due to poor money management skills and bad business deals, but two reasons that are consistently shown to lead athletes to the poor house are child support and alimony payments.

It’s no secret. Think about it. How many athletes have you heard about having lost almost everything after marrying and/or having numerous children with one, two or more women? Now, I’m not here to say that every woman one meets is out to dig into his pockets, but the simple fact is that alimony and child support laws clearly give women an upper hand in the courtroom.

This is the case in the United States and it is also the case in Brazil. So, if you know anything about gold diggers or sack chasers as we used to call them back in the day, if you’ve ever had any interest in getting to know Brazilian women and you’re an athlete, well, even if you’re not an athlete, you might be interested in learning about the world of the ‘Maria Chuteira’. In the world of the ‘Maria Chuteira’, you will hear about lavish hotels, expensive gifts, maternity suits, alimony, divorce settlements, one night stands and even murder.

As I’m sure you already know, if a woman happens to snag the right player, it could become a very lucrative relationship, even if the actual relationship doesn’t last long. Just how lucrative, you might ask. Well, in nine years, superstar Neymar’s child support reportedly went up from R$30,000 to R$90,000 per month. This amount was established so that the mother of his son, Carol Dantas, could care for their son Davi Lucca.

Neymar with Carol Dantas and their son Davi Lucca

In 2007, another Brazilian ace and two-time FIFA Golden Ball player of the year, Ronaldinho Gaúcho, was ordered to pay R$ 30,000 a month to the dancer Janaína Viana Mendes to support his son João. In February of this year, Ronaldo ‘the Phenomenon’ Nazário was ordered to pay R$26,000 after having fallen behind on his child support payments. In 2019, Ronaldo’s ex, Michele requested payment of R$200,000 in child support for their son, Alex. Originally, the payments were set at R$35,000 per month, with R$ 10 thousand being in cash and the other R$25,000 to cover real estate expenses, school and the boy’s security. The player’s ex, Michele Umezu, requested the payment due to the increase of expenses.

Ronaldinho Gaúcho, at right in left photo, with former girlfriend Janaína Viana Mendes and their son

In 2014 it was revealed that another top Brazilian player, known as Adriano Imperador, was paying his ex-fiancee, Renata Santos, R$12 thousand per month for his daughter, Lara. Adriano also has two more children from a previous relationship, so it’s anybody’s guess how much he shells out per momth for the three. FYI, Ronaldo ‘the Phenomenon’ Nazário has a total of four children himself. Don’t know why, but the sound of a cash register just keeps ringing in my ear.

Ronaldo ‘the Phenomenon’ Nazário, left, and Michele Umezu

To make these numbers make a little more sense, we need to understand that Brazilians measure their income according to how many minimum salaries they earn each month. The current minimum salary for Brazilian workers is R$1,212 per month. So, if a worker earns, for example, R$2,424 per month, it is said that the person earns two minimum salaries per month. A worker that earns R$3,636 per month is said to earn three minimum salaries per month and so on.

To put this into context, in late 2021, a report showed that 90% of Brazilians earned up R$3,600, which is just short of three minimum salaries per month. On the other hand, Brazilian workers who earned R$ 10,313.00 per month, or eight and a half minimum salaries, were said to be part of the richest 5% of the country. The real elite of the country, those earning 20 minimum salaries per month, or R$ 24,240 per month, represent only 1% of all Brazilian workers. I present these numbers to show how difficult it is for workers to enter that class of 10-20 thousand reais in earnings per month.

So, when I speak of the child support payments the so-called ‘Maria Chuteiras’ receive from soccer superstars, I’d say it’s anybody’s guess if these athletes got into these relationships because they felt that they had genuinely found their ‘soul mate’ or if they were the targets in the eyes of various women who had well-developed schemes to reel in millionaire players.

In some ways it doesn’t really matter. The bottom line is, many of these women have done very well because of their relationships with star athletes. Could they have earned this type of money on their own? I can’t and won’t say that they absolutely couldn’t have, but I will say that considering the numbers I presented above, it would be highly unlikely.

I’m curious as to what you think. With 90% of Brazilians earning up to R$3,600 per month, those earning a little over R$ 10,000 per month being part of the richest 5%, and those earning more than R$ 24,000 being part of the top one percent, how many of these women would realistically have had a chance at this jet set lifestyle if they hadn’t hooked up with a rich soccer player.

Jus sayin’…

Wanna know more about a few of these women?

The story below is taken from a 2019 article from the Brazilian magazine Istoé. Today’s piece by the journalist known as Alinne is only an introduction to a topic that I’m sure I will cover again in future videos and articles.

The world of the Marias Chuteiras

Folkloric figures in the Brazilian imagination, women who are mostly interested in and get into relationships with soccer players tell curious stories that can even inspire reflection

By Alinne

Conquering a big star is the dream of many young women who live behind soccer players. The seduction is often for the status and perks that such a relationship can provide, in addition to fleetinging fame – even if only in the gossip columns. For the players, surrounding themselves with these women who dress in short and daring clothes, is a symbol of prestige and power. In Portuguese, the term that is constantly used to refer to them is “Maria Chuteira”, women, usually young, who seek at all costs furtive encounters or famous “escapades” with the soccer players. Usually, they jump from one player to another and don’t miss the opportunity to appear in the spotlight with controversial statements or embarrassing situations. All of them, without exception, want to achieve fame by flirting with athletic celebrities.

Model Dani Sperle doesn’t hide that she has already gone after soccer players – she has no problem admitting that she has already hooked up with Adriano, ex-Flamengo player, and Neymar – but she thinks that the nomination of “Maria Chuteira” (soccer gold digger) is excessively generic. She argues that there are also those who get with musicians or successful businessmen, and that they don’t even have a specific term to designate them. “I don’t care about profession, it can be a player, a businessman, or a mechanic. The important thing is to identify with the person,” she swears.

There are others who openly admit that they seek players – including the most famous ones. Andressa Urach has already been one of them, the former contestant of the “Miss Bumbum” contest was sought by the Portuguese soccer superstar Cristiano Ronaldo in 2013 when he played for Spain’s Real Madrid. The player saw some pictures of her, and became interested. She traveled there with everything paid for, but the relationship was far from a good experience, as she tells in her book “Morri para viver”, meaning “I died to live”, published in 2015.

The meeting between the two lasted less than an hour, in the hotel where the star was staying. She even asked for a photo with him after the meeting, but she was snubbed and stayed locked in the hotel room while waiting for him. Cristiano was married to Russian model Irina Shayk at the time, which caused quite a stir when Andressa revealed the meeting to the international media – which he denies even today that it happened.

VIVI BRUNIERI Former porn actress known as “Ronaldinha” because of her affair with Ronaldo Fenômeno, dropped what she considered “prostitution” to be an evangelical missionary in Japan. In 2019, she opened a steakhouse.
ANDRESSA URACH converted to evangelicalism after a near lethal experience in a cosmetic procedure with hydrogel
Renata Frisson, Mulher Melão (Melon Woman), once said she was a “retired Maria Chuteira” and nowadays only keeps friendships with soccer players

 

Psychologist L.Y, who has been working in the sports world for over ten years, says that players who date a lot of “partners” may have to deal with a little more emotional stress – because of the repercussions of relationships that made it to media headlines.

Dani Sperle says that the first time she had a relationship with a player was when she was 18 years old

“When my athletes tell me they’re dating, I always give them a hint to get to know the girl better, if she really likes them and if she is someone who will support him when the phase on the field is not good. It’s just like anyone else. Among the duties of a psychology professional in soccer is to work on the head of a young person who goes from a minimum wage to thousands of dollars almost instantly.

“I’ve had cases of players who went from a salary of R$800 to R$25,000 in less than a month. This concept is also valid for the aspiring girlfriends of these athletes, since from one moment to another they can enjoy a lifestyle that would be much more difficult to achieve through conventional jobs.

The term ‘Maria Chuteira’ (soccer gold digger) carries with it some predetermined judgments, as if a woman is only interested because of the fame and fortune that a successful relationship with a soccer player can provide. Athletes in this sport often come from precarious socioeconomic backgrounds, which belittles these athletes – “how could anyone fall in love with a poor guy like that?” – in addition to turning women into mere adornments for the players.

Despite this, the women exist and can be found in bars and clubs frequented by the players. They strategically map out the fashionable spots of the athletes and literally go out hunting, in search of minutes of fame and money. Next to a famous star, they find the shortest way to sensual photo shoots and promotion of modeling careers.

RONALDINHO The soccer star saw repercussions after releasing a photo during his vacation at Atlético-MG with several “friends”

This is not a national phenomenon. The marias chuteiras break borders. When he was an athlete, the former Brazilian team player Vampeta confessed that he took six women to Europe when he played in France. All of them paid for entirely by him. “I will be honest. I have taken women to Paris, Milan, and Holland,” he said. Of course, they were not moved by love or passion. The objectives were very pragmatic: money, luxury and fame. Many players enter this game knowing full well what game they are playing. “It’s normal for athletes who play in Europe to take girls from Brazil there. Abnormal is a rape scandal,” said Vampeta, from Bahia.

“It’s not enough to have sporting success, you have to accumulate women as a sign of success” evaluates Gustavo Andrada, researcher of the Education and Gender Relations Study Group of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul. He conducts research related to sports “They are used to measure a player’s talent. They are like a trophy,” he says.

For the women who, in the end, end up marrying soccer players, called wags, a mixture of wifes and girlfriends, an English expression for those who date and walk down the aisle with soccer stars, “Maria Chuteira” is nothing more than a label that debases the image of women and ends up being exploited almost always through a macho point of view.

For Gustavo Andrada, the increase of female participation in soccer can be an antidote. By playing, they stop being characters behind the scenes of soccer and become protagonists in the sport. The 2019 Women’s World Cup in France, which was widely covered by broadcast TV channels in June and July, in some ways, helped this transition. “The greater publicity of the Women’s World Cup tends to bring some questioning. I don’t know if it will be a lot, but it will certainly do something”, he projects.

The Eliza Samudio/Bruno case

The case of Eliza Samudio

When we talk about the “Maria Chuteira”, it is common to remember the tragic case between the goalie Bruno (ex-Flamengo) and the model Eliza Samudio. Motivated by an unwanted pregnancy, the goalie ordered the kidnapping of her and her son in June 2010. The investigation concluded that Eliza was killed by strangulation at the player’s farm in the city of Ribeirão das Neves located in Minas Gerais state. Her body was butchered and never found by the police. Bruno was sentenced by popular jury to 22 years and seven months in prison for murder, concealment, kidnapping, and private captivity.

Former goalie Bruno Fernandes das Dores de Souza, left, and Eliza Samudio

In 2017, the goalie got an injunction by habeas corpus, signed a contract with Boa Esporte Clube, from Varginha, also in Minas Gerais state and even played five matches with the club. A month later, Bruno had his right to freedom revoked and returned to jail. In 2019, he was working in a closed regime prison in an association of assistance to convicts in Varginha, and would try a progression to a semi-open prison facility, but he was caught with two women in a bar during the time he should have been working. As a result, he will only be able to request the progression of his sentence in 2023.

Bruno Fernandes das Dores de Souza

In Brazil, the prison system is considered progressive with various stages and rules applying to the type of prison stay a prisoner will have. In the closed prison regime, prisoners are confined within the prison all day and all night. In the semi-open regime, they are allowed to work outside in the daytime but are required to return to the prison every night.

Source: Istoé

About Marques Travae 3746 Articles
Marques Travae. For more on the creator and editor of BLACK WOMEN OF BRAZIL, see the interview here.

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