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A Former President Is Doing His World Cup Commentary From Prison

His first ~analysis~ was on Brazil's draw and Germany's surprise defeat.

Posted on June 19, 2018, at 2:41 p.m. ET

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva watching the World Cup in 2010 as Brazil played Costa Rica.
Ricardo Stuckert / PR

Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva watching the World Cup in 2010 as Brazil played Costa Rica.

After being imprisoned nearly two months ago, former Brazilian president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva has a new gig lined up: World Cup commentator.

He made his debut on Monday on the Brazilian show Papo With Zé Trajano on TVT, a channel run by the Union of Metallurgists of Brazil's ABC region and the Bank Workers Union of Sao Paulo.

Lula has a television in the Federal Police building that serves as his cell but only has access to the public broadcasting channels. So he's watching the games on Rede Globo, the only public broadcaster that broadcasts them. Rede Globo, according to him, is a channel that backed a "coup" to pursue his party during its coverage of Lava Jato, the corruption scandal that has ensnared most of Brazil's political elite.

Lula himself won't be appearing on camera any time soon. The way it works now, Lula writes his comments and hands them off to the team of lawyers who visit him practically every day. The lawyers then pass on that text to journalist José Trajano.

When BuzzFeed News spoke with Trajano ahead of Lula's premiere, he said that Lula had already delivered his text, talking about the Brazil–Switzerland match and Germany's surprise loss against Mexico.

"Lula will be a commentator. We'll put his text with quotation marks on the screen and someone will narrate the comment," said Trajano. But it won't be a Lula impersonator doing the reading — according to Trajano, that would be a "slap [in the face]."

"And it's not joking, it's serious," said the journalist.

Trajano didn't provide an advance look at Lula's comments, but he did give his own World Cup analysis: He found Brazil's game "disappointing." He considered Brazilian star Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior's performance to be weak: "A lot falls, despite having suffered many fouls."

This post was translated from Portuguese.

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