Brazilian soccer fans go crazy when Kerlon bounces the ball off his head to run past defenders. The move is called a "seal dribble" because the 19-year-old midfielder is bobbing the ball like, well, a seal.
Not everyone is thrilled by it, however, and in this soccer-mad country Kerlon's antics are stirring quite a debate.
Kerlon confounds and irritates opponents as he darts by them. With the ball out of reach, they find it hard to stop him without fouling him.
I'll never stop doing the play," Kerlon said. "They'll need to create a new law if they want me to stop."
Some players say the move is disrespectful because it breaks soccer's unwritten code. They contend Kerlon uses the move to show off, not to score goals.
"It is a provocation. He may have to be sidelined for several years if he gets kicked in the face," said Emerson Leao, the former Brazil goalkeeper and current Atletico Mineiro coach. "I hope that never happens."
Kerlon's latest balancing act caused a nationally televised brawl Sunday after Cruzeiro beat rival Atletico Mineiro 4-3 in the Brazilian league.
Shortly after Cruzeiro took the lead for good, Kerlon decided to try the move. He bounced the ball on his head three times before Atletico defender Coelho leveled him with a hard tackle.
Atletico players charged Kerlon, screaming at him and accusing him of provoking them with the dribble. Kerlon's teammates came to his rescue, but the scuffle lasted several minutes. Coelho was ejected because of the foul.
"What Kerlon did was not right," Atletico striker Marinho said. "We know he is a skillful player, but I think it would be wrong even if he was playing for us."
Kerlon, whose full name is Kerlon Moura Souza, is undeterred by the critics.