REMEMBER BRAZIL 2014: World Cup mistaken identities

The top five cases of mistaken identity from Brazil 2014, featuring the interview with Scolari's lookalike and much misdirected Twitter abuse.

Scolari, seen here at training at Brazil 2014, was one of the World Cup mistaken identities
MISTAKEN: Scolari (Image: Danilo Borges/copa2014.gov.br)

The top five World Cup mistaken identities from Brazil 2014, featuring the interview with Scolari’s lookalike and the poor souls that received unwarranted abuse on Twitter throughout the tournament.


Continuing to remember the wonderful footballing extravaganza that just past, we take a look at those that were on the end of insults and criticism aimed at someone else as well as the Brazilian interview that caused a storm in the host nation.

Check out our run-down of the top five World Cup mistaken identities:

Marcello’s own-goal

What better place to start then the opening game which saw a dreadful start to the tournament for hosts Brazil in the form of an early own-goal against Croatia, scored by defender Marcello.

Naturally Twitter abuse was aimed at @Marcello:

To all those hurling abuse at me for scoring an own goal, please re-direct your anger to @12MarceloV. Thank you

— Marcello (@Marcello) June 12, 2014

Please try and score in the right goal this half @12MarceloV.

— Marcello (@Marcello) June 12, 2014


— Marcello (@Marcello) June 12, 2014

Luckily they ended up winning 3-1.

Jonathan Pearce’s goal-line technology meltdown

BBC commentator Jonathan Pearce was left distinctly confused by goal-line technology replays of a goal for France against Honduras in the group stage, leading to much hilarity.

Poor Anna Yearley’s husband, @jonathanpearse, was sure of what the public thought:

Oh dear.My lovely husband @jonathanpearse getting confused for Jonathan Pearce on twitter tonight. Reckon my Jonathan wld be doing better..

— Anna Yearley (@AnnaYearley) June 15, 2014

@AnnaYearley Yes, Yes, Yes…that was liquid football!!!

— Jonathan Pearse (@jonathanpearse) June 15, 2014

Phil Neville’s commentary

Phil Neville’s punditry during England’s disappointing loss to Italy in Group D were widely criticised for being remarkably boring and a radiator salesman from Suffolk felt the brunt of it.

BBC News report:

Mr Neville, from Hadleigh, said upon returning home from watching England’s 2-1 defeat against Italy with friends, he noticed his phone was constantly buzzing.

The former referee, who was a fourth official during some Premier League games in the 1990s, said he was used to insults from football fans, but could not believe the content of some of the messages.

“Some were very abusive. One person said ‘I hope you die’.

“Working in the sales industry, my name has been a benefit – people do remember me.

“With Twitter there are some real positives, but there are downsides – particularly if you’re famous.

“Some comments were comical and I’ve seen the funny side, but there are some sad people out there.”

Far from letting the insults get him down, @philneville used the opportunity to promote his business:

@mflangman I am not on the telly, I am here in suffolk selling designer radiators. See me a http://t.co/4ji6BlYegu

— Phil Neville (@philneville) June 15, 2014

The radiator salesman from Suffolk is available to commentate on the Uruguay game on Thursday should the BBC require a replacement for Phil

— Phil Neville (@philneville) June 16, 2014


— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Beijingcasuals) June 17, 2014

@philneville: where is the crispy duck, I would like to visit” IN BEIJING. WE ROLL OUT RED CARPET FOR EX MUFC STAR LIKE YOU PHIL! ??

— Beijing Red 4 Lyf (@Beijingcasuals) June 17, 2014

Luis Suárez’s bite

One of the biggest stories of this World Cup was the Uruguayan striker’s gruesome attack on Italy’s Giorgio Chiellini.

Much discussed and, of course, joked about – @Suarez was perhaps one of the few that could empathise with the attacker at the time of the incident.

Diego Suarez had a big day, coming out as gay in the morning and then this…

Suarez volvió a morder a un tipo y a mí me llenan de menciones hasta la madrugada, qué tipo, la puta madre

— Diego Suarez (@Suarez) June 24, 2014

@Suarez is a vampire… I hate him

— akahome sam (@bigsammie04) June 24, 2014

@Suarez you don't deserve to be. Footballer at all…… What an useless player. I wonder the kinda training you are giving to ur children.

— DopeBoiRozay (@Hillykrozz) June 24, 2014


— Diego Suarez (@Suarez) June 24, 2014

Please don´t mention me. I´m not Luis Suarez. And I dislike to bite people, dicks or butts. At least, don´t tweet that hideous pics

— Diego Suarez (@Suarez) June 24, 2014

Justo hoy pensaba confesar mi homosexualidad, qué día Señor, qué día

— Diego Suarez (@Suarez) June 24, 2014


— Diego Suarez (@Suarez) June 25, 2014

Quiero decirle a @luis16suarez que estoy dispuesto a negociar el username. Dale botija, tirá una oferta

— Diego Suarez (@Suarez) June 25, 2014

Interview with Scolari

The day after Brazil’s scoreless draw with Mexico in Group A, on a plane bound for São Paulo a Brazilian journalist thought he was getting the biggest interview of the World Cup when he spotted the Brazil manager and star striker also on board…

BBC News report:

Experienced columnist and TV presenter Mario Sergio Conti thought his luck was in last Wednesday, when he boarded a flight from Rio to Sao Paulo only to discover that Luiz Felipe Scolari, widely known in Brazil as Felipao, was sitting next to him.

The man answered some of his questions and an interview was published on the website of two of the leading newspapers in Brazil – Folha de S. Paulo and O Globo – where Conti writes occasional columns.

The problem was that the passenger at Conti’s side was not the real Scolari, but a look-a-like called Wladimir Palomo, who had gone to Rio to take part in a TV comedy programme – where naturally, he plays Scolari.

“Everything was a huge misunderstanding,” Palomo told the BBC on Friday.

He was travelling with a look-a-like of Brazil’s star forward Neymar – who was on the same flight – and whom the journalist also mistook for the real player.

After it emerged that the real Felipao had not left Fortaleza – where Brazil played against Mexico on Tuesday – the two newspapers had to apologise for the mistake.

The look-a-like said he had not presented himself as Scolari so he thought Conti knew that he was not talking to the Brazilian coach.

“It was a mistake: I really thought he was Felipao. But there was no bad faith involved. At least this mistake has not harmed anyone, it has not influenced the elections or hit the stock markets,” Conti told a reporter from Folha.

According to Palomo, he did not know he was being interviewed and the journalist only identified himself as such when they arrived at Sao Paulo.

In the ‘interview’ he praised Neymar’s performance and expressed surprise that world champions Spain had been eliminated. He also said Brazil’s draw against Mexico was useful to ward off the idea that winning a World Cup could be easy.

“For me, we were just chatting and I gave him my personal opinion about the tournament and the national team, as anyone would. Everyone is a coach in Brazil during the World Cup.”

Palomo said he felt overwhelmed – “even scared” – about the impact of the misunderstanding and had received at least 10 interview requests after the incident.

“Since yesterday my phone hasn’t stopped ringing. I will probably have to arrange a news conference to respond to everyone,” he joked.

One of the most curious aspects of the misunderstanding is that, in his piece, Conti mentions that, after the interview, Scolari gave him a card which read: “Wladimir Palomo – Scolari look-a-like”.

According to the columnist, he thought the real coach was joking. Sadly for such a well-regarded journalist, he was not.