Team of Funny Names – FOR (2)

And so, with a tear in my eye, we’ve reached the end of our quest to find the funniest footballing names. From Norman Conquest, Rod Fanni and Yaya Banana, all the way to Danger Fourpence, Sammy Ameobi and Britt Assombalonga, it’s been great fun compiling the list and producing the blog posts. The feedback has been mostly fantastic and that’s greatly appreciated. Thanks for that! As stated last time, the sheer volume of good forward options has enabled me to drag this series out slightly longer, so it’s time to finish on a high and blitz through the final nine strikers.

Johnny Moustache

Google this name and you’ll be surrounded by vintage furniture websites, that’s how little is known about the Ascot United player. Where are they from, you might ask? The Seychelles, where Moustache used to be national team captain. His facial hair is unknown and Johnny is normally in a hurry, but there’s no way a man with that name gets left off this comprehensive list.

David Goodwillie

A funny name in itself, Goodwillie already has a criminal record. He’s assaulted a man in a Stirling nightclub, knocked a doorman unconscious and was convicted of assault after a Glasgow takeaway incident. You want more? His name became even more striking after he was accused of rape in 2011. The victim recently waived her right to anonymity, although charges were originally dropped due to insufficient evidence. It’s hard to remember that there’s a football career in there and Goodwillie became Scottish PFA Young Player of the Year in 2011, before a failed move to Blackburn Rovers. He’s now back at Dundee United on loan.

Danny Invincible

Continuing the Scottish theme is Australia’s Danny Invincible, who was a very average player.  After scoring 32 goals in his eight years at Kilmarnock, he was a fan favourite but now plays his football in Thailand. Maybe not so invincible! However, his cult status did inspire a 2006 Mark Wahlberg film as well as a Tinie Tempah and Kelly Rowland song. Tempah, a known Killie fan, penned the song in 2010 after meeting Danny backstage at a gig.

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink

Another Scottish link, as the 6ft 3in striker scored on his Celtic debut in 2006, before a stunning diving header against Barcelona in the Champions League. His 132 goals in Holland earned him a move to Celtic Park, as well as 17 Dutch international caps. His unusually long surname seems to be the equivalent of double-barrelling names in England, as The Guardian did some research. They found that “In the 17th Century, two farming families in the Enschede area of Holland intermarried. Both the Vennegoor and Hesselink names carried equal social weight and so they chose to use both”. In this case, ‘of’ translates as ‘or’, meaning his name indecisive name can be translated as Jan Vennegoor or Hesselink. When at Hull, they tried different lettering styles to fit it all on his shirt. After their initial giant loop reached the bottom of his shirt, they switched to a very thin font – he paid them back with only three goals. Stressed out by such incidents, Jan has now retired.

Creedence Clearwater Couto

“People often think that it’s a nickname but it’s not. It’s my real name and on my birth certificate”, Couto himself says. “The only thing I regret is that some people are more interested in me because of my name than my qualities as a footballer”. Erm, whoops. We’re interested in your qualities too! Although to be honest, they’re not much to shout about. Now aged 34, Couto has spent his career dwelling in the lower leagues of Brazil – apart from one loan spell in Belgium. This fortunate son nicknamed himself Paulista for simplicity (and probably his sanity) once he was named after the Fogerty brothers’late-60s Californian rock band. His parents were huge fans and he’s in great company – Roberto Carlos was named after a Grammy Award-winning singer and World Cup-winning captain Dunga is a translation of ‘Dopey’ from Snow White. Mary would be proud.

Honourable Mentions:

Demba Ba – Every chant in the world works for Demba Ba, try it out! It has repetition, is swift and he was great for Newcastle. All positives!

Ricky van Wolfswinkel – A slightly less glamorous name now he’s at Norwich, the Dutch striker sound like he should have rabies.

Michael Gash – The clue is in the name. Currently at Kidderminster.

Carlos Costly – The clue isn’t in the name. After a career in obscurity, the Honduran now plays in China and can probably be bought for a box of ice pops.

On that bombshell, it’s time to go. There’ll be other blogs on different subjects, so I’m not going at all actually. But no more ‘Team of Funny Names’ – these seven blog posts can be immortalised and hopefully, one day, will reach over 100 views. Hope you had almost as much fun reading as I had writing. Take care! And Merry Christmas!

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Team of Funny Names – FOR (1)

As we near the end of our quest to find the greatest footballing names, there’s some good news. Well….good news if you like reading this blog, which I assume you do otherwise….yeah! The number of wonderfully named forwards is so vast that I’ve decided to split them into two posts. In my time doing this, I’ve discovered new players that were originally left out. For example, Czech defender Milan Fukal is known for his six years in Germany and in his career won….several things, actually. The 97/98 Czech Cup with Jablonec, the 99/00 Czech League with Sparta Prague and the 2003 Ligapokal with Hamburg.

South Africa have given us 28-year-old Two-Boys Gladstone Gumede, whilst Reading’s Steve Death once held the English league record of 1,074 minutes without conceding a goal. He played alongside winger Wayne Wanklyn in the 1970s. Dutch defender Johan de Kock amassed 13 international caps and played for Groningen, Utrecht, Roda JC and Schalke. He made commentators all around Europe sound judgemental and nasty.

Carlos Roberto de Oliveira played in the 1978 and 1982 World Cups for Brazil and is the all-time leading goal scorer at Vasco da Gama. After scoring a spectacular debut goal, a local journalist nicknamed him Roberto Dinamite and it stuck with him. He went on to have a successful political career before it all blew up in his face. Not really, the kid did well.

Another nice tidbit was when, in the 2001/02 season, Charlton Athletic’s back four read Young-Fish-Costa-Fortune. This actually happened several times. Time for part one of the strikers!

Bongo Christ

He turned water into wine, fed 5,000 with five loaves and two fish and chose to rise from the dead, so it only makes sense that he’d be a talented drummer. Born in Zaire in AD 1976, Bongo played for the Congo four times. He wouldn’t play to anyone else’s beat, which explains his nomadic career consisting of German, Swiss and French clubs. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to raise his career from the dead and retired in 2008.

Britt Assombalonga

Also born in Zaire, Assombalonga is a wonderful rhythmic name to say aloud. Aged just 20, this summer saw Britt become Peterborough United’s record signing at £1.5m. Scoring 15 goals on loan at Southend United brought him to Darren Ferguson’s attention, as his path at Watford was blocked by the Pozzo family using their connections to bring in mass amounts of foreign players. A pacy striker, he’s the son of former Zaire international Fedor Assombalonga, who decided to move his family to England when Britt was eight months old. His Peterborough career has started phenomenally well and hopes a promotion will thrust him onto a bigger stage, allowing Posh fans to continue chanting “Let’s all do the conga, Britt Assombalonga”.

Stefan Kuntz/Uwe Fuchs

Some of us might remember commentator John Motson awkwardly stumbling through Kuntz’s name during Euro 96, instantly gaining iconic status. Of course, he then cancelled out Alan Shearer’s goal at Wembley to help Germany eliminate England in the semi final. His career took him to Bochum, Uerdingen and Kaiserslautern but the reason he’s paired here with Uwe Fuchs is their time together at Arminia Bielefeld. Imagine lining up against a Kuntz-Fuchs strike force! Middlesbrough fans may be familiar with Fuchs, as the German scored 9 goals in a 13 game loan spell to help Boro get promoted to the Premier League. Who said that Germans don’t have a sense of humour?

Paul Dickov

It’s unconfirmed whether the current Doncaster manager’s middle name is ‘Mei’, or has any Chinese heritage at all. A Bulgarian report legitimately claimed that his surname is due to a Bulgarian grandfather! What we do know is that Dickov scored once in 10 caps for Scotland. A bit part role in Arsenal’s Cup Winners’ Cup win in 1994 was followed by a move to Man City, where he became a club legend. In the Division 2 play-off final, City were 2-1 down to Gillingham but Dickov’s epic stoppage time goal took the game to extra time, a game that City won on penalties. Scored past Vince Bartram (best man at Dickov’s wedding), it was voted ‘City’s Greatest Ever Goal’ in 2005. He spent several years in the Premier League with Leicester and Blackburn before becoming Oldham manager. In 2013, they shockingly knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup, although he resigned shortly after.

Honourable Mentions:

Andre Muff – Swiss striker that prefers to do the penetrating.

Andreas Weimann – Only moderately funny if you’re Geordie and pronounce his name “Whey Aye, Man!”

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang – Pacey Gabonese striker currently playing for Dortmund, his name can be chanted to Ram Jam’s ‘Black Betty’ or Skrillex’s ‘Bang-a-rang’.

Next week is the final installment of the Team of Funny Names, so thanks for sticking with this and keep the feedback coming in!

Team of Funny Names – CM

Onto central midfield, the most important area on the football pitch. That remains the case in the ‘Team of Funny Names’, where tensions are running high over the strong competition. You’re all being far too nice with the feedback; I demand you dwell on all negatives this week. It is highly enjoyable to write these pieces though – I just love football. It’s incredibly easy to be pessimistic about the state of the game but I think it’s important that we look at the humorous side, the side that reminds us why we love the sport. So to start us off today, a midfielder that may or may not exist…

Ars Bandeet

Google this name and unfortunately the same words show up – “myth”, “supposedly”, “no evidence” and “never existed”. I’d feel awful for not mentioning him though because, if he does exist, he wins this contest hands down. No questions asked. Anyway, the creative midfielder allegedly played for Algeria in the 1970s, trying to find holes in the opposing defence. Ahhh you know what? I’m not proud of that joke. We’re better than that! But there’s no evidence that he actually existed and we therefore have to assume that, in an era where we have access to almost anything in history, he’s completely fabricated. What a shame.

Wes Hoolahan

Hoolahan is just a lovely name to say, isn’t it? The midfielder signed for Norwich from Blackpool in 2008 and has been a key player in their Premier League survivals. He’s had an unspectacular career that started at Shelbourne and Livingston, with seven international caps for Republic of Ireland in the meantime. Fascinatingly, hula is a dance made famous in Hawaii and Hoolahan is an anagram of Aloha (Hawaiian greeting of peace) Hon (short for Hawaiian capital Honolulu). Now that you’ve read that piece of genius, time for my fantastic Hawaii wordplay joke. No, wait…where are you going?!?!

Ricardo Virtuoso

For those that are still here, this skilled, rhythmic midfielder is a former footballer that now plays futsal back home in Brazil. His football career was actually rather poor, consisting of being a squad player in Switzerland and America. Aged just 27, Virtuoso left FC Chiasso in 2011 in order to play indoor football for Valenga/Juventude Futsal.

Sven Bender

The thing about Sven Bender is that he’s actually very good at football. He isn’t some Swiss League squad filler, Australian wartime goalkeeper or random Zimbabwean nobody. Sven, like his twin brother Lars, is a current German international and is set to take part in Brazil 2014. He was a key component of the Dortmund team that reached May’s Champions League Final and is still only 24. The joy of his name is the repetition of ‘en’ and that his surname is the robot from Futurama. He’s a wonderful player who we’ll hear a lot more from in the next decade.

Hakan Yakin

Rhymes. With 87 Swiss caps, Hakan and his brother Murat were part of Basel’s fantastic Champions League run in 2002-03. This included games against Liverpool and Manchester United. He was an important player for his country in the 2006 and 2010 World Cups, before finishing as joint second top goal scorer in Euro 2008. Yakin sometimes plays as a second striker and is now in the twilight of his career, playing for his seventh Swiss club.

Honourable mentions:

Emmanuel Frimpong – Arsenal midfielder with one cap for Ghana but unfortunately still hasn’t played ping pong with Razak Pimpong. The world needs to see the Frimpong-Pimpong ping pong clash!

Julian Baumgartlinger – Another Austrian crops up here, as this 25-year-old plays in the Bundesliga for Mainz 05. Each part of his surname is incredibly Germanic.

Gerardo Torrado – Also rhymes. Has almost 150 caps for Mexico.

Jeremy Toulalan – I can’t not say this name as ‘ooh-la-la’.

Frank Awanka – Another rhymer. There isn’t much evidence of this Luxembourg midfielder but by all accounts he DOES exist, unlike Bandeet. Saying the name out loud is just marvellous, truly.

I have to split forwards into two separate posts because, quite frankly, there are so many forwards with great names. So you’ve got two more to look forward to/dread!

Team of Funny Names – RM/LM

After assessing goalkeepers, full backs and centre backs, it’s time to move on to the wingers. Well, I guess it depends on the formation. Even though 4-2-3-1 and 4-5-1 variants have seemingly become the systems of choice these days, it’s only right to stick with a traditional 4-4-2 here. To be honest, there’s such a lack of funny-named wingers that perhaps a 4-3-3 would’ve been better. However, these sentences are basically just filler to make up for the lack of players this time. So how has your week been?

Having thought beyond the ‘Team of Funny Names’ starting XI, I think all home games should be played in the capital city of Burkina Faso, Ouagadougou. We might have to push pineapples and shake some trees to get permission, but we can grind some coffee and plan it out. Maybe drive there in a Renault Twingo, although it’d be a mammoth journey. Regardless, I won’t be handling this team – that’s the job of former Wolfsburg manager Wolfgang Wolf! Although I’d happily leave him alone if Wolverhampton Wanderers had a vacancy….

So yes, with those on board and Kriss Akabusi as fitness coach, it’s time to proceed with the right and left-sided midfielders.

Sidney Sam – RM

Credit for this goes to Matt Cobb and The Football Ramble. The Bayer Leverkusen winger has a name that demands a kick-ass cowboy hat, gun duels and drinking sarsaparilla in a saloon. For this 25-year-old belongs in a Western movie – go on, say it! Shid-knee Shaaay-yum. Once upon a time in the West of Germany, this outlaw started his career at Hamburg, before making his name on loan at Kaiserslautern. After dancing with the idea of signing for Wolfsburg (narrowly avoiding Wolfgang!), the German international joined Leverkusen in 2010 for £2m. He’s started this season incredibly well, forming a superb trio with Stefan Kiessling and Son Heung-Min as Leverkusen have pulled away at the table’s summit with Dortmund and Bayern. If they somehow don’t qualify for the Champions League, Sam could easily be Unforgiven.

Sammy Ameobi – RM/LM

The Premier League has seen some incredible brother combinations in its time – we’ve witnessed the Nevilles, the Toure brothers and the Da Silva twins. The Ameobis aren’t one of these. Yet Shola and Sammy are part of a clan that has ‘graced’ Tyneside for nearly 15 years. He made his Newcastle United debut against Chelsea in May 2011 and has scored two League Cup goals. However, his career highlight so far was sparking a pre-season pitch invasion at Darlington. After Geordie promises that “If Sammy scores, we’re on the pitch”, Ameobi proceeded to score past keeper Sam Russell. In fairness, the Newcastle fans stuck to their word and the following melee delayed the match for 10 minutes. Sammy’s name has delightful repetition and a beautiful rhythm, as shown by chanting it to the ‘hokey cokey’ and Black Lace’s party classic ‘Do the Conga’.

Brian Pinas – LM

Continuing the Newcastle United theme, Pinas arrived from Feyenoord in 1997. Signed by Kenny Dalglish, Pinas was thought to be the full package but the jokes and ridicule began immediately. The Sun newspaper claimed that “The first time a referee takes his name he’ll get sent off for using foul language”. When Arsenal came to Tyneside that December, anticipation lingered in the air over the prospect of Brian emerging from the substitutes bench and guiding the ball over Arsenal’s goalkeeper into the net. In other words, people wanted to see Pinas lob Seaman. Battered by a year of similarly poor jokes, Pinas returned to Feyenoord and tried to forge a career for himself. He has since been seen at Groningen, Cercle Brugge, NAC Breda and Dordrecht.

Alex Kacaniklic – LM

There’s nothing rude or clever about this Fulham winger’s name – I just love the ‘clickety click’ noise it makes. The 22-year-old was part of Liverpool’s youth team, before being used as a makeweight in Paul Konchesky’s monumental move to Anfield in 2010. Arguably on his way to becoming better than Konchesky ever was, Kacaniklic has five Premier League goals for Fulham and 14 caps for Sweden. His impact from the bench against Germany inspired his country to turn a 4-0 deficit into a stunning 4-4 draw. If he stays away from injuries, this winger is set to have a promising career at the top level.

Honourable Mentions:

Andreas Ivanschitz – Unlike Rafael Scheidt and Danny Shittu, this Austrian has had a good career (like Igor Shitov). With 64 caps for Austria and Champions League experience, the ‘David Beckham of Austria’ has a talented left foot.

Siphiwe Tshabalala – Currently playing for the Kaizer Chiefs, the South African is known for scoring the opening goal of the 2010 World Cup, inciting the riot that his club predicted. A goal for ALL of Africa!

Magaye Gueye – ….actually has a girlfriend. Well, according to Google, he did in 2011. The Frenchman is now on loan at Brest. Insert joke here.

Back next week with the central midfielders. Clue: there’s a lot of rhyming going on!

Team of Funny Names – CB

This is what autumnal Friday nights were made for, right? Sitting at home, drinking hot chocolate and reading some random bloke’s blog on mildly amusing footballer’s names. Thanks again for the feedback on the last two pieces; I don’t claim to be some great wordsmith – just a novice who isn’t sure whether that hyphen is the right choice. There are some cracking names for centre backs, so let’s crack on with it.

Yaya Banana

This 6ft 4in giant was highly regarded at one point although, at 22, there’s still plenty of time to fulfil that potential. In January 2012, the Cameroonian left Esperance Tunis to sign for French side Sochaux and some promising performances led to heavy links with Arsenal. Having slipped down the pecking order in Montbeliard, the defender was part of a bunch that was sent to Lausanne-Sport in Switzerland.

Mark de Man

Also a midfielder, the 30-year-old just had to be categorised as a defender with that name. Capped 5 times for Belgium, his career started at Anderlecht alongside Hoof de Ball and Cover de Near-post. Surprisingly, only de Man ‘made it’ and he soon signed for Holland’s Roda JC, before returning to his homeland with Beerschot in 2009. In a cruel twist of fate, his marking isn’t actually that good but his attributes were good enough to forge a professional career. After some time on Leuven, de Man now plays in the Belgian Third Division________

Danger Fourpence

I think we all have our favourite Zimbabwean footballer – it’s a crowded market – but please consider Danger Fourpence. Not only is his first name hazardous, his surname is the approximate transfer fee for his blockbuster move to from CAPS United to Kiglon Bird FC. Whilst budding daredevils claim that “Danger is my middle name”, Bond villain Fourpence outdoes them with minimal effort. To be fair, his country throws up many incredible names, with fellow footballers including Givemore Manuella, Method Mwanjali and Heavens Chinyama (really!). He’s not the first Zimbabwean to show up on my list (Laughter Chilembe) and he won’t be the last….

Argelico Fucks

Commonly known as Argel, the centre back is understandably embarrassed of his surname. After starting his career with Internacional, he gained his only cap for Brazil in a friendly against Honduras before playing in Japan. Unlike many other players on my list, he’s played for reputable clubs such as Santos, Porto, Palmeiras and Cruzeiro. However, a return to Portugal inadvertently gave him international headlines after Eurosport’s memorable ‘Fucks off to Benfica’ headline. Now aged 39, Argel is coach at Criciuma. In just four years, he has managed over a dozen clubs – apparently he fucks up a lot!

Rafael Scheidt

A name which sends shivers down the spines of Celtic fans. Thankfully, for the sake of comedy, Rafael was indeed Scheidt and became the highest profile flop of the Glaswegian club’s John Barnes-Kenny Dalglish disaster. Capped three times (in meaningless friendlies) for Brazil, the defender forged a good reputation with Gremio. Barnes was impressed with the ‘Greatest Hits’ video compiled by Rafael’s agent and proceeded to spend £4.8m on him. Struggling to settle and plagued by injuries, Scheidt turned out to be an awful defender and only made three appearances for Celtic. After a humiliating performance against Irish side Bray Wanderers, new boss Martin O’Neill allegedly told Scheidt that “I like footballers who aren’t like you. I like footballers who play well”. Ouch. He didn’t last much longer.

Honourable mentions:

Danny Shittu – Not as Shit as Scheidt, the Nigerian is a veteran of English football and currently plays for Millwall.

Nortei Nortey – Not the messiah, this 19-year-old was recently released by Chelsea after misdemeanours a string of knee injuries. Danny Dyer is a fan, but he’s still without a club.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos – A new £8m signing for the current ‘hipsters club’ Borussia Dortmund, this talented Greek cost a pretty penne. He bears Sokratis on the back of his shirt.

Exodus Geohaghon – 6ft 5in centre back currently at Worcester City. As his name suggests, he was released as part of Darlington’s firesale in 2012.

Have-a-Look Dube – ….I told you there’d be more Zimbabwean love! This subliminal message has so far failed to convince European giants to check him out.

Ugo Ehiogu – Former England international whose name is fantastic to say. With over 200 appearances for Aston Villa, his name is ALMOST a palindrome!

Centre backs, as well as strikers, look like my favourite collection of names. Have a nice week and come back soon for the next batch!

Team of Funny Names – RB/LB

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.

Honourable mentions:

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!

Team of Funny Names – GK

Do you know what the definition of ‘sad’ is? It’s when a 24-year-old uses his ‘Notepad’ smart phone app to instantly jot down footballer names that amuse him. What’s even sadder is when this list builds up over time, to the point where he NEEDS to put it out in public. Players are sorted by position with capital letters in just the right places. If you haven’t guessed by now, that man is me.

My friends are aware of this team, creatively known as ‘The Team of Funny Names’, but have never seen it in action. So in my debut blog, it’s time to sort this out and begin with the goalkeepers. Brazilian players don’t count – that’s cheating. Although there is something funny about Brazilian players nicknamed Alan, Douglas, Oscar and Fred – when you produce the amount of players that Brazil do, I guess you’ll eventually run out of the good ones! There’s a mix of x-rated names, clever names and ones that are simply fun to say. Apologies for being so…erm…dirty minded with some of these. So, without further ado….

GK

quim

Quim

Now this is a goalkeeper that doesn’t want any poachers in his box! Joaquim Manuel Sampaio da Silva is more than a funny name though – he has 32 caps for Portugal and played in the 2006 World Cup, as well as in the Champions League for Benfica and Braga. Good at snatching crosses, at one point he had to see off competition from fellow strange-name Hans-Jörg Butt. Quim recently reversed his decision to retire at the age of 37 and now plays for Aves, with squad number 75.

Fabián Assmann

The 27-year-old Argentine has spent his entire career (sans a year in Spain) at Independiente, but is yet to play for Argentina. Standing at 6ft 2, Assmann is a lifelong WWE fan and had an unhealthy obsession with Billy Gunn. When asked about a potential coaching career, he told of his plans to become an Assistant Manager. In the meantime, he aims to help Independiente get promoted and sell his D-Generation X merchandise.

Norman Conquest

A lot has been said about this player’s 1066 invasion of England but not much is known about his career between the sticks. Conquest played for many clubs in New South Wales and gained 11 caps for Australia. Incredibly, the cocky ‘keeper made a return to England in 1951 with an Australian Representative XI, intending to compound more misery on an innocent country. However, this time England emerged victorious and Norman was conquered in a 17-0 rout – a then world-record in international football. Unfortunately, none of the goal scorers was named William.

Honourable mentions

David Seaman – tossed out of the England team shortly after being lobbed by Ronaldinho.

Alphonse Areola – this perky youngster hasn’t yet made a tit of himself, with only 7 professional appearances and 2 caps for France U21s.

Peter Boleslaw Schmeichel – named after his mother’s unhealthy obsession with salad dishes.

Next up, I’ll be profiling the right-backs and/or left-backs (depending on numbers).