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Meet Brazil's 'Black-Magic Enthusiast' and his anti-German voodoo dolls

Published on: 07 July 2014
An Afro-Brazilian ritual takes place at a religious-goods shop in Rio de Janeiro on July 3, 2014

After Neymar's injury, the Brazilian team may need all the magic it can get. 

Magic, or some other supernatural tendency, has had a long and weirdly intimate relationshipwith the game of soccer.

This isn’t simply a matter of the clairvoyant octopus or turtle that may have accurately predicted the outcome of a World Cup match or two.

When Ghana’s national team, for instance, lost to Zambia in the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations, Ghanaian coach Goran Stevanovic pointed to deliberate acts of witchcraft between his players as a plausible explanation for the upset. (Stevanovic, it should be said, was fired shortly afterward.)

So let us be disturbed, but not particularly surprised, by Helio Sillman, the Brazilian “black-magic enthusiast” who, via a voodoo doll in his occult curio shop in northern Rio de Janeiro, has plans to “take [Germany’s] top player and bind his legs so he can’t run on the pitch,” reports AFP.

Brazil will play Germany on Tuesday afternoon in what’ll likely be a riveting match, considering the near infallibility of both teams so far. In the past few weeks, Brazil has trounced Cameroon, Chile, Croatia and Mexico; Sillman has voodoo dolls of players from all four teams sitting in a bowl in his shop. The match results are proof, he says, that his magic works.

The Brazilian team may need all the magic it can get. Neymar, the team’s golden player, apparently fell outside the domain of Sillman’s protective aura when he was kneed in the back during Friday’s quarterfinal match against Colombia, causing a particularly nasty lumbar vertebra fracture that’ll keep him benched for the remainder of the World Cup.


This article has 3 comment(s), give your comment
  • Edward, Maryland says:
    July 07, 2014 10:51 pm
    The image of Ghana that people here in America remember vividly is not that of the plane carrying three million dollars of cash to the players, or Muntari slapping a GFA official. It is that of a fetish priest or soceerer (whether real or fake) chanting at the stadium. This is all that people here are talking about. No matter how you try to explain it to them, it doesn't hold. These are people who have for years perpetuated the stereotype of the African's heart as the heart of darkness. Some of us we don't understand many things. Ghana as a nation has to be very careful. Some of us might take this as a joke. But with satan, nothing is a joke. Our players enter the soccer field and gather together to pray while we at the same time have a guy dressed as a fetish priest sitting in the stands chanting on our behalf. Who are we mocking? God is not mocked. Since these guys pretending to be fetish priests started going to the fields some carrying pots etc, what has the Black Stars won on the field? I tell you God is not mocked. We have to take steps to remove these elements or replicas of fetishism from our soccer, then we'll be prosperous. This is really Ghana's World Cup of shame. I wouldn't be surprised if GSN refuses to publish this. Since of late , they have refused to publish me. Anything that touches their interests they'll not publish whether good for Ghana or not . They will however publish Mumbi and co. whose only interests on this site are to peddle insults at Ghanaians
  • banger says:
    July 08, 2014 12:18 am
  • Anointed says:
    July 08, 2014 09:54 am
    Edward of Maryland, I pray God richly blesses u. This issue has been weighing heavily on my heart esp during our stay in the tournament. Very disturbing was the fact that cameras were put on him during our goal celebrations to look as though he orchestrated the goal. Hence, it least surprised me wen we eventually had to lose or draw the games, lest we give glory to some undeserving painted beings. Christ reigns.