It is fair to say that birthdays in the family of a professional footballer are a little different than usual.
When your dad makes millions annually, it’s no surprise to see jewelry, holidays, and cars given as gifts. However, the sons of Atletico Mineiro striker Givanildo Vieira de Sousa, nicknamed the Hulk for his remarkable physique, wanted something different this year: nothing; Just a memory.
And the former Brazil international, 36, came up with something amazing: a special video message from three of the greatest footballers who ever played the game: Neymar, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
“My children Ian and Thiago celebrated their birthday 07/20, Ian is 14 and Thiago is 12,” the Brazilian wrote on his Instagram account. “And they didn’t ask me for anything physical as a gift, they wanted something unusual and surprising. Being passionate about football, there’s nothing better than being congratulated by the best players in the world…gratitude to great idols and friends.”
Hulk started his career in Brazil before moving to Japan, but made his name in Portugal with Porto in 2008 before moving €60m to Zenit Saint Petersburg in 2012. Another huge move to China’s Shanghai SIPG team followed in 2012. In 2016, he reportedly earned over €400,000 a week, but left the club in 2021 to return to Brazil with Atletico Mineiro.
With 11 goals in 49 appearances for his country, Hulk would have found his compatriot Neymar easy to persuade, but it is not clear how he managed to convince Argentina international Messi and Portugal’s Ronaldo to give up time in their busy schedules.
Perhaps the fear of Hulk Smash was enough? But Dad will find it difficult to outperform his two other children!