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Washington Rodrigues, the famous “Apolinho”, is veiled at Flamengo
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Washington Rodrigues, known as “Apolinho”, one of the biggest names in sports journalism in Brazil, an icon of Rio broadcasting, passed away during coverage of Flamengo's 4-0 victory over Bolivar, from Bolivia, he was laid to rest this Thursday afternoon- fair (16/05), at the headquarters of his favorite team, Flamengo, in Gávea.


Washington Carlos Nunes Rodrigues, was born in 1936 in Rio de Janeiro and, since he was little, he was a “one of those” Flamengo fan. According to him, when he was still very young, he was already organizing his departures from school so he could attend Maracanã.

The nickname “Apolinho” came at the beginning of his career as a radio presenter. Celso Garcia, the late announcer, gave this nickname to the microphone that Washington used, in allusion to the microphone used by astronauts on the American Apollo space missions.


The radio host made a career working in sports journalism at both Rádio Globo and radio Tupi. In fact, completing 25 years of career at Rádio Tupi in February of this year, 2024. “Apolinho” also worked as a football coach: in 1995 he led the Rio red team in two competitions. In that year's Brasileirão, he came in 21st, however, he reached the final of the Copa Libertadores, finishing runner-up on that occasion.

when religion and sport meet

Washington was invited, three seasons after his time as coach, to the position of Football Director at Flamengo, by Kleber Leite, president of the Rio team who had “summoned” him, as he himself called it, to be coach in 1995. Creator of several popular catchphrases for Brazilian football, “Apolinho” showed everyone that good humor and communication could be synonymous with good journalism. In this way, he won the hearts of all faiths and fans.

“Apolinho”, radio broadcaster, communicator and eternal Flamengo fan was jailed at the Rio de Janeiro club's headquarters, in Gávea (Photo: reproduction/ Instagram/ @flamengo)

Sadness and Joy

A celebration of the life of one of Brazil's greatest communicators took place this Thursday (16) at Flamengo's headquarters, in Gávea, during the wake of “Apolinho”. After almost 4 hours of duration, the ceremony ended with shouts of “Uh, it’s Apolinho”.


Throughout the extensive duration of the formalities, which brought together family, friends, people who admired the communicator's work, and famous names in Brazilian football, historical statements and moments from the past were remembered, all very emotional.

Carlos Araújo, the “little boy”, former companion of “Apolinho”, declared that the legacy that his friend leaves is that of good humor in communication, which in no way takes away the credibility of good work.

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Luiz Penido, also a former teammate of the late Brazilian sports communication star, paid tribute to Rodrigues: “Apolinho is everything. It's just not something I thought, which is “immortal”. Because he is immortal. It will never be erased. He was my super friend from the first day of my career. He died listening to me, in a game that Flamengo won. He leaves a legacy, a mark in the press, in communication, in the newspapers” he stated emotionally.

Members of Flamengo's technical committee made their statements, especially the club's representative Rodolfo Landim, who commented on the team's obligation to comply with Conmebol rules that prevent off-field demonstrations, in addition to emphasizing that they will look for other ways to honor the illustrious fan red-black. “Every red and black player ended the game with mixed feelings. Very happy with the victory, but also very sad due to Apolinho's death”, said Landim.


Many big names in the sport, such as former players, members of technical committees, broadcasters, communicators, presenters and many ordinary people, even wearing shirts from other teams, came to pay their respects. Washington Rodrigues' family, represented by his two sons, Bruno and Washington, and his daughter, Patrícia, was present at almost the entire celebration of their father's life and story.

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At 3:47 pm, those present sang the Flamengo anthem, while watching the body of “Apolinho”, which was covered with the red and black flag and had a replica of the Libertadores cup in his hands, being taken to the burial.

Featured photo: Apolinho, an illustrious Flamengo fan, passed away on May 15th and, on the 16th, he was laid to rest at the headquarters of his favorite team (Reproduction: Instagram/ @flamengo)


Washington Rodrigues, the famous “Apolinho”, is veiled at Flamengo

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Washington Rodrigues, the famous “Apolinho”, is veiled at Flamengo

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