Wednesday, 17 July 2024

Roby, Robinha and Robita

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?
Nobody seems to know exactly why Cerezo chose a wolf as a mascot. The only explanation the team offers is that Roby symbolizes "intelligence, teamwork and aggressive play." But that is just one of the many unique characteristics of Cerezo's mascots. Around the turn of the century, some of the top teams began introducing secondary mascots in a bid to appeal to individuals of all genders and age categories. By the mid-00s at least half of the (male) mascots had been joined by a female partner -- either wife or "girlfriend" -- and a few had even produced children. 

Cerezo, however, chose to expand their roster of mascots in a less conventional way. In 2007 or thereabouts, a rather plump, middle-aged female wolf in a pink pantsuit suddenly appeared on the team website. At first fans were scratching their heads at the new mascot's odd appearance. But the team quickly clarified that the newcomer -- who went by the remarkable name of "Elegante Esplendita Dida Robinha de Cerezo" -- was in fact, Roby's mother. The middle-aged women of Osaka have a reputation throughout Japan for their outspoken ways, slightly garish sense of fashion, and powerful personalities. Apparently, team officials felt that this "splendid, elegant" lady would help distinguish Cerezo as the "true representatives of Osaka culture" (no doubt a dig at their cross-town neighbours, Gamba). In any event, Madame Robinha, as she is generally known, has become quite popular with fans -- perhaps even moreso than her toothy eldest son.

More recently, the family was extended further with the appearance of Roby's younger brother, Robita. Now, all we need to know is how Robinho fits into the family picture...


Cerezo Osaka -- Team Uniforms (1995-present)

Click on the small pictures to see a larger-size image

1993 (H) 1993 (A) 1994 (H) 1994 (A) 1995 (H) 1995 (A)
1997 (H) 1997 (A) 1998 (H) 1998 (A) 1999 (H) 1999 (A)
2000-01 (H) 2000-01 (A) 2002-03 (H) 2002-03 (A) 2004 (H) 2004 (A)
2005 (H) 2005 (A) 2006 (H) 2006 (A) 2007 (H) 2007 (A)
2008 (H) 2008 (A) 2009 (H) 2009 (A) 2010 (H) 2010 (A)
2011 (H) 2011 (A) 2012 (H) 2012 (A) 2013 (H) 2013 (A)
2014 (H) 2014 (A) 2015 (H) 2015 (A) 2016 (H) 2016 (A)
2017 (H) 2017 (A) 2018 (H) 2018 (A) 2019 (H) 2019 (A)
2020 (H) 2020 (A) 2021 (H) 2021 (A) 2022 (H) 2022 (A)