Maybe the best-kept secret of this week's meetings of world leaders in L'Aquilla is the comedy stylings of one Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva.
The Brazilian president stole the show yesterday at a wind-up news conference of the G5 emerging nations (Brazil, China, Mexico, South Africa and India) when he pulled out jerseys signed by members of the Brazilian national soccer team and handed them out to his four colleagues, with a little joke for each.
Jacob Zuma, Mr. Lula's colleague from South Africa, was forced to relive the painful memory of a recent Confederations Cup soccer match, which his country lost at the last minute to Lula's squad. Mr. da Silva suggested that his Chinese and Indian counterparts stay patient, because their time at the top of the soccer world will come.
As the conference ended, Mr. Lula enjoined his colleagues to stand and hold their yellow and green shirts in front of them and then pointed to the No. 5 affixed to the back of one of the shirts -- No. 5, get it? That's five for G5.
Earlier today, Mr. Lula presented a similar jersey to U.S. President Barack Obama, whose country's team blew a two-to-nothing lead to the Boys from Brazil in the Confederations Cup final. He's also threatening to hand over a sweater to Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, perhaps the only leader aside from Mr. Obama who can match Mr. da Silva in theatricality.
The Italians, of course, are reigning world champions and, now that he's forewarned, don't be suprised if Mr. Berlusconi has something up his sleeve.