Trick of treat? Last week I introduced ‘The Team of Funny Names’ – a celebration of footballers’ names covering x-rated, rude and clever names. Some are simply fun to say! Thanks for the feedback, it was greatly appreciated and it’s nice to write some light-hearted material. So with the goalkeepers sorted out and with EastEnders’ Michael Moon being evil in the background, it’s time to crack on with the full backs on this Halloween night.
Angel Rangel (RB)
Here because of his rhyming name, the Swansea right back has been one of the biggest success stories of Swansea’s meteoric rise. It was Roberto Martinez who brought Rangel to the Liberty Stadium in 2007 whilst the Swans were in League One. Now in the top tier and playing European football, the Capital One Cup winner may not be as glamorous as fellow Premier League Spaniards, like Silva, Mata, Cazorla and Soldado, but his performances can be just as impressive.
Rod Fanni (RB)
Perhaps one of the greatest names we’ll come across here, Rod Fanni sounds like a line from a Sex Education class. Despite his penetrating first name, Rod isn’t a hard man, with just three red cards in his career. Fanni is experienced and, aged 31, is the first choice right back at Marseille. He was a Nice player, before signing for Rennes to replace Mario Melchiot. At international level, Raymond Domenech appreciated that Fanni is a Sagittarius and duly handed him 5 French caps. I just want to say it again – Rod Fanni. Rod Fanni!
Andre Wisdom (RB)
The Liverpool defender isn’t just a great name; he’s a very promising future England international. Roy Hodgson thought it’d be wise to give Andre a place on the bench for Liverpool’s infamous Carling Cup defeat to Northampton. Yet it was Brendan Rodgers who shrewdly gave Wisdom his first team debut against the wonderfully named Young Boys of Berne (playing at the Wankdorf Stadium!), where Wisdom managed to score too. With 22 appearances for Liverpool by the age of 20, Andre Alexander Shaquille Wisdom is currently on loan at Derby County.
John Lennon (LB)
I hinted in my first article that the well of flamboyant Brazilian names is running dry; hence we have Douglas, Alan, Oscar and Fred. Go to Atletico Goianiense and you’ll find John Lennon Silva Santos at left back. Imagine how he felt when, after a hard day’s night, he discovered he’d be teammates with Mahatma Gandhi Heber Pio. They even play with Michael Jackson, although that’s a nickname based on Jacko’s eccentric goal celebrations. Lennon calls himself The Walrus, for some reason. These three have come together to start a magical mystery tour of the Brazilian second division. Although, as revealed in an interview, Lennon genuinely doesn’t like the Beatles – probably a result of bullying and people persistently using song titles when talking about him.
Razvan Rat (LB)
A great name to say aloud, the Romanian left back finally plays in England after securing a summer move to West Ham. His time at Shakhtar Donetsk brought six league titles, four Ukrainian cups and the final UEFA Cup. However, after fighting off competition from Vyacheslav Shevchuk, he raced to Upton Park like a rat up a drainpipe. With 92 caps for his country, Rat wanted to become part of Sam Allardyce’s ‘carpet football’ philosophy.
Christian Fuchs (LB) – ….apparently! When he’s not doing that, he’s playing for Austria and Schalke.
Igor Shitov (RB) – He’s actually alright. Belarusian international, currently playing for Dynamo Moscow.
Kevin Theophile-Catherine (RB) – French player, currently on loan at Cardiff. Said to be looking forward to facing Theo Walcott.
Yuri Zhirkov (LB) – Chelsea made him the most expensive Russian player of all time, thankfully giving English fans the joy of commentators calling him ‘Jerk Off’.
Laughter Chilembe (RB) – Zimbabwean who plays for Power Dynamos FC.
A good selection of names this time. Next up, I’ll be looking at centre backs – one of the best positions for player names. I’m excited, as you should be. Happy Halloween!