The voice of Brazilian football
Brazil met Argentina in the second round of the 1990 World Cup, pummelled them for 80 minutes without scoring, and then fell to the sucker punch as Diego Maradona produced one of his turn and burst specials, drew the defence and slipped a pass for Claudio Caniggia to round the keeper and score the only goal of the game.
Galvao Bueno, commentating on Brazil's TV Globo, was not impressed at all. His post-mortem on the goal was along the lines of 'why didn't someone take Maradona out, come across and kick him?'
He was still going on about it a few minutes later, when Maradona cut through again only to be brought down by Brazil captain Ricardo Gomes, who was sent off. 'Why didn't anyone do that the first time?' he said.
It was all very different from the tone struck by Barry Davies on British TV four years earlier. "You have to say that was magnificent," was the grudging but sincere response to Maradona darting and dancing his way through the England defence to score the famous second goal in the 1986 quarter-final.
If it had happened to Brazil a few minutes after a goal had been punched into their net, it is unlikely that Galvao Bueno's reaction would have been so controlled.
Caniggia celebrates after scoring the winner against Brazil in Turin during the 1990 World Cup
Two decades on Bueno is still - by far - Brazil's best known commentator. He does it very well. He manages to pull off the difficult trick of analysing the game reasonably well while he is describing its progress. His voice is deep and rich, distinctive and resonant and he is excellent at using it.
He also has a whole range of little trademark expressions which he pulls out during the course of the game. My favourite is when a high ball is played into the box and he yells 'Who's getting up there?' - a hugely effective means of building the drama at what could be an important moment.
To casual watchers of the game, Galvao's presence at the microphone sends out the message that the match is important. In Brazil he is a superstar, with an ego to match. He probably signs as many autographs as the players, with the difference that his career has lasted longer.
But, of course, another difference is that the big players are stars all over the world, while Galvao Buenos's fame, like all commentators, is limited to his area of action. Football is watched globally but consumed nationally.
Language is obviously the most significant dividing factor in this process. But culture is vital as well. If, for example, you could put what Galvao says into some new fangled translating tool and have it come out in the voice of a skilled English commentator, it wouldn't work half as well.
One of the big reasons for Galvao Buenos's prolonged success is that he is a genius at giving voice to Brazilian nationalism - a phenomenon that the global game tends to bring to the surface.
"Football has an enormous value for the Brazilian people," I was told a few years ago by 1970 great Tostao. "First, they like it in itself. Second, in competition this turns into something of the nation, something heroic.
"The people feel avenged - the message is that you other countries might be the first world in other things, but we're the best at this."
This is the seam that Bueno mines away at with stakhanovite devotion to duty. He loved doing the World Club Cup final just over four years ago when Sao Paulo won a backs-to-the-wall 1-0 victory over Liverpool.
Sao Paulo defeated Liverpool in the 2005 World Club Championship final in Yokohama
The only goal was scored by little midfielder Mineiro and Galvao spent the rest of the game eulogising his feat with the line: "You don't have to be a giant to play football.'
It didn't make the greatest sense as Sao Paulo are known for being a big, strong team and this side, with its three strapping centre-backs, was no exception. But it fitted perfectly into the David v Goliath story that he wanted to tell.
Liverpool fans woke up the next morning mystified to discover that their websites had been invaded by Sao Paulo supporters quoting Galvao's line.
One of his favourite expressions comes out when someone playing against Brazil unintentionally lets the ball run under his foot for a throw in or takes a shot that narrowly misses the corner flag. "They don't have the same intimacy with the ball," he disdainfully crows.
And when things are going badly for the Brazilian national side his voice can turn into a little boy whine, complaining as if something were wrong with the natural order of the world - and that something is certainly wrong with the referee!
Until the Brazil goal comes and he can sit back with the air of a man lighting a cigar and say that "it was just a question of playing the ball along the ground" as if the goal was as inevitable as night following day.
Of course, Brazil does not have a monopoly on such emotions. Scottish readers may well be chomping at the bit and fuming that England carry around with them an aura and an arrogance that they deserve to be ranked among the best - with much, much less success than Brazil to back it up with.
The point is, perhaps, that English commentators would be wary of using Galvao Bueno's triumphalist tone. In a country with such an imperial history it would come across as a return to the 19th century, as if Lord Palmerston had come back to life and was going to react to a dodgy offside call by sending in a gunboat.
It could also be, of course, that English commentators are a bit out of practice at celebrating major tournament wins for the national team.
Comments on the piece in the space provided. Other questions on South American football to firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll pick out a couple for next week.
From last week's postbag:
Q) As a Manchester United supporter I was interested to see that Douglas Costa (a supposed United target) was on the brink of moving to Shaktar Donetsk for under £5m. In the summer he was being touted as being worth £20m. I know he had an injury but has his form really dipped so much and how highly do you rate him? Is it too early for a move to Europe for him?
A) I don't think all that £20m stuff did him any good at all. He got a first-team chance towards the end of 2008, did well in a couple of games and a week after being unknown was being linked with Europe's biggest clubs. The idea that he was going to step in and instantly replace Cristiano Ronaldo was absolute nonsense.
There is a lot of talent there but a huge amount of growing up to do. I'm sad that he's moved because I think 2010 was going to be a crunch year for him. He's been a bit part player for Gremio, arguing with coaches, getting himself stupidly sent off and so on.
This year should have been the one when he established himself there as a first team player. But the offer came, Gremio needed money and away he went. The fact that so many Brazilians are there already is good - will help him settle in - and bad - he might not get a game. It's a gamble with his career. In a perfect world he would have stayed at least two more years.
Q) I am wondering why Jadson of Shaktar Donetsk, and formerly of Atletico PR, has never been capped for Brazil at senior level. His range of passing, composure on the ball and quality at set pieces could be a real asset for the national team. You have spoken at length about the dearth of passing and playmaking ability amongst the current crop of Brazilian midfielders and recently Dunga has called up Kleberson, Cleiton Xavier, Lucas, Diego Souza and Julio Baptista, while ignoring Jadson.Do you rate him at all, and does his current club and lack of physicality, for want of a better word, hinder his international chances?
A) Talking of players who could prevent Douglas Costa from getting a game! I'm a big fan of Jadson, picked him out in World Soccer magazine in his glory season at Atletico exactly for his ability to play the surprise pass. If he'd played for a major cub in Rio, Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte or Porto Alegre he would surely have been given a chance by now.
It's hard to see him get in for the World Cup at this late stage, though I agree that a call up would not be undeserved. The main thing that hinders his international ambitions is Kaka, and perhaps a resurgent Ronaldinho as well. These are the people he is competing with for an attacking midfielder slot - he's not competing against the likes of Lucas and Kleberson.