Watching football, every now and then you come across a player name that takes your breath away – sometimes you doubletake, and re-read that player’s name just to be sure you got it right.
After all, football is the global game, and there are some weird and wonderful names out there.
At the last World Cup, Brazil had Hulk and Oscar appearing in the famous Selecao shirt. And they barely scratch the surface.
1. Mark de Man
The Belgian midfielder has played five games for his country.
It’s an appropriate name for a footballer – patrolling in the midfield, he was always a marked man.
2. Danny Invincible
This Australian made his mark playing for British clubs Swindon Town and Kilmarnock. Often you’d barely notice him, like he was missing, but when he made an impact he was invincible.
3. Danger Fourpence
A Zimbabwean football defender who plays for Kiglon Bird FC. Some of his passes have landed on a six-pence, and he has formed a good combination with Limited Chikafa. However, his lack of consistency at times has somewhat shortchanged his team.
4. Leonid Slutsky
Current Russian coach. As a player, he was a goalkeeper, but was forced to retire at 19 after sustaining a knee injury – he fell out of a tree attempting to rescue a neighbour’s cat.
5. David Seaman
Arsenal and England goalkeeper, whom during his career looked like Mr Pringle. Seaman went off early in his movements with regards to a Ronaldinho cross, which led to the defining goal of the 2002 World Cup quarter-final loss to Brazil.
6. Fabian Assmann
The Argentine goalkeeper has given many strikers the bum steer with his great shot-stopping efforts. Now you have to ask yourself, which one would you prefer, Assmann or Seaman?
7. Danny Shittu
The Nigerian centre back played for Queens Park Rangers and 32 games for his country, which suggests that he was far from a crap player.
8. David Goodwillie
The Scottish striker plays for Ross County, on loan from Aberdeen. He hasn’t always been a Goodwillie, having been arrested for assaulting a man at a nightclub.
9. Two-Boys Gladstone Gumede
South African footballer who plays for the mighty Derby City Rovers in America, was the second boy in his family, which prompted his mother to name him Two-Boys.
10. Milan Fukal
Czech Republic defender who nearly played in England, but after receiving Fukal interest from Leeds and Manchester City, he was forced to sign with his home club FK Jablonec.
11. Creedance Clearwater Cuoto ( Paulista)
Brazilian footballer who was named after the American rock band Creedance Clearwater Revival, as his parents were massive fans of the band. Whether he was a fortunate son to be given that name is open to debate.
Scottish forward who formed a promising penetrative forward partnership with Marcus Bent at Leicester City in the 2003-04 EPL season.
13. Cerezo Fung a Wing
A Dutch defender who specialises in (surprise, surprise) the left wingback position. His ancestors came from China and his real last name is Fung.
Wouldn’t be at all surprising if Fung a Wing didn’t mind Chinese chicken wings.
14. Wolfgang Wolf
A German defender who played for Kaiserslautern and Stuttgarter Kickers. If the A-League was to expand in the future, let’s hope there is a team named Kickers. Or if an A-League club is not viable, kick them out and bring in the Kickers.
Getting back to the player concerned, Wolf also managed a variety of clubs, including VFL Wolfsburg.
15. Roberto Lopez Ufarte
Moroccoan born Spanish player of the 1970s and ’80s. The story doing the rounds is that before games, Ufarte would consume refried beans and onions. And when he was out on the pitch, he would release a smell so deadly it produced tear gas to the opposition players.
Brazilian midfield magician. In Greek slang, Kaka is translated as human faeces. Imagine if he played in the Greek Super League. He may have copped s**t from the crowd.
17. Bernt Hass
Swiss right back defender who spent the majority of his time playing for Grasshopper Club Zurich. Hypothetically, if he enjoyed a hot curry dish, he would be grasshopping around with a Bernt Hass.
18. Yaya Banana
An appealing Cameroon footballer who plays centre back. When he was young, his mother left him out in the sun too long, hence his footballing ability shining through. Banana, who always likes to hang out in bunches, has the kind of talent you simply can’t buy in a supermarket. Enjoys listening to Split Enz and Bananarama.
19. Lazaros Christodoulopoulos
Greek attacking midfielder who plays for Italian club, Sampdoria. If the A-League wanted to recruit a big name player, then surely Christodoulopoulos would fit the bill.
20. Massimo Maccarone
Italian bald-headed Mark Bresciano look-a-like forward who appears for Empoli. Early in his career, he spent much of his time in the Italian Serie C and Serie B, and tangling on loans with various clubs. However, when Maccarone went to EPL side Middlesbrough, the penne was finally starting to drop on his career and he hasn’t looked over his shoulder since.
21. Christ Bongo
The drums were beating loudly early on his career that Bongo was going to play many games for his country, Congo, but that didn’t eventuate. However at club scene, Bongo was instrumental in saving his German club side Wilhelmshaven from relegation, scoring vital goals. The club supporters thanked Christ for that.
22. Norman Conquest
An English born Australian goalkeeper of the late 1940s and early ’50s. In 1951, Conquest was best known for being the Aussie goalkeeper in a match between Australia and an English FA representative side at the old Sydney Showgrounds, where Australia lost 17-0. Who would’ve thought that the English would do an invasion on Conquest’s career?
22. Mario Eggimann
Swiss defender. Is he the Walrus? Coo coo cachoo.
23. Have-a-Look Dube
Zimbabwian footballer who plays for Njube Sundowns. Just as well his family name didn’t begin with the letter L, then people would really have a look at have a look.
24. Bunny bell
Centre forward for Tranmere Rovers in the 1930s, scoring 102 goals in just 114 appearances. On Boxing Day 1935, he scored nine goals in Tranmere’s 13-4 defeat of Oldham Athletic. It was an English record at the time. Bunny certainly knew how to multiply his goals.
25. Danny Drinkwater
Social media went nuts when the Leicester City midfielder took time out from the game to drink water. Playing football can be thirsty work.
26. Ralf Minge
East German striker of the 1980s who quite often came into the box and scored.
27. Andre Muff
A striker who played twice for Switzerland. There were instances where Muff stuffed up by not snuffing away tuff chances. Muff may have bluffed the gaffer into thinking that he was a capable striker, but in reality, Muff just ran out of puff, and the opposition had the last luff.
28. Max Power
This Wigan Athletic midfielder is so influential, The Simpsons did an episode where Homer changes his name to Max Power so that he could gain positive attention.
Here is an exchange between Max (Homer) and Bart:
Homer: Kids there are three ways to do things: the right way, the wrong way and the Max Power way!
Bart: Isn’t that the wrong way
Homer: Yeah, but faster!
Imagine if the 12th Man Billy Birmingham was a massive football fan and did a few CDs on these names. The mind boggles.
Anyway, the good news – or bad news, whichever way you view it – is there are more to come.